Missouri set a new record for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Christmas Day as the pandemic surges.

ST. LOUIS — Missouri set a new record for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Christmas Day as the pandemic surges. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports  that there were 2,862 patients hospitalized statewide, eclipsing the previous record of 2,851 on Nov. 18. Hospitalizations have remained high in the past month.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average for new cases is 2,213 each day, according to data posted Saturday on the state health department website.

With the virus present at such elevated levels, county officials are urging caution.

"It is here, it is spread in the community, and we've got to make sure that that spread slows," said St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern. "Our fates are in our own hands, and really, it's not difficult to wear that mask."