All but one county is seeing a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases being reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC also recently updated their guidelines for COVID-19, changing the recommendations on what to do if exposed to the virus.
The COVID-19 Community Levels calculated by the CDC were calculated last Thursday with data gathered between Aug. 11 and Thursday, Aug. 22.
St. Francois County remains in the High Community COVID-19 Level as of Thursday, but the county is seeing a decrease of cases. As of Wednesday, the county had reported a total of 138 cases of COVID-19 over the course of a week, with a percentage change of -24.59%, meaning a decrease in positive cases.
While the amount of cases has gone down, through Monday the data shows St. Francois County has recorded a percentage positivity of 29.98%, a slight increase of 4.35% than the week before. The amount of tests performed within the county over a week through Aug. 11 were 612, show a decrease of 16.39%.
According to Communicable Disease Nurse Tara West, the county has seen a total of 484 COVID-19 cases during the month of August.
The CDC reports for St. Francois County at least 33,778 people or 50.30% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 29,760 people or at least 44.30% of the population is considered fully vaccinated.
Ste. Genevieve County is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC, and remains in the high level of community transmission. The county reported 68 cases on Wednesday, giving a percentage change over the course of a week at 325%.
The percentage positivity has decreased in the county, at 14.41% of all tests taken being positive; giving the county a percentage change of -5.38% through Monday. The amount of tests performed has also decreased in Ste. Genevieve through Aug. 11, with a total of 152 tests performed over a week which gives a percentage change of -37.96%.
According to the CDC, at least 8,981 people or 50.2% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while at least 8,145 people or 45.5% of the population is considered fully vaccinated.
Washington County, which is now in the medium level of transmission according to the CDC reported 42 total cases on Wednesday, giving a percentage change of -10.64%.
The county has also seen a decrease in percentage positivity, now at 62.37%, which is a percentage change of -11.02% through Monday. The amount of tests performed has also decreased in the county, with Washington County performing 77 tests over a course of seven days through Aug. 11. This is a percentage change of -42.96%.
According to the CDC, at least 9,406 people or 38% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 8,039 people or 32.5% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Iron County is in the medium level of transmission according to the CDC, and through Wednesday reported 16 cases of COVID-19 according to the CDC, giving a percentage change of -20%.
The testing positivity as of Monday has also decreased, with a percentage positivity of 38.10%, a decrease of 10.18% compared to the week prior. The total number of tests performed over a week through Aug. 11 was 28 tests according to the CDC, giving a percentage change of -22.22%.
According to the CDC, at 4,489 people or 44.30% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 3,996 people or 39.50% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Madison County is currently the only county in the area in the low level of community transmission, according to the CDC. The case total over a week ending on Wednesday was 18 cases for the county, a decrease of -37.93% compared to the week before.
The percentage positivity has increased in Madison County as of Monday. Currently, the percentage positivity is 59.52%, a percentage increase of 26.19%, while the number of tests performed through Aug. 11 has decreased to 30 tests performed over a week, a decrease of 36.17%.
At least 5,651 people or 46.70% of the population has received at least one dose, while 4,914 people or 40.7% of the population is considered fully vaccinated.
Testing for COVID-19 is available at the St. Francois County Health Center, those interested can call or text 573-321-4775 and a nurse will come out to the vehicle for testing. The SFCHC also offers vaccinations for COVID-19 daily from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The CDC also recently updated its recommendations for the COVID-19 guidelines. Some of the updates include the CDC recommending rather than quarantining if exposed to the virus to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days, and to get tested on day 5. It is still recommended to isolate from other is you do have the virus, and if you are sick and suspect you have it but do not have results; if results come back positive to follow the CDC guidelines for full isolation, and if negative, isolation can end.
If you do test positive, the CDC recommends staying home for at least five days and to isolate from others in the home if possible, and when not possible to wear a high-quality mask. If after day five you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and symptoms are improving, or never had symptoms, isolation may end after day five and to wear a high-quality mask through day 10.
Danielle Thurman is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-518-3616.