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Area counties continue to see increase in COVID-19 cases

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Area counties continue to see increase in COVID-19 cases

According to the Missouri COVID-19 dashboard, four regional counties are all in the top 10 for the percentage-increase in cases during the last seven days: Madison is 2nd, Iron is 4th, Washington is 5th, and St. Francois County is 9th. 

Cases in Madison County have grown by 41% during the last week, Iron County cases have grown 38%, Washington County cases are up 34%, and St. Francois County cases have climbed 31%.

St. Francois County Health Center reported 35 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

There are 343 active cases and 716 total cases. Of those, 128 active cases and 309 total cases are related to Department of Corrections outbreaks.

The number of cases that have required hospitalization has gone up by four since Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Madison County Health Department reported a possible exposure risk at God's Country Cowboy Church in Fredericktown from 9-11:30 a.m. on Aug. 9. If you were at the location, they ask that you monitor for symptoms until Aug. 23.

The Ste. Genevieve County Health Department reported three new cases, bringing its total to 87 cases and 13 active cases.

The Iron County Health Department reported three new cases. The county now has 54 total cases and 25 active cases.

According to an Associated Press report, confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri prisons have spiked more than 50% so far this month, an increase a spokeswoman attributes to heightened testing.

There have been 333 new cases among prisoners and Department of Corrections staff so far this month, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Previously, the prison system reported 661 cases cumulatively.

Prisons in Bonne Terre and Pacific saw the biggest spikes.

Confirmed cases increased from 105 on Aug. 1 to 232 as of Tuesday at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre. At the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific, cases rose from 108 to 163.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann attributed the rise in reported cases to an increase in testing.

Pojmann said all inmates and staff have been tested for COVID-19 at least once. She said many patients were asymptomatic, and mass testing identified most cases in prisons.

Statewide, there have been 71,733 confirmed cases of the virus, according to cumulative data updated Thursday.

Hospitalizations increased from 875 Sunday to 921 Monday, the most recent data available through the state health department.

Considerably fewer people are dying from the virus in Missouri compared to its peak in April and May, when the daily death tolls were in the double digits. Another three people were reported as dying from the virus Thursday. In total, the virus has been attributed to 1,417 deaths in the state.

Nikki Overfelt is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at noverfelt@dailyjournalonline.com.

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