By ERIC X. VICCARO
Ste. Genevieve’s annual festival, Jour de Fete, wrapped up on Sunday afternoon – and most all the vendors left town by nightfall.
We’ll soon know if the festival turns into a “super spreader” event, with a mix of masked and maskless individuals seen walking along downtown streets throughout the busy weekend.
Regardless, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has returned to Ste. Genevieve County.
Even though it wasn’t a full-blown agenda item for the board of aldermen last Thursday, the leadership group spent plenty of time discussing issues regarding coronavirus.
Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park superintendent Chris Collins said that the Welcome Center would use a mobile unit during the Jour de Fete Festival, housed behind the Felix Valle House.
Federal workers across the board have been increasingly “masking up,” and the Welcome Center is no exception. Collins wore a mask while talking to the aldermen.
According to the latest data on the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department website, there are seven confirmed cases including one new case.
There are 27 active cases, and there have been 1,935 total confirmed cases for a county of 17,848 people according to the latest United States Census figures.
The county also is lagging in terms of vaccination, with 37.9 percent of population initiating the process (first dose) and 33.5 percent completing it.
Ste. Genevieve city administrator Happy Welch said should there be 10 active cases at one time — wearing masks will be strongly encouraged when visiting city hall and the Welcome Center.
Ward 2 Aldermen Bob Donovan asked if county health department administrator Jennifer Mueller should appear at a future meeting to provide an update.
Ward 1 Alderwoman Susie Johnson shared her concerns that Ste. Genevieve County is a “high transmission area.”
The state of Missouri surpassed the 600,000-case mark this week, with 10,028 confirmed deaths due to coronavirus. There have been 13,513 cases this past week alone with 47 deaths, according to data at: health.mo.gov.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Welch reported the city has been in negotiations with Road & Rail regarding road damage on Main Street stemming from the train wreck earlier this year.
There has been an impasse on how much the road needs to be milled and paved. The administrator reported the estimated cost is $34,716 — however, Road & Rail is only willing to pay for $19,471. That would leave a balance of $15,425.