Cooper County Public Health Center Nurse/Administrator Melanie Hutton gave a brighter picture concerning COVID-19 in Cooper County. The rest of the state is a different matter.

Although the state has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the county is holding steady with eight confirmed cases total since first reported in March.

As of Thursday, May 28, Cooper County is the second lowest in nearby counties with eight reported cases. Howard County has the lowest number of cases at 3 while Saline County has 268, Boone County 130 and Moniteau County 45.

In the state, Missouri has 12,816 confirmed cases as of Wednesday. The number of deaths remained at 689 Wednesday.

Hutton said there has also been a lot of rumors as to why Boonville dropped in confirmed cases earlier in the month. There was a case around May 2 where the results came back positive, but there likely was a mistake made in the lab.

“The person tested negative before and after he/she was in the hospital during this time,” Hutton said. “The test was on the wrong date with the wrong spelling of the name that was positive and it just didn’t jive with the other tests.”

Multiple chest x-rays were negative, which meant the one case was an outlier or there was a mixup at the lab or somewhere else in the process.

Another rumor is that someone died of COVID-19 in Cooper County. The county has no information on that, Hutton said.

“We have not heard anything from the state, the county coroner, physician or a funeral home, or seen a new positive test with a Cooper County address,” Hutton said.

The county was inadvertently sent a positive result for someone in St. Louis County. There was no death involved.

“We don’t know why it was sent to us,” Hutton said. “Mistakes do happen and we’re on it and we appreciate when people are concerned, but on the other hand we don’t have any information to share. If we had information that is pertinent to the public, we have shared it.”

The recent video of people partying at the Lake of the Ozarks during the Memorial Weekend was disturbing, Hutton said.

While the United States surpassed 100,000 deaths on May 27, Hutton said she expects an uptick in cases because of the video at the Lake of the Ozarks. However, she said most of those people were probably not locals from Morgan County.

“Everybody will go back to their jurisdiction, where they live and may or may not get sick,” Hutton said. “It’s a fine place to share germs. People tend to think that alcohol kills germs and we know that it’s not necessarily true.”

The health center has done some testing but not on a large basis. Staff continue to follow up with active cases.

“Are they getting worse or is there someone in their family that needs to get tested,” Hutton said. “It’s very hard to get that information because for some people, it’s really hard to say who has recovered.”

Not every county is reporting recoveries as there is no clinical definition of recovery she said. Recovery times are different based on the individual. It can be as few as 10 days to upward of six to eight weeks.

Cases still are going up around the state. Buchanan County recently surpassed Jackson County 662 cases to 515.

Of course Missouri is nowhere near New York, which has 364,954 confirmed cases. The United States also leads other countries by far with 1,699,933 confirmed cases.

Coronavirus numbers are not yet going down, Hutton said.

“I don’t think we met [the peak yet] because of the food manufacturers and meat manufacturers,” she said. “The health departments were restricted from doing any kind of stay-at-home [for those facilities].”

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