The Jefferson County Health Department reported 30 new COVID-19 over the past four days, bringing the county total to 582 cases since the first ones were reported in March.
Two cases were reported July 3, another five were reported on July 4, seven on Sunday (July 5), and 16 cases were reported today (July 6), according to the Health Department.
Kelly Vollmar, director of the Health Department, said testing for the coronavirus has not increased in the past few weeks, and she attributed the recent rise in cases to contact, not to an increase in testing.
“It's not the additional testing making us have more positive cases; we're just seeing more community spread,” she said.
For example, Vollmar said 896 tests were conducted during the week of June 21, and 6 percent came back positive.
For several weeks before June 21, about 1,000 tests were conducted every week, and during those weeks, the positive rate varied between 1 percent and 2.5 percent, she said.
Vollmar also said COVID-19 is more dangerous than the flu.
“A lot of people will compare it to the flu. They're like, ‘Oh, this isn't even as bad as the flu.’ Well, it's definitely worse than the flu,” she said.
During the last flu season, Jefferson County had 2,932 cases of the flu and four flu-related deaths, the Health Department reported.
Vollmar and Jefferson County Executive Dennis Gannon are “strongly encouraging” residents to wear masks to help limit the spread of the disease.
“It is extremely important that people take the preventive steps to ensure they're keeping themselves and especially their loved ones who are more vulnerable safe,” Vollmar said.
The Health Department also encourages 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 582 cases, 526 are lab-confirmed cases and 56 are probable cases, according to the Health Department.
In addition, 70 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 23 COVID-19-related deaths, and 489 people have been released from isolation, which means they recovered enough to be released from case management.
In addition, 61 county residents have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus, the Health Department reported.
The Health Department also reported today that 16 of the county’s cases were transmitted through travel, 321 were from contact and 245 are unknown.
According to the Health Department, 241 of the county’s coronavirus cases have been men, 338 cases have been women and three are unknown.
The confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county include six people younger than nine, 19 people 10 to 19 years old, 78 people 20-29 years old, 78 people 30-39 years old, 83 people 40-49 years old, 113 people 50-59 years old, 98 people 60-69 years old, 54 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: 95 cases and 73 recovered cases in 63010 (Arnold), 23 cases and 20 recovered cases in 63012 (Barnhart), 28 cases and 21 recovered cases in 63016 (Cedar Hill), 12 cases and 10 recovered cases in 63019 (Crystal City), 37 cases and 31 recovered cases in 63020 (De Soto), seven cases and six recovered case in 63023 (Dittmer), nine cases and five recovered cases in 63025 (Eureka), 81 cases and 72 recovered cases in 63026 (Fenton), 125 cases and 105 recovered cases in 63028 (Festus), one case and one recovered case in 63047 (Hematite), four cases and four recovered in 63048 (Herculaneum), 33 cases and 22 recovered cases in 63049 (High Ridge), 16 cases and 11 recovered cases in 63050 (Hillsboro), 31 cases and 27 recovered cases in 63051 (House Springs), 57 cases and 41 recovered cases in 63052 (Imperial), one case and one recovered case in 63069 (Pacific) and 16 cases and 14 recovered cases in 63070 (Pevely). Six cases do not have ZIP code information.
In addition, the Health Department reported today that it has monitored a total of 959 cases, and of those, 281 are still actively being monitored and another 678 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 total cases of the coronavirus, 191 have been at long-term care facilities, which includes residents and staff members who live inside Jefferson County.
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.
Of the county’s 23 COVID-19 deaths, 17 have been in long term care facilities.
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, nine are active ones, and 165 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 23,856 positive cases of the coronavirus and 1,028 deaths related to the disease, according to the DHSS.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the U.S. had 2,886,267 cases, which includes 44,361 new cases, and a total of 129,811 coronavirus-related deaths, including 235 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.