Today marks the beginning of the next phase of COVID-19 as the federal pandemic public health emergency declaration ends after more than three years. As we move forward, it’s important to know that the tools we currently have to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are still in place, just as the virus is still spreading in our communities.
“As we move from this historic pandemic phase of COVID-19 into an endemic phase, we must still be aware of the virus, and that it does not disappear with today’s end of the public health emergency,” says Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, director of health for the City of St. Louis. “Our department will continue to educate and connect residents with resources like COVID-19 vaccines and tests.”
St. Louis County’s Department of Public Health plans on continuing to offer free vaccinations, testing and at-home COVID test kits for the foreseeable future, said Dr. Kanika Cunningham, director of that department.
“We strive to continue to work as we have done over the past three years to provide access to COVID-19 mitigation methods, including vaccines and tests, through our clinics and partnerships,” she said.
Free vaccinations are still available at many places for now. The U.S. government currently distributes free COVID-19 vaccines for all adults and children. It is best to get fully vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible, though, as the free federal vaccine coverage depends on the government’s supply. To find a location near you, visit vaccines.gov. You can also visit the St. Louis County Department of Public Health walk-in clinics Mondays through Fridays from 8:30am-4:30pm. Those locations are:
John C. Murphy Health Center, 6121 N Hanley Rd #2003, Berkeley North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Rd, Pine Lawn South County Health Center, 4580 South Lindbergh Blvd, Sunset Hills
COVID-19 testing will still be available through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services testing sites, including three in the City of St. Louis and four in St. Louis County.
Urban League St. Louis, 1408 N. Kingshighway Boulevard. St. Louis Mondays-Fridays, 9:00am-3:00pm Legacy Bar & Café, 5294 Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis Wednesdays, 10:00am-6:00pm IBEW Local #1, 5850 Elizabeth Avenue, St. Louis, Thursdays, 10:00am-6:00pm St. Louis County Department of Public Health Main Campus, 6121 N Hanley Rd Berkley Fridays, 8:00am-4:00pm South County Health Center 4580 S Lindbergh Blvd St. Louis Thursdays, 8:00am-4:00pm Machinist Lodge #777 12365 St Charles Rock Rd Bridgeton Saturdays, 10:00am-6:00pm AIM Laboratories HQ, 3165 Mckelvey Rd. Bridgeton Mondays-Fridays, 9:00am-4:00pm
Medication to prevent severe COVID-19, such as Paxlovid, will remain free while supplies last. After that, the price will be determined by the medication manufacturer and your health insurance coverage. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to speak with their primary medical provider about treatment benefits based on their health history.
Data has driven many decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the size of gatherings, facial covering (mask) mandates, and virtual work and school accommodations. The City of St. Louis Department of Health and the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health will continue monitoring and publishing available data on the departments’ respective dashboards. The City of St. Louis COVID-19 data dashboard is available at stlouis-mo.gov/covid-19/data, and the Saint Louis County COVID-19 dashboard is located at stlouiscountymo.gov/st-louis-county-departments/public-health/covid-19/covid-19-data-reports/.