Nov 16, 2020 12:00 PM

Area health officials worry about COVID-19 fatigue

Posted Nov 16, 2020 12:00 PM

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

Area health officials worry fatigue has set in in the fight against COVID-19.

The number of new cases and hospitalizations lately have risen to numbers not seen even in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrew County Health Department Nurse Manager Jayne White sees the fatigue settling in throughout northwest Missouri.

“We’re all tired of this, believe us, we are as well, but now’s not the time to give up or act like it’s just going to go away on its own, because it’s not,” White tells St. Joseph Post. “We have to do these things to decrease the spread and try to prevent the situation from getting any worse than it already is.”

Andrew County reports new cases have jumped dramatically. In August, the county counted a little more than two cases a day. Now, the county has seen nearly 13 ½ cases daily. Andrew County has recorded 877 cases since the pandemic began, resulting in 12 deaths.

White says now is the time for all area residents to redouble their efforts.

“When you’re running a marathon, when you get tired you have to power through that and that’s kind of where we’re at right now,” according to White. “We need to as a community power through and do the right thing and probably now so more than ever.”

White says residents need to wear masks, maintain social distance, and wash hands thoroughly and frequently.

Andrew County Health Administrator Andrew Hoffman says wearing a mask is important.

“Masks do work. They’ve been using them in hospital settings for decades. That’s pretty clear evidence that masks work,” Hoffman tells St. Joseph Post. “That’s why they wear them in hospital settings and other health care settings.”

White says small communities are known for rallying together.

“Now’s the time that we need (for) everybody to rally together and put your differences aside and do the right thing, which is wear a mask if you’re going to be out in public. Even if you think you’re not going to come in contact with people, put your mask on and do the right thing.”

And, now is not the time to tough it out.

“And the biggest thing that people can do is please, please, please, if you’re sick, stay home.”

The Andrew County Health Department is now under emergency operations due to the big jump in coronavirus cases. WIC services will continue by phone or curbside. Other services are suspended until further notice. Doors are closed as the Andrew County Health Department to concentrate on the response to COVID-19.

Buchanan County reported 79 new cases on Friday, bringing its total to 4,931.

Mosaic Life Care reported 74 COVID-19 patients at its St. Joseph hospital Monday morning, six in Maryville, and three in Albany.

Mosaic has testing more than 47,000 area residents with 4,920 testing positive.