Macon County reaches "extreme risk" under criteria of State Health Warning

by Benjamin Nelson

MACON, MO -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services recently released a state public health warning. The information released serves as guidance for Missourians as the state encounters one of the largest spikes of COVID-19 since its outbreak began this past March. Within the warning, the State Department of Health stated that individuals should be wearing a mask at all times while in public, maintaining a safe social distance of 6 feet, stay home when feeling sick, while also washing one's hands multiple times a day. Within the public health warning, the state department of health listed out three categories that certain jurisdictions can be listed under.

1. Category 1 "Extreme Risk"

Criteria for Category 1 includes:

• PCR 7-day positivity rate: 15% or above (using CDC method), and

• 7 day case rate per 100k: 350 or above

2. Category 2 "Critical Risk"

Criteria for Category 2 includes:

• PCR 7-day positivity rate: 10-14% (using CDC method), and

• 7 day case rate per 100k: 100-349

3. Category 3 "Serious Risk"

Criteria for Category 3 Includes:

• PCR 7-day positivity rate: 5-9% (using CDC method), and

• 7 day case rate per 100k: 10-99

Macon County was ranked number 13th as one of the state's highest positivity rate with a 7 day positivity rate of 34.5% which is also one of the highest rates in Northeast Missouri. Surrounding counties like Adair, Shelby, Randolph, Linn, Sullivan, and Chariton have a 7 day positivity rate below 30%, but still in the "Extreme Risk" category outlined in the State's Public Health Warning. In the Category 1, businesses should have an occupancy that reflects social distancing. Social group sizes should include 10 or less people. Masks are strongly advised when someone cannot socially distance themselves from others. Macon County also has a "Red" threshold metric by the White House Task Force for new cases, new deaths, and the positivity rate. The threshold metrics range from dark green (the best) to red (the worst). The State of Missouri also listed Macon County has the second highest county within the state in regards to past seven days case per 100k. The only county above Macon was Holt County.

It should be noted that the State of Missouri does not at this time, reflect the most up to date data reflected by the Macon County Health Department. The data listed on the state health department's webpage has a three day delay to ensure accuracy. The State of Missouri lists Macon County as having 618 total cases, while the county health department has reported 777. The State Health Department has listed 3 deaths in Macon County, while the county health department has reported 11.

To view the public health warning, click on the following link: