COVID actives climb again

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Cases back up near 150 just before Christmas

The number of active COVID-19 (coronavirus) had been dipping, but this week it rose up to almost 150 just days before Christmas.

According to the Barry County Health Department and Barry County Office of Emergency Management, there have been 2,238 (+142) confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

As of Dec. 23, a total of 147 (+37 from Dec. 16) people were considered active cases in isolation, and six are hospitalized (+2). There are more than 300 close contacts (even) quarantined in their homes.

Four new deaths occurred this week, all of whom lived in congregate care facilities. The total number of deaths in the county is 44, and all those who have died were at least 41 years old.

Of the deaths, 22 have been residents of congregate care facilities, and 22 lived independently in their homes. A total of 40 suffered from underlying health conditions. Gender-wise, 26 males and 18 females have died.

The death rate, deaths as a percentage of positive cases, in Barry County went up 0.1 percent to 1.9 percent, and the survival rate is 98.1 percent. The mortality rate, deaths as a percentage of the population, for the county is 0.12 percent.

A total of 2,131 people had recovered from the virus, a gain of 105 since Dec. 16.

A total of 16,903 Barry County residents have been tested, equating to 47.1 percent of the county’s population. The 2,328 positives account for 6.5 percent of the county’s population, and there is a positive test rate of 13.8 percent (up 0.5 percent from Dec. 16 and 6.34 percent since Nov. 4).

As of Dec. 21, the Lawrence County Health Department reported 114 active cases (even). Lawrence County has 2,421 (+79) total confirmed cases, and a total of 2,260 (+78) people have recovered from the virus. A total of 47 (+1) people have died in Lawrence County.

According to Johns Hopkins University tracking, statewide as of Dec. 23, Missouri has had 370,439 confirmed cases and 5,158 deaths, a death rate of 1.4 percent (98.6 percent survival rate). Nationally, there have been 18,134,027 positives and 321,301 deaths, a rate of 1.8 percent (98.2 percent survival rate). State and national recovery figures are not provided.

The mortality rates for the state and nation are 0.084 percent and 0.097 percent, respectively.

The age ranges of Barry County cases are: People under 25 account for 491 cases (21 percent, even from Dec. 16), those 25-40 account for 500 cases (21 percent, -1 from Dec. 16), those 41-60 account for 673 cases (29 percent, even from Dec. 16) and those 61-and-over account for 664 cases (29 percent, +1 from Dec. 16).

Gender-wise, cases among females went this week from 1,218 to 1,299, while male cases rose from 968 to 1,029.

Community spread continues to be the leading cause with 2,313 attributable cases, and the other 15 (even) are attributed to travel. Multiple area businesses have been affected by COVID-19. As of Dec. 23, congregate care facilities affected include:

• Bentonview Park Health and Rehabilitation, 32 cases (no new)

• Lacoba Homes, 51 cases (1 new)

• Roaring River Health and Rehab, 115 cases (no new)

• Cassville Healthcare and Rehab, 64 cases (no new)

• Cedar Ridge Care Center, 16 cases (9 new)

Area businesses with more than 10 known cases include:

• George’s Processing Plant, 73 cases (2 new)

• EFCO, 30 cases (3 new)

• Tyson, 23 cases (no new)

• International Dehydrated Foods, 13 cases (no new)

As of Dec. 23, counties bordering Barry County report the following cases: Lawrence, 2,421; Stone, 1,524; McDonald, 1,589; Newton, 3,296; Benton (Ark.), 12,669; and Carroll (Ark.), 1,695.

Area schools, all now on Christmas break, continue to deal with the impact of COVID. As of Dec. 18, Monett had 30 (-3) positive cases within the district, including 15 in-district students, no non-district students and 15 staff. A total of 112 (+5) at the district are in quarantine, including 21 in Monett Elementary, 36 at Central Park Elementary, 24 at the intermediate school, seven at the middle school, 21 at the high school, two at Scott Tech and one at the Monett Regional Learning Center.

Cassville updates its information on Dec. 18, removing all figures, as they would change over the break.

Unemployment in Barry County, the most recent data available for which is from October, shows the county has a lower rate than before the pandemic began, but still higher than the rate in October 2019. This year’s October rate is 3.9 percent. In February this year, it was 4.3 percent, and in October 2019, it was 3 percent. Unemployment peaked in May at 10 percent.

COVID-19 can appear 2-14 days after exposure, and symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or a new loss of taste or smell.

Anyone who believes they have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home, call a medical provider and wear a mask when near anyone who does not live in the same home.

Barry County Phase 2 Mitigation rules have been extended through Dec. 31 and include required source control masking of service providers, recommended physical distancing, cloth face coverings and enhanced hygiene practices.

For more information about COVID-19, visit, call the Barry County Health Department at 417-847-2114 or call the Missouri DHSS 24 hour hotline number at 877-435-8411.

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