Local COVID-19 cases up 35 percent in past week


This week, the Perry County Health Department announced a total of 46 active cases of COVID-19 as of Aug. 7, up from 34 in that category Aug. 1 and a better than 35 percent increase in the past seven days.
The county’s seven-day rolling average is at 7.9.
Not known at this time is how many of the cases are the Delta variant.
“Not every case gets tested for Delta so we don’t have any idea how many there are,” House said.
House said it is “very safe to assume that the majority of cases in Perry County are Delta.”
Perry County has 36 new cases in the past seven days, according to the state data. This equates to 188.1 cases per 100,000 residents which is 68th among Missouri’s 117 counties.
Cape Girardeau County has a reported 148 new cases in the past week. This works out to 187.6 cases per 100,000 residents which is 69th among Missouri counties.
Other nearby counties are showing higher case rates.
For example, Madison County has 35 new cases but a reported 289.5 cases per 100,000, which is 29th among counties in Missouri. Bollinger County has 28 new cases and 230.8 cases per 100,000, which is 45th in the state. St. Francis has reported 150 cases and a caseload of 223.2 per 100,000 residents, which ranks 49th.
Ste. Genevieve County has 36 new cases in the past seven days and 201.2 cases per 100,000 residents, which ranks 64th.Six Missouri counties are reporting better than 400 cases per 100,000 residents. Sullivan County is tops on the list, with 624 cases per 100,000 residents.
For individuals concerned about possible exposure, here is a detailed list from the health department on what is termed as “close contact.”
Close contacts refer to individuals:
• Who have been within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more;
• Provided care at home to someone sick with COVID-19;
• Had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 positive individual (hugging or kissing them);
• Shared eating or drinking utensils with a COVID-19 positive person
• Who were around a COVID-19 individual who sneezed, coughed or got respiratory droplets on them;
• Who were within an exposed space for an extended period of time with a positive case.
Quarantine options include remaining at home 14 days following the last date of exposure or a shortened, 10-day quarantine from the last date of exposure for those who are not showing symptoms plus an additional four days of symptom-monitoring and masking.
Additional resources can be found online at perrycountyhealth.com/newsDetail.php?Perry-County-Resources-15.
House said it will likely take time before an increase in cases due to a specific event is noticeable.
“We’ll be able to tell within two weeks of the event if there was a spike,” House said. “We are in a spike in cases in general so it may be difficult to determine where the exposure occurred. The county is currently seeing a surge, and it may be hard to determine if an increase in cases is due to recent local events or from the current surge we’re seeing.”
The health department does not provide treatment for active COVID-19 patients.
Those who have an active case cannot get the vaccine, according to House.
One recommended treatment is monoclonal antibody treatment. This used to be only for individuals diagnosed with COVID who had been higher risk, according to House.
“Now it is an option for those with confirmed close contacts,” she said.
Individuals having trouble breathing or experiencing chest pain are encouraged to contact their primary care physician for assistance in treating the symptoms
Vaccination total update
There have been 5,582 Perry County residents to complete vaccination, according to the state. This is 29.2 percent of the county’s total population of 19,136. A reported 298 doses have been administered in Perry County in the past week.
A total of 33.8 percent of the county’s 12 and older population has completed COVID-19 vaccination, according to the state. Those age 12 and above with at least one dosage are at 39.3 percent.
The older age categories are showing higher percentage of vaccination completion in Perry County, yet in only three age categories are better than half of the residents fully inoculated. Those 85 and up are at 77.18 percent, ages 75-84 are reportedly at 68.35 percent and those ages 65-74 are at 65.36 percent. Of those 65 and up, an estimated 66.7 percent are fully vaccinated.
From 55-64 is where the drop off begins, with 40.15 percent listed as fully vaccinated. Scaling it back to 45-54, those in the fully completed category drop to 27.92 percent. For those 35-44, it is at 23.91 percent. A total of 19.45 percent of those ages 25-34 are fully vaccinated. Among 15-24 year-olds, the fully vaccinated percent is 14.32 percent. For those ages 12-14, the completed vaccination rate is 3.7 percent.
For the segment of the population 18 and older, there are a reported 37 percent fully vaccinated.
A Pzifer and Moderna vaccination clinic was held Aug. 11. Another clinic, by appointment only, is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, at the health department.
Nine Missouri counties are above 40.0 percent for completed vaccination, led by Boone (47.7 percent), Joplin (47.4 percent) and St. Louis (46.6 percent).
On the other end of the spectrum, nine counties are below 20 percent. The lowest completed percent is Pulaski County (13.5) as 7,104 of 52,607 residents have finished the COVID-19 vaccination process. Statewide, a reported 49.4 percent have initiated vaccination while 42.3 percent are in the “completing vaccination” category.
Department duties
The Perry County Board of Public Health, in response to requests from the public, is working on a statement for infectious disease that lays out the department’s responsibilities with schools and other entities as it relates to infectious disease.
The six-paragraph statement details health department guidance from different state and federal organizations.
“The Perry County Health Department will work with the school to keep students, staff and visitors safe. Our efforts will focus on balancing safety with allowing students to get back to regular activities within the confines set forth by our regulatory agencies. We appreciate everyone’s understanding in this matter,” according to the final paragraph of the statement.
The Health Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 9 a.m. at the Catalyst Center for Business.


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