Cooper, Howard counties see COVID-19 spike

Charles Dunlap
A COVID-19 particle is pictured in this image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A significant spike in cases was confirmed Wednesday in Cooper County, while Howard County total case count is slightly more than 30.

Cooper County saw 16 new cases Wednesday and three Thursday, bringing its total case count to 62. Of those, 22 are active cases.

Community transmission still is a major factor in positive results. The Cooper County Public Health Center noted that the increase in community transmission was due to congregate living facilities in the county.

While the news release did not specify the facility, the Boonville Correctional Center has 22 active cases among offenders, and three cases among staff, according to Missouri Department of Corrections data. A mass testing event is planned for the center in August.

Howard County, up until recently had few confirmed cases. The county now has 33 total cases as of Thursday. Of those, 16 still are active.

Interim Health Administrator Michelle Reynolds attributes the case number increase to increased testing volumes conducted in Boone County.

There is no in-county testing for COVID-19 in Howard County at this time.

“The cases we are seeing are popping up randomly all around the county in both the three towns and the rural parts of our county. They are not localized to one certain area,” Reynolds wrote in an email Monday.

While testing is not happening in the county, health department staff are conducting detailed contact tracing of those who test positive, she wrote.

Those in Howard County who believe they may have COVID-19 should first consult their primary care provider, Reynolds wrote. The provider can give an order for testing that can be taken to test sites in either Boone or Saline counties.

“The majority of testing is taking place through the University of Missouri Healthcare and Boone Hospital testing sites,” Reynolds wrote in a follow-up statement Tuesday.

The Cooper County health center is offering testing by appointment only. Residents have to call the center at 660-882-2626 for a screening interview. Testing is done in a drive-thru setting. There is no walk-in availability.