The Jefferson County Health Department reported 49 new COVID-19 cases over the past two days, bringing the county total to 631 cases since the first ones were reported in March.
On Tuesday (July 7), 22 cases were reported and 27 cases were reported today (July 8).
Kelly Vollmar, director of the Health Department, said during a Facebook Live video Tuesday that she expects cases to keep increasing over the next week or two.
“I am worried about July Fourth,” Vollmar said.
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 a person is tested and the results are reported to the Health Department.
Vollmar said testing for the coronavirus has not increased in the past few weeks, and she attributes the recent rise in cases to contact, not to an increase in testing.
She also said COVID-19 is more dangerous than the flu.
During the last flu season, which ran from October 2019 through this past May, 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 say they strongly encourage residents to wear masks to help limit the spread of the disease.
“Our ability as the Health Department to make a positive impact on COVID-19 can only go so far,” Vollmar said today in a written statement. “We need residents to take action and help us fight COVID-19 in our communities by wearing your mask, washing your hands and social distancing.”
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.
Cases at food establishments
A House Springs produce stand and at least three Jefferson County restaurants have had employees either test positive for COVID-19 or be exposed to the virus, resulting in two of the restaurants closing and one closing dine-in services.
Andy’s Produce, 4645 Gravois Road, in House Springs posted a message on Facebook today saying an employee tested positive for the virus.
“We regret to inform you that one of our employees has tested positive for COVID-19,” the business said in the post. “This employee was working at the stand between the dates of July 3-6. During this time (the employee) had shown no signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Yesterday (July 7), as soon as we learned of this, we required all employees to get tested and a mandatory overnight sanitation and cleaning. We are doing everything in our power to sanitize and keep our business safe.”
On July 2, Detour Bar and Grill, 2855 Seckman Road, in Imperial posted on Facebook that it would be closed from July 2-6 because employees may have been exposed to the virus.
“It has been brought to our attention that several of our employees were at a graduation party and unknowingly have been exposed to COVID-19,” according to the post.
The whole restaurant was closed to be cleaned and all employees were asked to get tested, Detour said in the post.
Also on July 2, the Syberg’s restaurant, 249 Arnold Crossroads Center, posted a Facebook message that said “some of our team members” tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the post, the restaurant has closed dine-in service until further notice but continues to provide curbside pickup.
The Health Department says anyone who visited Frankie Gianino’s, 1209 Main Street, in Imperial between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. July 1 may have been exposed to the virus, and the Health Department is asking those people to monitor symptoms until July 15, the agency said in a written statement.
According to a Facebook message Frankie Gianino’s posted on July 4, an employee had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The restaurant said it closed that day for professional cleaning.
County coronavirus stats
Of the county’s 631 cases, 568 are lab-confirmed cases and 63 are probable cases, according to the Health Department.
In addition, 110 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 498 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, 347 were from contact and 268 are unknown.
According to the Health Department, 261 of the county’s coronavirus cases have been men, 360 cases have been women and 10 are unknown.
The confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county include nine people younger than nine, 21 people 10 to 19 years old, 89 people 20-29 years old, 88 people 30-39 years old, 86 people 40-49 years old, 118 people 50-59 years old, 102 people 60-69 years old, 55 people 70-79 years old, 50 people in their 80s or older and 13 unknown.
The Health Department also reported that cases in the county have been reported for the following ZIP codes: 101 cases and 74 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), 40 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), 84 cases and 73 recovered cases in 63026 (Fenton), 128 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), 45 cases and 26 recovered cases in 63049 (High Ridge), 18 cases and 11 recovered cases in 63050 (Hillsboro), 33 cases and 27 recovered cases in 63051 (House Springs), 67 cases and 41 recovered cases in 63052 (Imperial), one case and one recovered case in 63069 (Pacific) and 17 cases and 14 recovered cases in 63070 (Pevely). Thirteen cases do not have ZIP code information.
In addition, the Health Department reported today that it has monitored a total of 1,023 cases, and of those, 333 are still actively being monitored and another 690 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, 195 have been at long-term care facilities, which includes residents and staff members who live inside Jefferson County. Three new cases were reported at long-term care facilities today and one new case was reported on Tuesday.
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 county’s 23 COVID-19 deaths, 17 have been in long term care facilities, the Health Department reported.
The Health Department also reported that of the total number of cases at long-term care facilities, 12 are active ones, and 166 have been released from isolation. Residents in long-term care facilities go through two quarantine periods before being released from isolation.
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 25,204 positive cases of the coronavirus and 1,046 deaths related to the disease, according to the DHSS.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the U.S. had 2,982,900 cases, which includes 50,304 new cases, and a total of 131,065 coronavirus-related deaths, including 932 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.