coronavirus

The Jefferson County Health Department reported 25 new COVID-19 cases today (July 10), bringing the county total to 691.

Health Department officials said they did not have further details about the new cases “due to a large amount of cases received in the late afternoon.”

However, the Health Department said there were no new COVID-19 deaths reported today, so the county total remains at 23.

The Health Department said it would provide an update about cases on Sunday (July 12).

Health Department officials also announced that starting on Monday (July 13), the Arnold office, 1818 Lonedell Road, and the High Ridge office, 5684 Hwy. PP, will close because of the agency's COVID-19 response.

According to a message the Health Department posted on media post, the Hillsboro office, 405 Main Street, will remain open, but by appointment only.

On Thursday (July 9), Health Department Director Kelley Vollmar said cases are rising rapidly and she is seeing more cases in younger county residents.

With the increase in cases, Vollmar said she expects to eventually see a rise in both COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations.

She also said the new cases have more contacts to trace.

“Anyone within 6 feet (of someone who tests positive) for longer than 15 minutes,” is a contact.

Mandatory masks?

The Health Department urges county residents to take steps to prevent the spread of the disease, like social distancing and wearing masks.

Vollmar said the agency’s Board of Trustees is expected to hold a meeting sometime next week and vote on whether to issue a mandatory mask order.

She said she doesn’t want to limit people's freedom, but she does not view public health as a political issue.

“It’s (public health) about preventing things before they happen,” she said.

The Health Department has not announced the date or time for the meeting.

However, the agency posted a Tweet this evening stating that any board decisions will be announced through official channels.

“The Health Department Board of Trustees is a five-member, non-partisan unit elected by the community. Individual board members may express their opinions on their personal social media pages; however, official communications on the stance of the JCHD are only issued by the chair of the Board of Trustees, Dennis Diehl, and the JCHD director, Kelley Vollmar.

The Health Department encourages residents to pay attention to the agency’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.

State, U.S. stats

As of today, Missouri had 26,661 positive cases of the coronavirus and 1,064 deaths related to the disease, according to the DHSS.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the U.S. had 3,106,931 cases, which includes 59,260 new cases, and a total of 132,855 coronavirus-related deaths, including 799 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.

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