ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus is rising sharply in some areas near St. Louis, and hospitalizations in the region are starting to increase too. Data from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force shows that the seven-day average for coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the region is now 28, the highest it has been since mid-May. Suburban counties including Jefferson, Franklin and Lincoln have seen steady increases in confirmed cases. But St. Charles County is emerging as a new hot spot. The county reported 690 new confirmed cases over the past 14 days, compared to 153 cases in the previous 14-day period.