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Boone County changes coronavirus reporting following omicron surge

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Boone County health officials will pare back the coronavirus data they're reporting amid record numbers of cases and hospitalizations, the health department said Wednesday.

Active cases and the number of Boone County residents in hospitals with COVID-19 will no longer be reported on the county's COVID-19 dashboard, Sara Humm, spokeswoman for the department said it will continue to report overall hospitalizations, however.

"The reason that number of Boone County residents will no longer be available is based on capacity. Staffing capacity with us and the hospitals," Humm said.

The department says it will also start reporting test results based on the date the test was taken, with a 48-hour delay. The department had previously reported cases primarily by the date they were reported to the department. Test results can take several days to reach the health department.

"The data reported will be preliminary and subject to change as new information becomes available," the department said in the release.

The health department paused reporting cases Friday, citing the high numbers of new cases seen during the omicron wave. The department simply couldn't keep up, according to last week's announcement.

Humm, said there was too much case data coming in for staff to handle.

"We could not provide the most accurate data available due to the amount of staff resources it was taking to report the numbers," Humm said.

Humm said originally the department had one person recording the case data. Now it has 16.

"We have had this increase in cases we've had to pull more staff and do some task reassignment," Humm said.

The department will add a box to their dashboard that shows all at-home COVID test data reported to the department.

Boone County has seen hundreds of new cases per day during the omicron wave and the county's active cases stood at a record 3,461 as of Thursday. The department said it has seen more than 10,300 positive tests this year compared to about 15,000 last year.

The department said other data on the hub will still be available. Officials are planning a news conference Wednesday afternoon to answer questions about the changes.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Or, “we have promoted more and more testing to the point we can’t handle the data, which guarantees more cases found, which data we also can’t handle”.

  2. Due to the high number of positive cases, maybe we should lock down the population, force vaccinations, and generally allow elected and non-elected government officials to rule with complete and unabated authority…for of safety precautions of course.

    I also remember seeing this from a couple days ago, but I’m not sure it’s useful to this discussion: “but the vast, vast, vast majority of people that have COVID do not need emergency care.” (Dr. Robin Blount, Boone Health.” as reported by Chanel Porter, “Missouri warns against overusing emergency departments as locals say they are struggling to keep up[.]” KMIZ, January 24, 2022.

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