Although many health experts agree that it was around as early as late 2019, the middle of March 2020 signaled the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic - at least as far as the public health response. Now three years into it - and with stable numbers - an important local agency is signaling the changing of a chapter in regards to the response.

The St. Louis County Public Health Department has used the three year anniversary as the point to "retire" it's online COVID-19 Dashboard. It was three years ago that the county declared a local state emergency, and established the Emergency Operations Center as a means of responding the global pandemic.

According to details released as part of "retirement" information, the "COVID Community Level in St. Louis County has remained low for three consecutive months". That has led the county's Public Health Department to "largely more traditional services".

In place of the COVID-19 Dashboard that greeted visitors to the Public Health Departments website, there is now a story-map that details the three year response that involved staff and countless community partners.That story map can be found on the St. Louis County website.

Sobering as some of them may be, the local statistics are interesting. Here is just a small sample of some of the three-year COVID statistics being made available by St. Louis County:

  • 60,000-plus laboratory-confirmed cases
  • 3,000-plus hospitalizations
  • 600-plus deaths
  • 48,000 doses of vaccines were administered
  • 640 different clinic sites were open to provide those vaccines
  • 86 volunteers donated their time at county vaccine sites
  • 9,300 hours of volunteered time was invested at county vaccine sites
  • 487 organizations received attention from the counties 2 Infection Control Specialists. Those organizations included long term care/skilled nursing facilities, child care centers, camps, large events, community clubs, and businesses
  • 160,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was distributed
  • 8 isolation/quarantine sites were established for people experiencing homelessness who needed a safe place to recover, isolate, or wait for test results

St. Louis County Board Chair Patrick Boyle offered commentary as the next era of the pandemic starts:

"The last three years have been a tremendous challenge for all of us. We know COVID-19 is still here, but vaccinations and treatments have made it manageable, so this is a good time to reflect on all that it took to get us here, and the important contributions from so many people and organizations throughout St. Louis County. There is no doubt in my mind that County staff, with the complement help of volunteers, saved lives."

In his role, Boyle oversaw the Health and Human Services Committee for St. Louis County during the larger part of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

What Do I Do If I Lose My COVID-19 Vaccination Card?

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you're handed a card that details the date, manufacturer variety, and location of your dose. If you're getting one of the two-dose vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna), you'll need that card to coordinate your second and final dose. But even with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and even after getting the second shot, you'll need to keep that card in a safe place.

While nationwide vaccine mandates aren't a thing at the present time, there are a variety of times you might need that card even after completing the vaccine process. Many schools (primary, secondary, and higher education) are requiring the COVID-19 vaccine similar to other vaccinations. Additionally, some entertainment venues and mass transportation are requiring either proof of a negative COVID test or the vaccine card.

So what happens if you lose it? Relax. There are ways of obtaining a replacement - and they differ slightly whether you've lost it before getting both doses or after.

Things To Do Before + After Getting The COVID Vaccine

A variety of things to do to get ready for the COVID-19 vaccine as well as some considerations to take afterwards.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.