ST. LOUIS — Missouri reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, more than doubling its previous daily record.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said there have been a total of 144,230 confirmed cases since the outbreak started, up 5,066 cases from Friday. The state also reported 27 more deaths to bring the total to 2,422.
The new number more than doubles the previous single-day high of 2,084 new cases, which occurred on July 30. Health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking an explanation for the large increase.
Data from the state shows that 1,313 people were hospitalized as of Friday, the second-most for any single day. The rise in hospitalizations is occurring largely in Missouri’s rural communities.
Jayne Dees, administrator of the health department in New Madrid County in the Bootheel region of southeast Missouri, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that people aren’t social distancing or wearing masks.
Dr. Nathan Sprengel, a doctor at the SEMO Health Network clinic in New Madrid, said some patients get upset when they are urged to wear masks in the clinic.
Fauci warns against large-scale gatherings without masks
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, is again cautioning against large-scale gatherings of people without masks.
President Donald Trump is planning to convene another large crowd outside the White House on Saturday. Trump’s Rose Garden event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee on Sept. 26 has been labeled a “super-spreader” for the coronavirus.
Fauci said of the Rose Garden event in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday: “I was not surprised to see a super-spreader event given the circumstances. Crowded, congregate setting, not wearing masks. It is not surprising to see an outbreak.”
Fauci says the CDC guideline for getting people back into society generally “is 10 days from the onset of your symptoms.”
That onset for Trump was Oct. 1, according to his doctors. The president’s White House doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said Trump could return to holding events on Saturday. Organizers says attendees are required to bring masks or masks will be provided for the outdoor White House event.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.