SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Missouri added 4,016 new COVID-19 cases in the last week.
The state no longer reports daily numbers for each county. Some counties have stopped posting their daily or weekly cause counts online.
The Webster County Public Health Unit is one of the counties that does not post its daily or weekly COVID-19 numbers online. Instead, it directs community members to the state website for that information. Administrator Scott Allen says it can be hard to track cases within the community.
“Introduction of home test kits,” Allen says. “There are just so many. We have some we give out to the public in our county. The other thing is that a lot of people will report COVID symptoms but for whatever reason don’t want to be tested.”
Allen says the department is keeping track of what the state is reporting. Allen said last week Webster County only had one resident hospitalized. The health unit also keeps an eye on the virus showing up in sewer water.
“For the past about three weeks now, the sewershed count of that COVID virus in the Marshfield area has been so low it’s been undetectable,” Allen says.
On the other hand, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department posts its case counts daily.
Aaron Schekorra with the health department says the current focus is preventing further surges within the community.
“Making sure that testing is available to all people in our community,” Schekorra says. “Looking at if there are any disparities in any particular parts of our community and among any populations so that way we can respond to those clusters of cases.”
The seven-day rolling average is just under 23 cases of COVID-19 in Greene County.
Because of at-home testing, Schekorra says the health department cannot track every single case.
“It’s a good snapshot of the trend in our community because not everybody is going to have symptoms and seek a test, even though that is what we encourage,” Schekorra says. “I think that it’s a great representation of what we’re seeing in the community overall even if we know there is more COVID out there than is being reported.”
Allen says Webster County is experiencing a similar situation.
However, Allen says it’s a more significant discrepancy than what might be experienced in Springfield.
“Our strong suspicions are that we’re looking at about 50% under-reporting in our county,” Allen says.
Allen says if cases in the community were to surge, the health unit would go back to posting the case numbers on its website and social media.
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