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COVID-19 cases trending downward for Buchanan County

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COVID-19 Trends for Buchanan County

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) After hitting record-breaking numbers for positivity rates in the county just a few weeks ago, cases are going down just as quickly as they went up. 

“Our seven day average is at 33, which is half of what it was last week. So that's encouraging. And nationwide, the Whitehouse came out today, and said that it's preparing for a non-crisis stage as a pandemic. So that's really it and said, nationally, numbers are down about 40%,” Stephanie Malita, Public Information Officer at the St. Joseph Health Dept. 

While the numbers do not account for at-home positive cases,  even with that missing count, cases are still dropping. 

“I don't think that even though the numbers are giving a false sense of security, I think the now the number of new cases is dropping. But we do have to take into account those who are using the at-home test kits, and, and therefore those that are not counted in these figures that we're quoting daily,” said Malita.

The health department says the fluctuation is expected with covid cases

“It just I mean, that's, it ebbs and flows. It's like economies, too. I mean, it, you know, takes a jump, and then it goes back down,” said Malita.

With that in mind, the city isn’t letting their guard down just yet.

“While we're very optimistic at this point, with the numbers that we're sitting here in St. Joseph and Buchanan County and across the nation, one caveat is, we could see another variant emerge, and we don't know what that would look like,” said Malita.

While no mandates are currently in place, the health department is still keeping their recommendations.

“Our recommendation is to remain that your first line of defense is going to be vaccination. And then beyond that, if you're in a crowded area, it would be a good idea to continue to wear a mask. If you're not feeling well stay home, whether you think it's covered or not, there's no reason to spread whatever you got to other people,” said Malita.

However, in the future, mandates may change nationwide if the downward trend continues. 

“The CDC, in a statement through the White House indicated that they are looking at changing the guidance regarding mask wearing and other mitigation measures. But until they see hospitalization, numbers drop and death numbers really recede, they'll probably not make that change just yet,” said Malita.

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