COVID 111120

The Franklin County Health Department reported its highest day for new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, Nov. 10, with a total of 109 cases.

Of the new cases, eight are children ages 10 or younger, including a 9-year-old boy from Catawissa; a 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy from Pacific; a 2-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy from Union; and a 10-year-old girl from Washington.

The total COVID-19 cases reported in Franklin County since March now stands at 3,589.

Presiding Franklin County Commissioner Tim Brinker — who serves as the public information officer for the county health department regarding the COVID-19 pandemic — said testing has increased “exponentially throughout the entire state, region and locally.”

“We are seeing testing increase (and) positivity (rate) increase,” Brinker said. “(And) when people are detected of having antibodies they are counted as positive.”

Brinker said he did not have the specific breakdown for the differentiation in the reports issued by the health department.  

“It doesn’t diminish the whole picture, but it does impact it,” Brinker said.  

Since Friday, the health department has reported 17 new cases in long-term care facilities, which accounts for both residents and staff. As of Tuesday, there were 73 cases in facilities across the county.

“Long-term care facilities, or skilled nursing facilities, are doing absolutely everything they can from a protocol perspective, and the virus is still getting into their facilities,” Brinker said. “It tells us and reminds us, it is a virus, and it’s going to go where it wishes regardless of the mitigation efforts.”

As cases continue to rise in long-term care facilities, Brinker said there are measures that can be taken outside of those facilities to prevent the spread.

“We who are fortunate enough not to rely on skilled nursing can indeed take measures to prevent it,” Brinker said. “Distance, (wear) face coverings, those two things in tandem with the proper hygiene prevent it, and that’s the key.”

He added people need to be mindful and conscientious of that and “absolutely go by quarantine directives when given one.”

There are currently 22 county residents hospitalized between Mercy Hospital Washington and Missouri Baptist in Sullivan.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths for Franklin County residents remains at 57.

Lisa Cox, communications director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, wrote in a press release Monday that the Department of Health and Human Services analyzed death certificates and linked 138 COVID-19-associated deaths with the appropriate cases in the state’s disease surveillance system.

“We expect that these 138 deaths, which had not already been reported to the state by another entity, will be captured and reported publicly through the dashboard Tuesday morning,” Cox wrote. “This weekly activity typically causes a sharp increase in the deaths added to Missouri’s total the following day.”

She added three of the 138 deaths occurred in September and 123 occurred in October. Twelve of the deaths occurred earlier this month.

How those deaths will impact Franklin County numbers is unknown, according to Brinker.

 “I don’t anticipate when or if, how many or what counties will be impacted with that information,” Brinker said.

The health department’s COVID-19 report Tuesday said it reports deaths based on medical determination and documentation. To ensure accuracy, deaths are not reported until such documentation is received.

The 10-day rolling total for new COVID-19 cases stands at 664 and with the 14-day new case average at 60.21.

The number of negative tests since March was unavailable, according to the health department’s report, and the testing positivity rate over the last 14 days was not updated. The testing positivity rate over the last 14 days as of Monday stood at 19.03 percent.