Barry County nears COVID record

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Active COVID cases double, only 8 less than 2020 peak

Barry Countyís active COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases have more than doubled in the last eight days, and the figure is only 8 cases less than the countyís peak in November 2020.

According to the Barry County Health Department and Barry County Office of Emergency Management, there have been 5,511 (+246 from Jan. 4) confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

As of Jan. 12, a total of 104 (+41) people were considered active cases in isolation, and at least 5 are hospitalized (+1). Active cases peaked the week of Nov. 11, 2020, with 254 total cases and more than 600 people quarantined. Cases topped 200 again August 2021, credited to the Delta variant.

This spike is possibly the Omicron variant, which is believe to be more contagious but less deadly than previous variants of concern.

Per the Missouri Attorney General, local health departments no longer have the authority to enforce any quarantining of close contacts.

No new deaths have been reported since Jan. 4. The total number of deaths in the county is 91, and all those who have died were at least 41 years old.

Of the deaths, 30 (even) have been residents of congregate care facilities, and 61 (even) lived independently in their homes. A total of 83 (even) suffered from underlying health conditions. Gender-wise, 58 (even) males and 33 (even) females have died.

The death rate, deaths as a percentage of positive cases, in Barry County is 1.7 percent, and the survival rate is 98.3 percent. The mortality rate, deaths as a percentage of the population, for the county is 0.25 percent, or about 2.5 of every 1,000 residents.

A total of 5,174 people had recovered from the virus, a gain of 104 from Jan. 4.

A total of 48,737 tests have been done in Barry County, surpassing countyís total population, though some people may have been tested multiple times. The 5,511 positives account for 15.3 percent of the countyís population, and there is an overall positive test rate of 11.31 percent (+0.3). The weekly positive test rate is 26.74 percent (+12.38).

Vaccinations initiated in the county, which include people who have received at least the first dose, number 16,185, a gain of 145 since Jan. 4 and accounting for 45.2 percent of the countyís total population. Vaccines have been approved to vaccinate children 5-and-up, and boosters have been approved for ages 12-and-up.

The Lawrence County Health Department said as of Jan. 7 it had 6,062 total confirmed cases (+77 from Jan. 5). A total of 141 (+2) people have died in Lawrence County.

The reporting system from the health department no longer includes the number of active cases or number of recovered cases.

Lawrence County has 42.5 percent of is population ages 5-and-up fully vaccinated.

According to Johns Hopkins University tracking, statewide as of Jan. 12, Missouri has had 908,625 confirmed cases and 13,488 deaths, a death rate of 1.5 percent (98.5 percent survival rate) and accounting for 0.22 percent of the state population, or 2.2 of every 1,000 people. Nationally, there have been 62,315,164 positives and 842,322 deaths, a rate of 1.4 percent (98.6 percent survival rate) and accounting for 0.25 percent of the nationís population, or 2.5 of every 1,000 people. State and national recovery figures are not provided.

Statewide, 3,778,133 people have initiated vaccinations, accounting for 61.6 percent of the total population and 72.6 percent of the population 18-and-over.

The CDC Wonder Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, as of Jan. 13, showed 160 (even) events reported where death was a result, possibly in relation to a vaccine. A report is not conclusive evidence the vaccine was the cause of death.

They are listed as 151 deaths, 4 sudden deaths, 1 brain death, 1 cardiac death and 3 foetal deaths.

The number of death reports in the state at that time accounted for 0.004 percent of the total number of people vaccinated, or 1 in every 23,612 people.

The Cassville school district no longer reports its weekly cases or quarantines online. However, due to student and staff illness, the district opted to have middle and high school students participate in virtual education on Friday, returning to class on Tuesday after being off Monday for Martin Luther King Day.

Purdy schools also went on a wellness break from Thursday to Monday, citing similar concerns.

Monett has 78 positive cases (+52 from last week), including 15 at the elementary, 17 at Central Park, eight at the intermediate school, six at the middle school, 25 at the high school and seven at Scott Tech. A total of 51 are listed as quarantined (+38), including 10 at the elementary, nine at Central Park, 17 at the intermediate school, two at the middle school, nine at the high school and four at Scott Tech.

The age ranges of Barry County cases are: People under 25 account for 1,294 cases (+80), those 25-40 account for 1,237 cases (+58), those 41-60 account for 1,595 cases (+74) and those 61-and-over account for 1,385 cases (+34).

Gender-wise, cases among females went from 2,874 to 3,015, while male cases rose from 2,391 to 2,496.

Community spread continues to be the leading cause with 5,493 attributable cases, and the other 18 (even) are attributed to travel.

As of Jan. 12, counties bordering Barry County report the following cases: Lawrence, 6,062; Stone, 3,826; McDonald, 3,130; Newton, 7,109; Benton (Ark.), 50,709; and Carroll (Ark.), 4,854.

Unemployment in Barry County, the most recent data available for which is from October, shows the county rose slightly to 2.9 percent after hitting a low of 2.6 percent. Unemployment was 4.7 percent in June and 3.8 percent in July. In February 2020, it was 4.3 percent, and it peaked in May 2020 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 expired March 31, meaning there is no longer a requirement for source control masking of service providers. Physical distancing, cloth face coverings and enhanced hygiene practices are still recommended per CDC guidelines.

Gov. Mike Parsonís statewide emergency declaration expired on Dec. 31, 2021.

For more information about COVID-19, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus, 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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