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MONDAY UPDATES: Boone County says COVID-19 case investigators overloaded

UPDATE 5:30 P.M.: Boone County health officials on Monday asked residents who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate themselves immediately instead of waiting to hear from public health workers.

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services said in a news release that the increased case load in the county means contact tracers are delayed in contacting patients.

Contact tracers investigate the personal contacts made by people who test positive for COVID-19.

"If someone has newly received a positive test result, they should isolate at home immediately and prepare a list of people they have had close contact with," the department said. "A member of the PHHS team will contact them as soon as possible. PHHS continues to train additional staff in case investigating in order to address this increased demand."

As of Sunday, 55 percent of the county's 354 cases have been in people under age of 30. The department warned that while younger people are generally at lower risk of complications from COVID-19, they can still spread it to more vulnerable people.

Most of the new cases between June 21 and Saturday were from contact with known cases, the county reported.

Jackson County will mandate face masks in public

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)

A health official says Jackson County will require people to wear face masks in public amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Associated Press.

The Kansas City Star reports Jackson County Health Director Bridgette Shaffer told legislators that the mandate will go into effect Wednesday. The decision comes just days after Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced on Friday that the city would require all residents and visitors to wear masks in public, starting Monday.

The next day, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, announced a mask ordinance would go into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE 4:45 P.M.: Boone County reported one new COVID-19 case Monday after reporting double-digit increases for five of the previous six days.

During that six-day span between Tuesday and Sunday, the county reported 76 new cases. The only day in that span with an increase of less than 10 was Saturday, when cases rose by eight.

Boone County has seen its COVID-19 case totals increase dramatically this month as health regulations guarding against the spread of the novel coronavirus continue to loosen. Meanwhile Missouri, other states and the country are setting records for daily case numbers.

The county's five-day rolling average of new cases hit a high at 13.2 on Sunday before falling to 10.4 on Monday, according to health department figures.

The one-case increase brings Boone County to 354 cases since March. The county's active cases decreased by almost 10 percent Monday, falling from 101 to 91.

Boone County's hospitals are treating 12 COVID-19 patients -- seven of them county residents. The number of Boone County residents in hospitals with COVID-19 stood at one early last week.

Eight patients are in ICUs and seven are on ventilators, according to the county's COVID-19 information dashboard. County hospitals reported no shortages of supplies, staff or beds Monday.

Cole County also reported a new case of COVID-19 on Monday but its active cases went down by one. Cole County reported 74 total cases Monday and 11 active cases.

Cases have grown in Cole County, as well, but at a much slower rate. The county has reported 13 new cases in the past week.

Great Circle outbreak grows

An outbreak of COVID-19 associated with a children's behavioral health center in Phelps County continues to grow.

The Phelps-Maries Health Department reported Monday that 23 people in Phelps, two in Maries and one apiece in Pulaski and Dent counties have been infected in the outbreak. The department first reported the outbreak last week.

Epidemiologically linked to the Great Circle COVID-19 Outbreak: Phelps (23), Maries (2), Dent (1), Pulaski (1) -...

Posted by Phelps-Maries County Health Department on Monday, June 29, 2020

The number of Phelps County cases has grown from eight on Thursday.

UPDATE 2:15 P.M.: Missouri’s COVID-19 case numbers increased by more than 450 on Monday after rising more than 300 cases each day over the weekend.

Missouri reported 21,043 COVID-19 cases Monday, up 468 from the 20,575 reported Sunday.

The increase comes after a week in which the state set records for new daily cases multiple times and recorded its highest new-case average of the entire pandemic. The nationwide daily record for new cases was also set multiple times last week as cases surge in parts of the country, primarily the South and West.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services says cases have increased by 9.7 percent in the past week. More than 367,000 people have been tested for live coronavirus so far, with 5.6 percent of those being positive for COVID-19.

State leaders including Gov. Mike Parson have attributed the recent jump in cases to an increase in testing and a massive outbreak of COVID-19 in four southwest Missouri counties.

State health department director Dr. Randall Williams has said hospitalizations in Missouri for COVID-19 are at a low for the whole pandemic and that more young people are testing positive for the virus. Older people are at risk for the worst effects of COVID-19, including death.

Of the state’s 998 deaths, only 27 are in people under age 50. Deaths increased by just one statewide on Monday.

The state reported 412 hospitalizations Monday. Missouri reached nearly 1,000 hospitalizations at that number's peak in early May.

Cases in Boone County have also risen quickly this month, with 34 new cases between Friday and Sunday. Monday numbers were not yet available.

UPDATE 1:57 P.M.: Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City announced Monday it furloughed 100 workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospital spokeswoman Lindsay Huhman said in an email the hospital has implemented several cost-saving measures.

Huhman said managers received pay cuts, 32 jobs were cut and the hospital implemented a hiring freeze.

The hospital temporarily stopped matching employees' contributions to their retirement funds, according to the statement.

"These are challenging times and as an organization Capital Region Medical Center must ensure sustainability to care for the communities we serve, now and well into the future," Huhman said.

The spokesman added the hospital saw declines in surgeries, inpatient care and in its clinics.

ORIGINAL: Workers and visitors in Kansas City are required to face masks while out in public as of Monday.

The rule went into effect after Columbia's mayor requested a similar ordinance last week.

The Kansas City order said all people must wear face masks while in public where social distancing is not possible.

Kansas City officials said people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask comfortably are not required to wear a mask. People with breathing problems and children younger than 2 are also exempt, according to the ordinance.

On Friday, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece asked Columbia City Manager John Glascock to draft an ordinance requiring people to wear masks after Boone County COVID-19 cases doubled since the beginning of June.

As of Monday, it's unclear when the city leaders will vote on the mask ordinance.

More than 350 people in Boone County have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Columbia's coronavirus website. The site said there are 101 active cases of coronavirus in the county.

The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services said 2,242 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Kansas City.

Boone / Columbia / Email Alert – Breaking News / Missouri / News / Top Stories

ABC 17 News Team

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