By ERIC X. VICCARO
Ste. Genevieve County Health Department administrator Jennifer Mueller made a public appearance during last Thursday’s board of aldermen meeting.
Mueller covered current statistics for the county, which may also be found on the department’s redesigned website, regarding recently resurgent COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The website can be found at, www.stegencohealth.org/current-data.
There were 37 active caces in the county, as of data released on Aug. 25, with six new confirmed cases – and one new probable case.
Mueller was encouraged by the fact that 39 percent of Ste. Genevieve County residents have now initiated the vaccination process. Overall 34.5 percent have completed the two-dose regimen.
She attended a health managers meeting in Jefferson City, where Mueller learned Ste. Genevieve County actually has a higher percentage of initiated/completed patients than other rural areas of Missouri.
The administrator hammered home the health department has the vaccine for residents who want to begin vaccination.
According to the department website, Moderna is the brand available, currently licensed for those 18 years of age or older.
“Use common sense,” Mueller said regarding COVID-19. “If you even think you have COVID, you probably do.”
Testing is available through the Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital walk-in clinic, Mueller said.
The administrator covered numbers from the previous year, with November the peak – 713 cases before numbers leveled off by January 2021. Overall, there have been 2,023 total confirmed cases and 21 confirmed deaths for a county of 17,848 people according to 2019 census figures.
Ward 4 Alderwoman Ashley Armbruster told Mueller she appreciates the work she’s doing.
Mueller said booster doses are currently available only for those patients who are immuno-compromised. A patient must have completed the Moderna series at least 28 days ago.
Ward 1 Alderwoman Susan Johnson asked if larger employers should conduct vaccination clinics. However, the concept of “employee choice” also was discussed.
During his city administrator’s report, Happy Welch noted with the active case count up, masks would be required once again.
“Well, we’ve been monitoring the average cases,” said Welch during a telephone interview with the Herald last Friday, “and the numbers are going up. The feeling is we have to protect our employees and those visiting (us).”
Masks will be required of visitors at the following locations: city hall, the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park Welcome Center, Park House inside Pere Marquette Park – the temporary home of the Ste. Genevieve police department – water plant, wastewater plant, street department and Ste. Genevieve Fire Department fire hall.
The board of aldermen unanimously agreed to put COVID-19 discussions back on the agenda for every regular meeting going forward.
Welch said elected officials and city leaders will examine the mask requirement at the next regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 9. Masks will be required to attend the session.
COVID MAKES A COMEBACK
A year ago the COVID-19 coronavirus surged back after seeming to fall off during the summer. It peaked in November with 110 confirmed active cases at one time.
This summer it seemed to be a relic of the past, with one or no active cases cropping up each week.
The final week of July six new confirmed cases were reported. That leaped to 21 on Aug. 4 and 33 on Aug. 11. However, the growth rate seemed to have slowed since, with 36 confirmed active cases as of Aug. 26.