Coronavirus Cases In County At Seven; Schools Won’t Open Again This Year

Schools in Missouri will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year due to the national public health crisis related to the coronavirus known as COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Ste. Genevieve County Health Department administrator Sandra Bell told the County Commission on Monday that the county had its seventh positive test result and first since April 1.

The first six cases in the county are related to the first two, announced on March 28.

On Tuesday (April 14), the health department issued a statement via social media that the seventh case was unrelated to the first positive cases but had made contact with another positive case.

“That is why we recommend and encourage all the precautions that we have been promoting,” the health department statement said. “You may never know when or where you will come in contact with the virus.”
Missouri Governor Mike Parson last Thursday ordered all public schools and charter schools to remain closed through the remainder of the year.
“I want Missourians to know that our aggressive efforts to combat COVID-19 are working,” Parson said in a news release from the Governor’s Office. “Based on traffic data across the state, we know people are following the Stay Home Missouri Order, and we are very appreciative of that. Missouri is in a good place right now, but we must keep up these efforts.”
Modeling by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) suggests that the peak number of cases, resources needed and deaths for the United States has passed, but the state-by-state projections as of Sunday night showed Missouri still  nearly two weeks away from its peak for resources and deaths. The model does not predict a shortage of beds or intensive care units.
IHME still forecasts 1,161 COVID-19-related deaths by August 4, with full social distancing practiced through May.
As of 2 p.m. on Sunday, there were 4,160 cases in Missouri and 110 deaths.
Bell said on Friday there were 138 tests done in Ste. Genevieve County with 120 negative results, six positive and 12 pending.
There has been one COVID-19 related death in the county. …

Slowing the spread of the coronavirus led Parson to take action last week with regard to schools.
The Mineral Area Activities Association Superintendents Association, which includes Ste. Genevieve R-II School District, released a statement last Thursday following the governor’s announcement.
“While this decision is necessary for the health and safety of our communities, know that we are heartbroken that our school year must end this way,” the statement said. “With the knowledge that we will not return to school this semester, many of you will have questions about how this will impact grades, graduation, transcripts, the start of next school year, among others. While we do not have all of these answers, we are working to address these and other questions and will have more information for our families soon.”
R-II School District communications director Bailey Otto said the district was working on some of those items last week.
Parson directed school districts to continue providing instruction through distance-learning through each district’s last official day of school.

See more information in the April 15 edition of the Herald.

(The April 15 print edition incorrectly reported the seventh case as related to the others, based on reporting from a meeting that took place on April 13.)

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