As new COVID-19 cases have slowed, the Franklin County Health Department has hired two additional contact tracing employees.
Participation in contact tracing efforts helps stop the spread, and it has been a focus of the county and nationwide to quarantine individuals who may have had contact with an infected person and keep them from unknowingly spreading the virus further.
Currently, 19 of the county’s 28 active COVID-19 cases are residents of skilled care facilities and nine are at large.
County health officials have confirmed all of the cases that haven’t been involved in a skilled nursing facility have been contact traced and quarantined. Cases inside nursing facilities have been contact traced as well and necessary actions have taken place.
Contact tracers work with the patients to identify anyone they may have had close contact with while they were contagious or within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker said the contact tracers will be paid an hourly rate from CARES Act funding.
The county received $12.1 million from the federal government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Thursday morning, Franklin County had 137 COVID-19 cases with a 67 percent recovery rate, 21 percent of the cases are still active and 11 percent of those who have been diagnosed with the virus have died.
Nineteen of the active cases are residents of skilled care facilities in Washington and Union and 10 others reside in other parts of the county.
Two new COVID-19 cases were reported Thursday, a 62-year-old woman from Union and a 61-year-old man from St. Clair.
Two new recoveries were reported Wednesday, including a 25-year-old man in Gray Summit and a 58-year-old man in Washington.
On Monday, three recoveries included a 55-year-old woman from Gray Summit, a 44-year-old woman from St. Clair and a 42-year-old woman from Pacific.
There have been a total of 92 recoveries thus far ranging in age from 21 to 98. In all, 58 women have recovered and 34 men.
Of the 15 virus-related deaths, 11 have been women and four have been males. Their ages range from 98 to 67 and 13 have been residents of Grandview Healthcare in Washington. The other two deaths were in Villa Ridge.
The first COVID-19-related death in the county was April 3 and the most recent death was May 14.
On numerous occasions, county health officials have stated they do not know how many county residents have been tested for the virus.
Now, a new information dashboard launched by the state of Missouri Wednesday shows 1,762 county residents have been tested.
During his daily COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, Gov. Mike Parson announced the launch of a new COVID-19 dashboard containing Missouri-specific data from across the state.
“Throughout COVID-19, we have worked very hard to be transparent and provide Missourians with the most accurate, up-to-date information as possible, and the same goes for this dashboard,” Parson said. “We want Missourians to have access to the data and information we’re using to make decisions as we work through the recovery process.”
The interactive dashboard includes data previously released and is updated regularly, including cumulative COVID-19 case and death counts, cases and deaths by county, and demographics such as age and gender.
It also includes comprehensive data, such as the percent change in case totals at the state and county levels, as well as more detailed information on testing and hospitalizations. The dashboard will automatically update as new data becomes available.
“The dashboard is a great representation of the trends we’ve been seeing across the state driving our decision to reopen, and I encourage the public to use this to stay informed and up-to-date on the situation in Missouri,” Parson said.
The COVID-19 dashboard can be found at mopub.co/2XvsNjZ.
The first COVID-19 case related to Franklin County, a Mercy Hospital employee and St. Louis County resident, was reported March 20.
The first Franklin County resident, a 51-year-old woman in Lonedell, was diagnosed March 23 and was classified as recovered April 6.
As of Thursday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) shows Franklin County as ninth in the state for highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per county.
As of press time, these were the latest numbers of cases geographically in Franklin County:
Stanton — one active case;
Washington — 63 cases, 16 active, 13 deaths, 34 recovered;
St. Clair — 20 cases, eight active, 12 recovered;
Union — 17 cases, four active, 13 recovered;
Pacific/Gray Summit — 13 cases, all recovered;
Villa Ridge — six cases, two deaths, four recovered;
Sullivan — six cases, all recovered;
Lonedell — four cases, one active, three recovered;
New Haven — four cases, all recovered;
St. Albans — one case, recovered;
Labadie — one case, recovered; and
Leslie — one case, recovered.
Editor’s note: The county COVID-19 numbers are based on reports from Thursday, May 21, due to the early printing of the weekend edition. Any updates or changes can be found on emissourian.com if warranted.