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Pettis County reaches all-time high in COVID-19 positive percentage

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Pettis County added 59 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,727, according to the Pettis County Health Center.

There are now 451 active cases and 1,250 residents have been released to normal activity. Eighteen county residents are hospitalized seeking treatment for the COVID-19 virus. The youngest patient currently hospitalized in Pettis County is 19.                                  

Twenty-six residents have died as a result of complications from the COVID-19 virus. Two additional deaths were reported Monday. 

According to the Pettis County COVID-19 Task Force briefing issued Monday, the positive percentage for the week of Oct. 15-21 is 16.02%, an all-time high for Pettis County. The positivity rate for Oct. 8-14 was 14.19% and Oct. 1-7 was 7.82%. The CDC has the county’s positivity rate at 16.6%. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is using a different method of calculating the positivity rate, which results in a much higher rate. The Health Center is using the same method as has been used since the beginning of the pandemic to remain consistent.

According to the briefing, the average daily case count is as follows: March 0.2, April 1.43, May 1.1, June 1.63, July 9.84, August 11.19, September 13.77 and October 21.63.

Health Center officials caution that “cold weather and snow will bring more people indoors with less fresh air and more opportunity to spread the virus.

“If possible, opening the windows for a brief period of time once or twice a day allows fresh air in to help dilute the amount of virus particles circulating in indoor air,” the report states. “Also, when traveling in a vehicle with another person, crack the window slightly to allow fresh air to enter the car.”

The Health Center also reminds residents and travelers to Pettis County the face covering rule is still in place for Pettis County. There has been no court ruling to overturn the rule.

“As our case numbers continue to climb as well as our hospitalizations, wearing a face covering is a way to demonstrate that you care about those you meet and support life for everyone,” officials stated in the briefing. “There is no way of knowing for certain who will become seriously ill or die because of the coronavirus.”

In the last seven days, DHSS reported a statewide total of 11,095 positive cases and 65 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Missouri.

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Freedom to Vote

The Health Center mask mandate has not been overturned, but the Health Center employees are not authorized to enforce the mandate as well. Mr. Sawyer has said there will be no enforcement of the so-called mandate. I am aware of statements from the Health Center that they have been actively trying to catch violators. Instead of trying to enforce a police state they should be working with the community, not against it. They have admitted by email, that the majority of cases are the result of family spread not community spread. Very few families wear masks at home and the "mask mandate" is of no value in that situation. I would suggest that aggressive contact tracing and testing be priorities. Wearing masks is having no effect on the spread in Pettis County. The number of daily cases have increased ten fold since the mandate went in to effect. Community outreach including education and more testing, plus possibly providing PPE to the public including masks and disposable gloves, would be much more helpful than just tallying up the daily numbers. Admittedly, as they have said, the Health Center has a limited staff, but there other medical professionals and public employees they could enlist to help them.

Tuesday, October 27