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The Jefferson County Health Department announced a new COVID-19-related death today (June 2), bringing the total number of deaths in the county from the virus to 249 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The latest death was a man in his 60s, the report said.

The county has had a total of 23,778 COVID-19 cases since the first ones were reported in March 2020. Of those, 1,347 have been from long-term care facilities, the Health Department reported.

Color status

For the fourth consecutive week, Jefferson County is in the yellow level on the Health Department’s COVID-19 warning system. Yellow is the second lowest level on the four-color system and indicates minimal to moderate transmission of the virus.

Several factors are evaluated when determining the color level, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and White House Pandemic Task Force guidelines. However, the main indicator is the seven-day rolling average number of cases per day per 100,000 people.

The rolling average number of cases for the week of May 23 to May 29 was 2.73. That was down from the previous week, when the seven-day rolling average was 3.75 per day per 100,000 people in the county, which has a population of about 225,000.

Despite the lower number of new COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks, health officials still urge residents to take steps to curb the spread of the virus by following CDC guidance.

The CDC recently announced that people who are fully vaccinated, which means two weeks after a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, may resume activities without wearing a mask or social distancing, except for in hospitals, nursing homes and on planes or other public transportation, or when required by federal, state or local laws or by private businesses.

Free COVID testing at home

Missouri residents may now test themselves for COVID-19 with a free at-home test kit, according to a written statement from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The test kits may be ordered online from picturegenetics.com/covid19?c=MOPROMO and will be delivered in two days.

The nasal swab collection test kits are good for six months. Once a person collects their sample, the kits should be returned to a FedEx shipping store within 24 hours. The return shipping also is free, and results will be emailed within two days, DHSS reported.

The test has received emergency use authorization from the FDA, according to DHSS.

Vaccines

As of today, the Health Department has administered a total of 22,495 COVID-19 vaccine doses, and a total of 25.36 percent of Jefferson County residents have completed their vaccinations, the Health Department reported in a written statement.

People may sign up for a vaccine appointment through the Health Department by going to the state vaccine Navigator website at covidvaccine.mo.gov/navigator/. Or, they may call 877-435-8411.

Comtrea, which also offers health care services around the county, provides vaccine clinics, too. To make an appointment, go to comtrea.org/vaccine, or call 636-232-2308.

Mercy also has created an online sign-up method to help distribute vaccines. To sign up with Mercy, go to mercy.net/MOVaccine. Those without internet access may call 833-364-6777.

SSM Health has an online vaccine appointment site at ssmhealth.com/access/covid19-vaccine-scheduling.

Other hospital systems and pharmacies also are registering people for the vaccines. To find a local vaccine site, visit vaccinefinder.org.