Daily COVID-19 cases in all but one Missouri county have reached a “tipping point” ahead of Thanksgiving, according to data released by Harvard University.
Harvard’s tool charts coronavirus risks by state, congressional district and county, according to the number of daily new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.
The map uses four colors to represent the COVID-19 risk level in each county. Green means the county is on track for containment of the virus, yellow shows community spread, orange represents accelerated spread and red means the county has reached a tipping point where stay-at-home orders would be necessary to stop the spread.
As of Friday, McDonald County is the only county throughout the entire state not in the red level. The county in the southwestern corner of Missouri is in the orange level. In July, McDonald County was the only red county in the state, McClatchy News reported. Hundreds of employees at a Tyson plant in the small county tested positive for COVID-19 in June, the Associated Press reported.
Henry County, situated about 85 miles southeast of Kansas City, has the most daily new cases per 100,000 residents in the state, Harvard data show. It is averaging 185.2 new cases over the most recent seven-day span.
Perry County, which is about 85 miles south of St. Louis, is averaging 182.9 new cases per 100,000 residents, while centrally-located Cole County is averaging 172.4.
COVID-19 has hit Missouri hard this month, as 17 counties have at least 140 people contracting the virus daily on average per 100,000 residents.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson repeated Thursday his opposition to statewide orders to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Missouri Hospital Association has pleaded for a statewide mask mandate, the Missouri Independent reported, but Parson said he would rather encourage people to wear them, wash their hands often and maintain social distance.
There have been more than 262,000 COVID-19 cases in Missouri, including 74,636 this month, as of Thursday, the Kansas City Star reported.
WHAT ABOUT MISSOURI’S LARGER CITIES?
There are 87.9 daily new cases per 100,000 people in Jackson County, which includes most of Kansas City, Harvard data show.
The Kansas City metropolitan area, encompassing multiple counties in Missouri and Kansas, added more than 1,300 COVID-19 cases Thursday, moving the weekly average for new cases to a new high, according to the Star.
Jackson County’s cases greatly exceed St. Louis County, which has 47.9 daily new cases per 100,000 people.
“We’ll have to make choices of who can’t be helped,” Dr. Alex Garza, the head of the task force, said Friday, according to KSDK. “That’s a dilemma no health care workers want to face. How can we make ethical decisions about caring for the most people with what we have?”
The Georgia Institute of Technology released a map that helps assess the risk of having at least one person testing positive for COVID-19 at your Thanksgiving celebrations.
A gathering of 50 people in Jackson County poses a 62% chance at least one person will have COVID-19, the Georgia Tech data show. An event size of 10 people will pose a 17% chance.
In Dade and Reynolds counties, there is more than a 99% chance someone in a gathering of 50 people will have the virus, according to the university’s data.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Thursday that people not travel for Thanksgiving but rather only celebrate with those in your own household.
There was a surge in coronavirus cases in Canada after its Thanksgiving on Oct. 12, McClatchy News reported.