COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The City of Columbia's Board of Health heard an update from the local health department on COVID-19 on Thursday night.
This was the first time the board met since March when there was not an active case in the area. The reason behind that was to allow the health department to work on COVID-19.
As of Thursday, 3,680 total cases of the virus have been reported with 963 currently active. 3,297 of the total cases are found in the zip codes that make up Columbia and some surrounding areas of Boone County. That is about 89.6 percent of the total cases.
In Boone County Hospitals, 52 people are currently being treated for COVID-19. Of those, 14 are residents of the county.
The current health order includes all of Boone County, with the exception of the mask requirement. The assistant director of the department, Scott Clardy, said talks about extending the order have started, but they are waiting for more data about it's effectiveness to begin discussing modifications.
"I'd be surprised if we don't at least extend this order the way it is drafted, and by at least I mean going any more restrictive," Clardy said,
The department is still experiencing a delay in contacting positive cases about next steps after they are notified by the health care provider.
"When you are 5-6 days behind, you don't stop to do in-depth anaylsis," Clardy said.
The director informed the board they are looking at a secure system to text positive cases instructions about quarantining, as right now the department has to call each case.
"Our director has made city management very aware of the dire need to get that done quickly," Clardy said.
The department is also looking at expanding its case data by age.
Right now, the department separates data by age group, but new analysis will soon allow the public to see the case totals per exact age. Clardy said they also hope to geolocate those cases to help school districts.
"We have one of our new analyst that we have hired with CARES Act money working on it," Clardy said. "I'm not sure when it will be ready, but she is working on it hard."