First COVID-19 case reported in Gerald; 18 new cases this week including three children

By Linda Trest, Staff Writer
Posted 6/24/20

Last Thursday, June 18, Franklin County officials reported four new cases of COVID-19 in the county, and one of those included a 38-year-old woman from Gerald. When the county lists the location of …

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First COVID-19 case reported in Gerald; 18 new cases this week including three children

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Last Thursday, June 18, Franklin County officials reported four new cases of COVID-19 in the county, and one of those included a 38-year-old woman from Gerald. When the county lists the location of positive cases, they are referring to mailing addresses, so the positive case is not necessarily located in the city limits.

In the past week, the four increased to 18 new cases in the county. These include three positive cases in children, an eight-year-old boy from Pacific, a six-year-old boy from Lonedell and a two-year-old girl in New Haven. The Pacific boy has since recovered.

On a brighter note, there have been no additional deaths reported in the last seven days so that total remains unchanged at 18.

Since declaring a state of emergency in the county, Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker has been the only official releasing data on COVID-19 cases. His last report was issued Friday, June 19. There were no updates released for the next three days.

Tuesday morning, Angie Hittson, director of the Franklin County Health Department issued an update including data from June 21 and 22. There was no word as to whether future updates would come from her office or Brinker’s.

Hittson’s Tuesday update revealed a total of 195 positive cases recorded in the county. Of those, 141 have recovered, leaving 32 active cases. There are 14 COVID-19 patients in skilled nursing facilities and 18 others throughout the county.

Brinker reported last week that a three day testing event in Washington had identified 10 positive cases. He said that five of those cases were from either Jefferson or St. Louis County and that two were reconfirmed cases that had already been identified, traced and quarantined. That left a net of three new cases, all from Lonedell, including the six-year-old boy.

The testing event does not explain the sudden uptick in positive cases.

Brinker’s last report Friday, June 19, listed a total of 179 cases. Hittson reported case 193 on Sunday. It is unclear why the number jumped so dramatically in one day. By comparing a graph issued by Brinker on Friday to one issued by Hittson on Tuesday, the unidentified cases seem to be: eight new cases in Pacific, one each in Villa Ridge, St. Clair and New Haven and one homeless man.

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