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The Jefferson County Health Department reported another five COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the county’s total number of deaths from the disease to 245 since the start of the pandemic.

The five deaths include a woman in her 60s, two women in their 70s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s.

Of the county’s COVID-19 deaths, 88 have been from long-term care facilities, but none of the latest five deaths were, the Health Department reported.

The county has had a total of 23,423 COVID-19 cases since the first ones were reported in March 2020, according to the Health Department.

Of those cases, 1,344 have been from long-term care facilities, the Health Department reported.

Orange status

For the eighth consecutive week, the county is in the orange status, the second highest level on the Health Department’s four-color system.

Last week the Health Department reported the county was in the yellow status for the week based on the number of new cases during the week of April 18-24. However, after the Health Department issued that report, they learned about 60 additional new cases, so the county actually was in the orange level that week, the Health Department reported.

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 April 25 to May 1 was 10.60. That was down from the previous week, when the seven-day rolling average was 11.56 per day per 100,000 people in the county, which has a population of about 225,000.

“Current data shows our color status for week 17 is orange, however as cases continue to come in through the remainder of the week that could change,” Health Department Epidemiologist Sara Wilton said.

If the county has 10 to 24 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 people, it is in the orange level.

Despite the lower number of new COVID-19 cases, health officials still urge residents to take steps to curb the spread of the virus, including avoiding crowds, wearing masks in public, practicing social distancing and frequent hand-washing, staying home when you are sick and getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccines

As of today (May 5), the Health Department has administered a total of 19,418 COVID-19 vaccine doses, and a total of 18.29 percent of Jefferson County residents have completed their vaccinations, according to a press release.

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.

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