The Jefferson County Health Department reported 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases today (June 29). Those cases were reported to the Health Department over the past three days, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 535 since the first ones were reported in March.
“Case counts are increasing at a rapid rate,” Health Department Director Kelley Vollmar said this evening. “It is imperative that Jefferson County residents take precautionary action now to prevent further community spread. Wear your mask, wash your hands, protect public health.”
The Health Department also reported information today about how many days it took for the first 100 cases to be reported in the county after the first cases on March 23 and then how many days in between each additional 100 cases.
Health officials said those numbers show the spread slowed after economic and social activity was curtailed, and has risen again since the state and county have reopened that activity.
It took 17 days, from March 23 to April 9, for the first 100 cases. Then, it took 10 days, from April 9 to April 19, for the next 100 cases, which was the shortest period for 100 cases. It took 17 days, from April 19 to May 6, for the third set of 100 cases, and 33 days, from May 6-June 8, for the next 100 cases, the longest period of time. But, the length of time dropped after that, with 16 days, from June 8-June 24, for the most recent set of 100 cases, according to the Health Department.
Health Department officials say there can be a one- to two-week lag from the time someone contracts the disease until symptoms occur, and then typically it takes one to two days between the time the person is tested and the results are reported to the Health Department.
“After guidelines were loosened and folks return to 'normal' because the assumed threat of COVID-19 isn't as severe, we see a spike in cases only taking 16 days to breach the next 100 mark (400-500 cases),” health officials said.
The Health Department said the number of new cases nearly doubled during that period, compared to the week before, which is “significant.”
As a result, the Health Department is urging the public continue practicing social distancing and taking other steps to stem the spread of the disease
Vollmar also urges residents to pay attention to the Health Department’s system that warns about the level of threat to the community from COVID-19 at any given time. The system uses a green, yellow or red guidance status to indicate the level of threat.
Currently the county is at the yellow guidance status, which means people should continue taking preventive steps to curb the spread of the virus.
The system also has a green level, which is less restrictive, and a red level, which would have more restrictions in place.
For more information about the system, go to jeffcohealth.org.
County coronavirus stats
Of the county’s total cases, 480 are lab-confirmed cases and 55 are probable cases, according to the Health Department.
In addition, 73 of the county’s total cases are currently open, or active, ones, the Health Department reported today.
Active cases are the number of positive cases excluding COVID-19 deaths and those patients who have been released from isolation.
The Health Department reported that the county has had 21 COVID-19 deaths, and 441 people have been released from isolation, which means they recovered enough to be released from case management, according to the Health Department.
The Health Department also reported today that 59 county residents have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus.
In addition, the Health Department reported today that 15 of the county’s cases were transmitted through travel, 301 were from contact and 219 are unknown.
According to the Health Department, 217 of the county’s coronavirus cases have been men, 315 cases have been women and three unknown.
The confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county include four people younger than nine, 14 people 10 to 19 years old, 60 people 20-29 years old, 72 people 30-39 years old, 80 people 40-49 years old, 106 people 50-59 years old, 95 people 60-69 years old, 51 people 70-79 years old, 48 people in their 80s or older and five unknown.
The Health Department also reported that cases in the county have been reported for the following ZIP codes: 83 cases and 64 recovered cases in 63010 (Arnold), 21 cases and 19 recovered cases in 63012 (Barnhart), 28 cases and 22 recovered cases in 63016 (Cedar Hill), 12 cases and 10 recovered cases in 63019 (Crystal City), 35 cases and 31 recovered cases in 63020 (De Soto), seven cases and six recovered case in 63023 (Dittmer), six cases and five recovered cases in 63025 (Eureka), 76 cases and 42 recovered cases in 63026 (Fenton), 118 cases and 104 recovered cases in 63028 (Festus), one case and one recovered case in 63047 (Hematite), four cases and four recovered in 63048 (Herculaneum), 28 cases and 21 recovered cases in 63049 (High Ridge), 16 cases and 11 recovered cases in 63050 (Hillsboro), 27 cases and 24 recovered cases in 63051 (House Springs), 52 cases and 37 recovered cases in 63052 (Imperial), one case and one recovered case in 63069 (Pacific) and 16 cases and 13 recovered cases in 63070 (Pevely). Four cases do not have ZIP code information.
In addition, the Health Department reported today that it has monitored a total of 881 cases, and of those, 222 are still actively being monitored and another 659 have been released from monitoring.
Brianne Zwiener, communications specialist with the Health Department, said a person who is being actively monitored has been in contact with a positive case, but is not showing symptoms.
She said people who are actively monitored are quarantined to their homes and must take their temperature twice a day for 14 days.
Long-term care facilities
Of the county’s 535 total cases of the coronavirus, 189 have been at long-term care facilities, which includes residents and staff members who live inside Jefferson County. Only one new case at county long-term care facilities was reported today.
Of the county's 21 COVID-19 deaths, 15 have been at long-term care facilities.
According to a dashboard the state has set up, Jefferson County has had five COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The outbreaks have been at Festus Manor Care Center; Big River Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Cedar Hill; Woodland Manor Nursing Center in Arnold; Scenic View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Herculaneum; and Fountainbleau Nursing Center south of Festus.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) defines an outbreak as one or more residents testing positive for the virus or one or more staff members who have worked within a facility in the 14 days before testing positive.
Of the cases at long-term care facilities, 30 are active ones, and 144 have been released from isolation. Residents in long-term care facilities go through two quarantine periods before being released from isolation, the Health Department reported.
Also, according to the Health Department, 19 people from long-term care facilities have been hospitalized.
State, U.S. stats
As of today, Missouri had 21,043 positive cases of the coronavirus and 998 deaths related to the disease, according to the DHSS.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the U.S. had 2,545,250 cases, which includes 41,075 new cases, and a total of 126,369 coronavirus-related deaths, including 885 new deaths, as of today.
Anyone who shows coronavirus symptoms or who has questions should call the Missouri State Hotline at 877-435-8411 or the Mercy Clinical Support Line at 314-251-0500. For more information about COVID-19, visit jeffcohealth.org/coronavirus-covid19.