COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ.)
As the holiday season approaches, so does the rise in COVID-19 cases around a few counties in Missouri.
The Department of Health reports in Boone County, there were 101 new COVID-19 cases this weekend and 43 new cases Monday. That makes 334 active cases in the county.
"That had been the highest number we've had in a little while, so of course, we'll continue to track those numbers," said Sara Humm, a spokeswoman with Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Experts say cold weather is not the only factor contributing to cases rising.
"I think we gotta look at the time change as a factor, you know, it gets dark earlier and again people are going to spend more time indoors instead of out because now it's getting dark at 5:30," Epidemiologist Nathan Kofarnus says.
In Cole County, cases are also slightly rising. The Department of Health reports 35 new cases over the weekend and 34 new cases on Monday.
This brings the county up by 15.1 percent compared to the previous week. Meaning there were about 15 new positive cases of COVID.
Kristi Campbell with the Cole County Health Department says, "We probably will see a slight increase in the winter... hopefully because of community immunity and vaccine status, the peaks we will see will be less than the peaks we saw last November."
Although vaccinated people are growing around Missouri, the risk of catching COVID is still pretty high.
Within the past 7 days, there were six thousand seven hundred and sixty new COVID cases in Missouri.
"Now more time is spent indoors in close proximities to other people and so that certainly provides some more opportunity for a person-to-person spread and transmission in those close indoor quarters," Kofarnus said.
Boone County currently ranks eighth in the state with the most coronavirus cases in the past week, and Cole County ranks 26th in the state for the counties with the most coronavirus per one hundred thousand in the past week.
With the holiday season just around the corner, health officials urge the community to take precautions, especially around older adults and people with preexisting medical conditions.