Update: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported Tuesday that 88 cases have been reported in Texas County in the last seven days. The positivity rate — the percentage of positive cases in the last week — was down slightly to 28.2 percent. The number of cases has increased 20 since Monday.
Six are hospitalized, one dead and 27 diagnosed as positive with COVID-19 since Friday in Texas County as cases surge across the country.
Of those hospitalized, one is in an ICU bed. The latest death — the ninth since the pandemic began — was someone 70-80 years of age.
There have been 839 cases in Texas County, most of those occurring in the last two months, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Monday.
In the last seven days, there have been 72 positive cases. The positivity rate — the percentage of positive tests in the last seven days — stood at nearly a third, which is higher than the state’s rate.
“The wolf is at the door,” Herb Kuhn, president and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association, told Gov. Mike Parson in a letter dated Friday. “Missouri’s hospitals urge you to issue a statewide masking mandate. A mask mandate may be unappealing to some, but it has become necessary. We urge your immediate action on this issue.”
Parson has responded to calls for a mask mandate by urging Missourians to “take personal responsibility” to social distance, wear masks and limit gatherings. He has steered clear of a mandate, and according to his spokeswoman, “has been very clear and consistent about his support for local control.”
Parson said at a press conference last week that all Missourians should do their part to stem the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing but without a mandate.
“The reality of it is, we can’t keep going at the pace we’re going and keep doing the same old things we’re doing,” Parson said. “I protected freedom throughout this year. I protected it in my campaign, and the majority of people believed in what I was saying, but I’m here to tell you this to all of my Missourians, it’s time we’ve got to step up. We’ve got to do our part to protect one another.”