The White House Coronavirus Task Force’s latest report says “America is in a dangerous place” due to the current, extremely high COVID-19 baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care as well as medical care overall.
The report, dated November 29, says the COVID-19 risk to all Americans is at “a historic high.” It says the depth of viral spread across the state remains significant and without public health orders in place compelling Missourians to act differently, the spread will remain “unyielding” with significant impact on the state’s healthcare system.
Gov. Mike Parson has stood firm on his opposition to issuing a statewide mask mandate. He has left it up to local leaders to decide if they want to require masks to be worn in their communities.
The report says 91% of Missouri counties have high levels of community transmission. It says Missouri’s positivity rate is 5th highest in the nation. The state continues to be in the red zone for new COVID-19 cases with the 22nd highest rate in the country.
Missouri reports nearly 325,000 cases of the virus since March. More than 2,500 are in a Missouri hospital being treated for COVID-19 and about 4,200 people have died in Missouri from the respiratory illness.
It recommends Missourians 65 and older to stay away from public indoor spaces with unmasked people inside.
“You should have groceries and medications delivered,” the report says.
If you are under the age of 40, the report says you should assume that you became infected with COVID-19 during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered with anyone beyond your immediate household.
Other recommendations for Missouri include:
*Limiting indoor restaurant capacity to less than 25%
*Limiting bar hours
*Testing all University students weekly until the semester ends
*Ensure all nursing homes, assisted living centers, and elderly care sites have adequate testing capacity and the ability to isolate patients and staff who test positive
*Conduct testing and require masks within K-12 schools
*Consider pausing school extracurricular activities
To view the report, obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, click here.
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