Another Boone County resident has died of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in the county to three.

The person was between the ages of 45 and 49.

According to a news release Monday from Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health & Human Services, Boone County had 249 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 between July 6 and Sunday, the largest number of new cases reported in a single week.

More than 54% of all COVID-19 cases in Boone County have been due to contact with a known case. Each positive case has an average number of 2.4 close contacts, leading to the sharp increase in the number of people who either are or may become infectious, according to the release.

The release also acknowledged rumors of “COVID parties,” where people who are infected with the virus gather with others to expose them. The Health Department warned that such parties could cause severe illness, close businesses for lack of workers and place an extra burden on the health care system.

Close contacts are advised to quarantine for the entire 14-day period, even if they test negative for the virus. The Health Department is striving to notify and stay in regular communication with all contacts of positive cases who are in quarantine.

However, the sharp increase in cases is putting a strain on the department's contact tracing capacity. It is possible that contacts are returning to work or going out in public before they are cleared to do so. Even if the contacts are not experiencing symptoms, they could still be infectious, according to the news release.

Meanwhile, the department is working closely with businesses to ensure they are following recommendations for their staff and customers to help slow the spread of COVID-19, according to the release.

Missouri has had a total of 28,059 positive patients, with 431 new positive cases. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 27,890 positive cases were reported with only 595 cases for Boone County on Monday. Based on updated information provided by the city of Columbia, the more accurate state number of COVID-19 cases is 28,059.

Missouri had a total of 1,083 deaths as of Monday.

The Health Department urged the public to continue to stay at home as much as possible, social distance from people outside the immediate household and wear a mask in all public settings. Masks are required in Columbia by city ordinance.

  • General assignment reporter, summer 2020. Studying news reporting. Please reach me at feiyusu@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

  • I'm the public safety and health editor at the Missourian and a professor in the School of Journalism. I'm experienced in directing investigative projects. Call me at (573) 882-1792 with story tips, ideas or complaints.

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