COVID-19 cases soar in region

HANNIBAL — COVID-19 cases have soared during recent day in this region and throughout Missouri.

Missouri is among several states seeing a surge in new virus cases. On Friday, the state reported 2,017 new cases and 17 additional deaths. Missouri has reported 152,571 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,459 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.

Marion County Health Department announced on Thursday that there were 10 additional positive cases of novel coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases rose by 30 between Monday and Thursday. The total number of cases has risen to 829 since the pandemic began. That total is up by 92 over a two-week period.

“Staff are actively in the process of contact tracing,” Health Department Administrator Jean McBride said in a release. “Tracing continues to show community/ family transmission. If you test positive, please contact your local health department to confirm your phone number and address.”

McBride said her staff is working in coordination with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to determine any close contacts of that individual who were possibly exposed.

The Monroe County Health Department reported on Friday that there were 54 newly reported confirmed or active probable cases of the novel coronavirus in the county during the previous week.

Statistics showed that there were 24 confirmed cases and another 30 active probable cases in the county, bringing the total cases in Monroe County to 144 since the pandemic started in late February.

Active probable cases are defined as people who show symptoms and who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus or who have been determined positive by an antigen test.

Paula Delaney, director of the Monroe County Health Department, said there are no COVID-19 clusters in the county.

“For a short while, we had reports of several cases with Madison addresses, but the cases are spread across the county with no particular location being a center of infections,” Delaney said.

Since the pandemic started, there have been a reported 2,250 tests administered to Monroe County residents. Many people have been tested multiple times so it is impossible to determine how many people have been tested, Delaney said.

The increase in cases has forced long hours for the staff of two, which includes Delaney, to conduct contact tracing.

Delaney said that the moment the department learns of a confirmed or probable confirmed case, calls are made to determine where people have been and who they have been in contact with for the previous two days before getting their diagnosis. The department then reaches out to those who have been in close contact with the people who are have contracted coronavirus.

“Most people are cooperative, but many are not very happy with the call,” Delaney said.

Coronavirus has impacted some schools, with entire classes being quarantined. In the case of Madison C-3 Schools, the district instituting remote learning on Oct. 8, with in-person classes planned until Oct. 26.

The surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations is so severe in the Kansas City area that some hospitals were forced to refuse ambulances due to a lack of space, according to officials with one of the region’s largest health care providers.

“We’re bursting at the seams in the metropolitan area, and really across the state and the region,” Dr. Marc Larson, operations director of St. Luke’s Health System, told the Kansas City Star.

Health department COVID-19 dashboard figures show other 1,875 new confirmed cases and 22 deaths. According to the dashboard, Missouri ranks fourth nationally in reported deaths over the past seven days, and eighth in the number of new cases. Missouri has reported 150,554 confirmed cases and 2,442 deaths since the pandemic began. On average, 1,500 new cases have been reported every day for the past week in Missouri, according to state data.

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