COVID 101020

Franklin County has now surpassed 2,000 in total cases of COVID-19 since March.

Franklin County ranks 14th in total number of cases per 100,000 people and 16th in total number of cases over the last seven days per 100,000 people, beginning Sept. 30 and ending Oct. 6, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Tim Brinker, Franklin County presiding commissioner, said he was pleased with where the county ranks overall in the state.

“We rank 10th in populous in the state,” Brinker said. “So, comparatively, we are doing well, and that shows we are doing things right and adhering to the precautions (for COVID-19).”

The Franklin County Health Department reported 22 new COVID-19 cases Friday, Oct. 9, bringing the total number of cases since March to 2,025.

The 10-day rolling total of new COVID-19 cases is 214, with the testing positivity rate over the last 14 days standing at 9.65 percent.

Brinker noted that the 14-day testing positivity rate is under 10 percent now and said that is the “target zone.”

Active long-term care cases for COVID-19 saw a jump Friday from 16 to 22.

The health department reported another COVID-19-related death, a 66-year-old woman of New Haven, Wednesday, Oct. 7. The total number of deaths for Franklin County now stands at 31.

Hospitalizations have slowly declined this week, with a total of 15 individuals reportedly hospitalized at both Mercy Hospital Washington and Missouri Baptist in Sullivan.

Mercy Hospital Washington officials said there has been “no material change since Wednesday” for the hospital.

According to the president of Mercy Hospital Washington, Eric Eoloff, the intensive care unit is fluctuating between nine and 13 beds in use.

Whether Washington’s decision to cancel mass gatherings on city property has affected COVID-19 cases in Washington is still unknown.

“There has not been enough time to determine if the mass gatherings change has had a noticeable impact,” Bethany Pope, media relations manager for Mercy, said.

Whether the county expects an increase in COVID-19 cases with the upcoming holiday season is still unknown.

“We always anticipate an increase in cases where there is an opportunity for folks to gather,” Brinker said. “We don’t know what to expect.”

Brinker reported that three additional contact tracers have been hired this week for the Franklin County Health Department.

He added the county has officially leased part of the old Union City Hall, which will be utilized for contact tracing.