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Jefferson County health director: COVID-19 cases increasing at 'very concerning rate'

“It is imperative that residents immediately begin implementing preventative actions," Jefferson County Health Director Kelley Vollmar said

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — Jefferson County Health Director Kelley Vollmar encouraged residents to take preventative actions Monday after the county reported a significant increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Community spread of COVID-19 within Jefferson County is increasing at a very concerning rate,” Vollmar said in a press release Monday. “It is imperative that residents immediately begin implementing preventative actions such as wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding mass gatherings in order to protect the public health of our families, friends, and neighbors.”

On Monday, the department reported a total of 1,442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, a single-day record increase of 93 over the number reported by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Sunday. The county health department said another 117 people are listed as probable COVID-19 cases.

Credit: KSDK
Jefferson County reported 1,442 confirmed COVID-19 cases Monday, an increase of 93 cases from the number reported by the Missouri DHSS. The Jefferson County health department does not update the number of confirmed cases over the weekend, so DHSS data is used on weekends.

The number of cases in Jefferson County has nearly tripled since July 1, when the county reported 486 total COVID-19 cases.

The county has reported a total of 25 COVID-19 deaths and hasn't reported a new death since July 17.

According to CDC data provided by the Jefferson County Health Department, the positivity rate in the county has increased each of the last three weeks reported by the CDC, ending with the week of July 19-25. In the days since then, the number of new cases has continued to increase.

The Jefferson County Health Board decided not to vote on a mask mandate for the county after an hours-long meeting last Tuesday. 

The health department's board of trustees agreed to "double up" its recommendations on mask-wearing, social distancing and limiting crowd sizes, but those are not requirements, Jefferson County's health director said.

The board also decided to require masks in public health facilities.

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