With an increase of 33 cases reported in the past week, Cass County has seen its fourth straight week of double-digit increases in its positive COVID-19 count.
Last week at press time, the case count stood at 185, by Wednesday morning that number had reached 218.
The county’s overall per capita positive case rate currently ranks sixth in the state in terms of counties with the highest infection rates.
“Without a doubt our numbers are headed in the wrong direction,” said Teresa Armstrong, Director of the Cass County Health Department.
“We’ve been telling people for months they need to be wearing masks and social distancing and a lot of people have not listened,” she said.
“But for the sake of our schools, our businesses and our economy, we need them to listen, to wear their masks, to practice social distancing and to wash their hands regularly.”
“If we don’t start seeing these numbers slow down, we’re probably not going to like what will happen next.”
Armstrong said she fears a return to closed bars, and restaurants again forced to allow only outdoor seating. She also feared schools may not be able to open or remain open if the number of COVID-19 cases in the region continue their sharp increase.
Increased demand for testing
The Cass County Health Department is still conducting testing at its Beardstown facility on St. Luke’s Drive, by appointment only. But a significant demand for testing has prompted the department to restrict requests for testing to people who either live or work in Cass County.
We were having people from other nearby counties, and we’re simply not equipped to handle that kind of testing demand,” Armstrong said.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Cass County jumped significantly in July, growing from 131 reported on July 1 to 201 on July 31, for a monthly increase of 53 percent.
The July numbers followed on the heels of the June increases that were fueled by the outbreak at Walker Nursing Home. That June outbreak caused the county’s caseload to skyrocket from 73 cases to 131.