Health Department Admin: Stay Vigilant

By Lori Moots-Clair, KCHD Administrator

December 6, 2020 – Good morning Knox County.  I have never been more certain that there a many active cases of Covid-19 in our community, so I can’t celebrate our decrease in positivity rate and our low level of active cases (believe me, I wish I could).  

These cases are not reflected in the numbers for multiple reasons including:  

1) Individuals are not sick enough to go to the doctor/hospital/er so therefor are not encouraged to test. 

2) Individuals are encouraged to test, but refuse to test.  

3) Positive test reporting is decreased due to increased case load.

The refusal, in my opinion, could be occurring for several reasons: denial, the financial pressure of this season to maintain work loads, the fear a positive test could negatively (socially, financially, academically) impact someone they’ve had close contact with, and finally individuals simply don’t believe Covid-19 is causing the problems being portrayed by public health and the Missouri Hospital Association (ex. severe illness and medical capacity overload).  

We receive calls, texts, messages on a daily basis asking us why individuals are either contacts or possibly even positive cases out and about in public places.  There is always one of two responses for that–if the messenger is right (and we never confirm or deny that), we either are unaware of the contact (positive case failed to report the contact or we are unaware of the case [ex. completed in Illinois and is delayed to the state of Missouri]).  

We are always happy to check into situations reported, but from day one we have said so much of the way we handle Covid-19 is based on the public, you drive the degree to which we stop the spread of Covid-19 in this community, this is a very difficult thing to legally manage.  

As we head into winter months, it is all the more important (ex. flu, norovirus, exacerbation of respiratory distress) that we be vigilant as citizens/parents in keeping our people home when they are sick or have the potential to carry Covid-19.  Will there be sacrifices that seem steep, absolutely.  Will it pain us, absolutely.  But if it saves one life, saves one family from suffering; we cannot deny the importance.  

As we enter into this Sunday, ready to embark on the new week, do not put your preventative practices at the level of report or compliance in isolation and quarantine, put them at the level of probable ability to get Covid-19 in our county. 

Our neighbors to the south hit number one for growth in the state Saturday, and other counties around us continue to surge.  We are not exempt, we are under reporting and under testing.  

If you want to avoid Covid-19 do not let your guard down, do not increase your circles, do not gather in unessential multi household gatherings, and share with your family and friends the importance of prevention, compliance and helping you.  

This week we will present quarantine guidance (already in use) that will align with the CDC and is supported by the state of Missouri.  This is intended to relieve the burden quarantine places on individuals (financially and academically…NOT Socially) and it will place even more responsibility at the level of cases, contacts and most importantly parents. 

Do the right thing Knox County and Be Well.