ST. LOUIS ( - The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force and the State of Missouri reported a sharp increase in the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 on Sunday.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 888 COVID-19 patients were in the hospital on July 9, the highest since May 6 when 903 people were in the hospital with the virus. There is a 72-hour delay in the reporting of state data for hospitalizations and the data for Sunday is not yet available.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force reported its largest increase in new hospital admissions since May 3, with 36 new patients being hospitalized Sunday; 33 new patients were admitted Friday.

[RELATED: News 4 is tracking COVID-19 cases in Missouri and Illinois]

A total of 180 patients with COVID-19 are in St. Louis hospitals with another 141 patients at hospitals for suspected COVID-19. The data from the task force has a lag time of two days.

More than 3,100 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from local hospitals.

The numbers come after Dr. Alex Garza, who is the head of the task force, said community spread was increasing.

At his briefing on Friday, Garza said, the "numbers (are) not going in the right direction."


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