FULTON, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Callaway County Health Department released some data after the Fulton City Council motioned to request more specific information about COVID-19 patients within city limits Tuesday night.
According to Mayor Lowe Cannell, after sending a letter to the department, it released the number of active cases in Fulton.
As of Wednesday, 13 out of the 94 active cases in Callaway County are located in Fulton. It's unclear how many of the total 267 cases of the virus were located in the city.
"I expect to hear more in the coming days about what the future may hold for information we may receive from the health department," Cannell said.
The health department did not give any other specifics to the city, or if they will provide consistent updates about the case in the city.
Health Department Director Sharon Lynch said because of small staffing and all the other programs department runs, they are unable to keep track of all of the specific demographics of the cases in the county.
Cases in the county have steadily been on the rise since the beginning of August. On July 31, Callaway County reported 108 total cases of the virus, meaning the county has more than doubled its cases so far in August.
This comes as school is starting across Mid-Missouri, including two colleges in Fulton. Westminster College has reported eight total cases as of Wednesday. Of those, one employee and four students are currently sick and are in isolation.
William Woods University has reported seven total cases. Three employees and one student currently have the virus, and are required to isolate as well.
Callaway County has reported two deaths related to COVID-19.
Fulton City Council wanted this data to help decide whether or not a mask ordinance would be wise. The council previously passed a motion to "strongly encourage"citizens to wear masks in Fulton.
Cannell said the number of active cases in the city is promising, and it supports the hesitation of the city to jump into a mask mandate.
"Fulton is getting scrutinized more heavily than any other city in Callaway County about why aren't we doing a face mask ordinance," Cannell said. "I think this is going to help us justify the decisions that we make moving forward."
At Tuesday's meeting, the city council also decided to send a mask order based on the city of Springfield's order to the city attorney for review. Cannell said it was sent Wednesday and he wants the city to be ready in case things get worse.
"We are still anticipating that at some point we will have to do a mask ordinance," Cannell said. "At the very least we have another tool in our bag to be able to make a judgment call on when is the right time to do these things."
Presiding Commissioner of Callaway County Gary Jungermann was not available Wednesday to comment on the numbers and data from the health department.