The Jefferson County Health Department has reported two more COVID-19-related deaths – both men in their 60s.
“Our hearts go out to their families and friends at this time,” Health Department Director Kelley Vollmar said today (Sept. 16).
That brings the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the county to 54, including 40 at long-term care facilities.
Also today the Health Department also reported 98 new COVID-19 cases, none of them at long-term care facilities. The 98 cases is the highest number of cases reported in a single day since the first ones were reported in March.
“We continue to see widespread community transmission in our county,” Vollmar said. “We urge the community to take preventative measures seriously. Wash your hands, wear your mask, keep your distance, help protect public health.”
The record number of cases comes a day after the Health Department moved the county back to the orange alert level on its four-color COVID-19 warning system. The county had been at the red level, or highest level, for a week.
Orange is the second highest level on the system and indicates widespread but controlled transmission of the virus.
The four-color warning system was devised on Aug. 12, and the county had been at the orange level from that date until Sept. 8, when the Health Department moved the county to the red level.
Health Department officials said the main indicator used to determine the color level is the seven-day rolling average of cases per day/per 100,000 residents. The red level indicates the county, which has a population of about 225,000, is seeing 25 or more cases per 100,000 people per day.
When the county was moved into the red level, the rolling average was 25.46 cases per 100,000 people per day. As of Sept. 12, the county’s rolling average had decreased to 21.59, so the county was moved to the orange level, which indicates the county is seeing 10 to 24 cases per 100,000 people per day.
With the 98 cases reported today, the county has had a total of 3,677 cases since the pandemic began.
Those cases are through midnight Tuesday (Sept. 15).
Of the total cases in the county, 879 are open, or active, ones, according to the Health Department.
Active cases are the number of positive cases excluding COVID-19 deaths and those patients who have been released from isolation.
A total of 2,735 cases have been released from isolation, which means the patients recovered enough to be released from case management.
Another nine cases are under investigation, the Health Department reported.
Of the total cases in the county, 3,381 are lab confirmed and 296 cases are probable, the Health Department reported.
The Health Department also reported today that it has monitored a total of 3,697 cases, and of those, 802 are still actively quarantined and another 2,895 have been released from quarantine.
Brianne Zwiener, Health Department communications specialist, 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 coronavirus cases, 532 have been at long-term care facilities, which includes residents and staff members who live inside Jefferson County.
The county has had at least 18 COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, the Health Department reported.
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.
The Health Department also reported that of the total number of cases at long-term care facilities, 188 are active ones, 304 have been released from isolation.
State, U.S. stats
Missouri had 105,396 positive cases of the coronavirus and 1,732 deaths related to the disease, according to the DHSS as of Tuesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the U.S. had 6,571,867 cases, and a total of 195,053 coronavirus-related 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.
Any Missouri resident who wants a COVID-19 test may get one for free next week at Faith Community Church, 4824 Scottsdale Road, in House Springs.
The testing will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 22) and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 23).
Vollmar said she hopes to see more than 900 people tested at the event.
“The more testing we can do, the better picture we have of what’s going on within the community as far as community spread,” she said.
The Jefferson County testing event is just one of several being held around the state. The cost of the testing will be covered by CARES Act funding, the report said.
Anyone who would like to register for the event may visit health.mo.gov/communitytest or call the Missouri COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411.