Mercy Hospital

Mercy Hospital pictured from the intersection of Third Street and Highway 47 Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Fifty-nine new Franklin County residents were reported as COVID-19 positive Friday, among them a newborn girl in Beaufort, a 7-year-old child in Robertsville (sex not reported), an 83-year-old woman in St. Clair, an 83-year-old man in Villa Ridge and an 86-year-old woman in Washington. 

Since March, 5,739 people have tested positive in Franklin County, according to the county commission.

Friday’s report noted that the data did not reflect a full 24 hours because “the data import timing has changed in systems.” Saturday’s report is expected to include a full 24 hours. 

“Today and yesterday were blended numbers as an attempt to catch up to the actual time frame in which we get full data reports,” said Franklin County Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker. “We were always lagging a little bit behind, so this will allow us to catch up 12 hours. This is just a matter of getting more current than we were.” He said the 59 cases reported today represent over half of a day, and tomorrow the number will be back to normal.

The average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Franklin County, which is calculated from the daily new cases from the previous 14 days, has remained nearly stagnant for two weeks. Per reports from the last two weeks, the 14-day average has fallen somewhere between 63 and 68 new cases per day.

Brinker said county leaders have not discussed passing any mandates beyond the current 30-day mask mandate, which is set to expire Dec. 20. 

“The thing that drives us in our decisions is hospitalizations and the ability to provide health care to our citizens,” Brinker said.

After dipping to 14 patients Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Mercy Hospital Washington stands at 19 patients Friday. One week ago, on Dec. 4, there were 25. 

Mercy Hospital Washington President Eric Eoloff wrote in an email that the staff is encouraged that the anticipated spike in cases from the Thanksgiving holiday has not materialized, but that the volume of hospitalized COVID patients remains high.

Of the 19 patients with COVID-19 at the hospital Friday, 12 are Franklin County residents, which includes a 37-year-old Union resident who has been at the hospital for 11 days.

Nine of the patients are receiving more intensive care, although none are ventilated.

“We are hoping the county and city extend their mask orders into January so that residents continue to take mask and social distancing requirements seriously during the upcoming holidays,” Eoloff wrote. “Now is not the time to let our guard down.”