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Coronavirus

Health officials prepare for increase in COVID-19 testing after holiday weekend

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Area health officials are preparing an increase in COVID-19 testing after families gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving.

A spokesperson for University of Missouri Health Care, Eric Maze, said testing over the holiday weekend was similar to previous weekends, however, Monday's are typically the busiest day of the week for testing.

"On Friday the 27th, we tested and processed 428 tests at our Mizzou North testing site. On Saturday, we did 180.  Those numbers are similar to the previous Friday and Saturday, so I wouldn't say we had a spike in testing after the holiday," he said.

Maze said MU Health could reopen a previous testing site if the need requires it.

"We have the infrastructure in place and flexibility to resume operations at the original Hearnes Center location if needed in the event testing volume increases and we cannot accommodate the demand at the Mizzou North drive-thru testing location," he said.

A spokesperson for Boone Hospital, Ben Cornelius, said he expects to see a usual increase in testing at the start of the week.

"We always see an increase in traffic at our drive-thru location on Mondays since we are only open a half-day on Saturday and closed on Sunday," Cornelius said.

Mary Beck, the Chief Nursing Officer at MU Health, said she also expects to see a large increase in cases within the next few weeks.

"We do anticipate that we could have an increase in cases over the next few weeks, we usually look a ta 10 to 14 day window post some event that we are going to see an increase, so obviously with Thanksgiving," she said.

Over the holiday weekend, the Columbia/Boone County Health Department reported 86 new cases on Thanksgiving, 162 new cases on Friday, 67 new cases on Saturday, and 119 new cases on Sunday.

Assistant health department director Scott Clardy said new cases from holiday celebrations will show up later this week.

Clardy added the county has seen five days of triple-digit COVID-19 cases increases since Nov. 23. He included the county has seen a 30% increase in cases for the 40-44, 60-64, 70-74, 75-79, and 80+ age ranges.

The state health department's COVID-19 dashboard said 3,829 new cases were reported over the last day making the total 299,762.

Boone / Columbia / Health / Missouri / News / Top Stories

Zola Crowder

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