COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Boone County could see COVID-19 cases spike this week due to possible exposure of the virus during Labor Day weekend.
Local health officials said they could face a busy week ahead, but that they cannot estimate exactly what the impact may be.
“I hate to say it," said Scott Clardy, Columbia/Boone County Health Department Assistant Director. "But we're kind of in a wait and see mode this week just kind of see what happens. We really don't know what to expect, were prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.”
Clardy said the county would see effects of labor day weekend now, because of the incubation period of the virus.
On average those who have been exposed to COVID-19 will not experience symptoms until five to six days after the initial exposure.
Sunday marks the sixth day since the holiday.
“From there on out through really next Monday is the time period that will be looking for any kind of impact from Labor Day," Clardy said. "Yesterday we did see some of some increase but it's that's not a typical for Saturday to see increases. So we'll just going to have to wait and see what happens this week.”
Prior to the holiday weekend, University of Missouri officials asked students stay in Columbia and to not travel as a safety precaution.
Last week the university saw it’s active case totals decrease, but a MU spokesperson said they know it's likely to see a delay in cases from the holiday weekend.
“We're watching... whatever the case is going to be looking like five, seven, 10 days out from Labor Day weekend," said Christian Basi. "So we'll be watching it very closely.”
Clardy said the university’s precautions were the best thing to try to limit the spread of the virus. He believes it's not good public health to have cases in one place and then disperse them into a variety of other places.
"I think that is perpetuating the spread of the virus," Clardy said. "I think it's wiser to keep the cases where they're at and deal with them there, instead of dispersing them out across the state, the country and in the world.”
As health officials await for what this week could bring, Clardy said the health department is making disease investigation a priority for the department.
Health Officials will not know for sure if a spike in cases was a result of Labor Day weekend travel until after the incubation period is over next week.