COVID-19 Status Update as of July 13, 2020
(COLUMBIA, MO) - Nine new COVID-19 cases were reported in Boone County on July 13. Sadly, one new death was recorded in the 45-49 age group, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Boone County to three. Three cases that were reported on Saturday, July 11, were reassigned to other counties, bringing the total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases to 764.
Boone County recorded 249 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 between July 6 and July 12. This is the largest amount of new cases reported in a single week. More than 54% of all COVID-19 cases in Boone County have been due to contact with a known case. The average number of close contacts for each positive case is 2.4, effectively doubling the number of people in our community that either are, or may become, infectious.
PHHS officials have heard rumors of events taking place, called "COVID parties," in which people who are currently infected with the virus ignore isolation instructions by gathering with friends in an effort to expose others. These gatherings, which have been rumored to occur in cities across the country, may occur in both public and private settings. This is extremely concerning and could lead to severe illnesses. Not only does this put the health of those attending the gathering at risk, but it also increases the likelihood that businesses will have to close due to staff members being exposed and increases the toll on our local health care systems.
In addition to conducting case investigations and providing isolation instructions to positive cases, PHHS is working diligently to notify and stay in regular communication with all contacts of positive cases who are in quarantine. Close contacts are advised to quarantine for the entire 14-day period, even if they test negative for the virus. This is because COVID-19 has a 14-day incubation period, so it may take up to two weeks before the person exposed to the virus becomes infectious.
Due to the increase in cases, contact tracing capacity may limit the ability to keep contacts quarantined during the entire 14-day period. It is possible that contacts are returning to work or going out in public before they are cleared to do so. Even if the contacts are not displaying symptoms, they could still be infectious. PHHS is working closely with businesses to ensure that they are following appropriate protocol for their staff and clients/customers to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Given the current data trends, the public is advised to continue all mitigation efforts to the greatest extent possible. This includes staying home as much as possible, social distancing from all others outside of the immediate household and wearing a mask in all public settings.