If the COVID-19 case data submitted for Sunday and Monday by the Columbia-Boone County health department are accurate, they have been the best two days in terms of new infections in three weeks.
But if the numbers shown in the Department of Health and Senior State Services are correct, Sunday and Monday have been among the two worst days to date.
And no agency knows which one is correct.
Boone County reported 43 new infections Monday from the coronavirus causing COVID-19, the lowest number since Aug. 24. With 54 reported on Sunday, a total of 97 is the best since Aug. 23 and 24, when the county reported 72 new infections
The official case number of the Columbia-Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services since it was first identified in March was 3,917.
The state registration, as of Monday’s 2 pm report, is 4,131. This 214 difference appeared as of Thursday, when the numbers were only 15 away. Sunday and Monday the total of new cases in the state report, 213, were exceeded only six times. And the account for Saturday and Sunday, 291, has only been evaluated once.
“It is possible that this is a matter of time and getting backward results,” Lisa Cox, a spokeswoman for the state health agency, wrote in an email. “We took over 22,000 records from a local lab over the weekend, which contained a large number of results performed from (April 14 to September 8).”
The lab had reported positive results all the time, but not negative, Cox wrote, but added that there were also “319 newly reported positives for Boone County included in their backlog file, which were entered into the system over the past three days . “
It is possible for county records to be behind the state because the state sends reports every night to local health departments, Cox wrote.
“The next 24 hours should help us see if this potential explanation is the cause of the discrepancy,” she wrote.
Under the system set up to track positive cases, laboratories report test results to the state, which then transmits the information to local health departments. This notifies departments of new matters in their jurisdictions so that they can begin investigating matters and tracking contacts.
Scott Clardy, assistant director of the Columbia-Boone county health department, said he is unsure if the state is counting double because of backlogs or if the numbers represent cases among people, including students, who are no longer in the county.
“I asked DHSS if it could be about lab reports coming in without addresses, so they are assigned to Boone; or if they could be students putting a local address on the lab sheet, then moving home; or if there is a data transmission issue of which we are not aware, “Clardy wrote in an email.
Health department staff have checked and all cases received from the state have been introduced in local areas, he said.
“I’m sorry I do not have a better answer right now,” Clardy wrote.
The situation of the state
Missouri, which after Sunday’s report had the third-worst level of infection per capita for September, reported another day of new cases higher than the average for last week.
On Monday, the state health agency reported 1,332 new cases, with at least one new case in 93 of the 117 jurisdictions of local health departments. There were nine additional deaths, bringing the total to 1,714.
Relaxed court rules
Boone County Court is relaxing its rules aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 two weeks after tightening restrictions when an employee tested positive for coronavirus.
The changes announced Monday allow up to 25 people at the same time inside the courtrooms and other courtroom spaces on Eight and Arre streets. This is out of the 10 allowed before.
When the stricter boundaries were announced on September 1, they applied only to Boone County and not to Callaway County, which is also part of the 13th Judicial District.
Judges will continue to use videoconferencing to hold as few personal hearings as possible. Jury trials and grand juries are being settled and have worked.
Everyone entering the court buildings of Boone or Callaway must wear a mask and follow the instructions of social distancing.
“The priority continues to be moving cases forward by emphasizing the health and safety of all involved in the justice system,” court administrator Mary Epping wrote in an email.
Sports for young people
Protests against the restrictions of the district of St. Louis in high school sports resumed Monday when hundreds gathered in Clayton to demand that the boundaries be lifted.
Protesters held placards reading “Let’s play!” and chanted “Back to school. Back to sports.”
Sam Page County Executive last week announced new guidelines on youth sports, which removed some restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. The county now allows sports to be played with little or no direct contact, including cross-country, tennis, golf and swimming.
But there is still a ban on high-contact sports like football, basketball and hockey. Groups of 30 or less can practice such sports.
More than 200 people also protested outside Page’s house on Sunday, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“These teachers have to go back to school and these coaches have to go back to training,” Brian Olivio of Eureka, who has three children in high school and high school, told the newspaper. “They should set an example and be fearless, not afraid.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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