JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Cole County health officials are again warning residents about clusters of coronavirus cases seen around the county related to everything from prisons to school activities and household gatherings.
Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman said although the county has seen an increase in cases, leaders are not considering enhanced COVID-19 restrictions.
The county has reported multiple daily case records over the past two weeks, including daily totals of more than 100 the past two days. The county has now recorded more than 3,500 cases since the pandemic began, with at least 535 cases active as of Thursday.
The health department has reported 22 deaths.
Both the health department and Bushman are telling residents to take responsibility and stay home if they're sick. They're also reminding residents to socially distance and recommending face coverings when social distancing isn't possible.
The health department also announced Friday that it will no longer field questions from reporters about the pandemic, referring questions to the county commission.
Bushman said the commission made the decision in an effort to alleviate some of the work for the department.
The courts have also reduced in-person hearings. Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce said she is now working some cases from home after an outbreak at the courthouse.
Joyce said that the courthouse has gone back to Phase 1, meaning that only high priority cases will be seen in the courthouse.
Bushman also reiterated the importance of a flu shot this winter.
He has urged residents to get a flu shot and said that for some it may mean life or death.