Missouri Government Actions on Covid-19 Updated 6/25/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- Some parts of state continuing to keep restrictions in place
- Governor Parson not concerned about past week’s rise in cases
- Department of Health and Senior Services implementing a “box in” strategy in Southwest Missouri
- Clay County investigating a potential HIPAA violation on the COVID-19 dashboard
- Missouri National Guard partnering with health departments to perform free testing
- Springfield working with the Department of Health and University of Missouri to test wastewater for COVID-19
- Last week, Governor Parson announced a complete reopening for the State of Missouri, but as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, parts of the state are rethinking reopening plans. For example, in Independence, Mayor Eileen Weir announced the city will be delaying its movement into Phase 2 of its reopening plan, which was originally scheduled for July 1. According to the Missouri online dashboard, the state has seen a 7 percent increase in cases statewide, with hotspots in St. Louis, St. Charles, Jackson, and Buchanan counties.
- Cases of COVID-19 have increased 9 percent in the past week. In response to concerns about the uptick, Governor Parson tweeted, “We are NOT overwhelmed. We are NOT currently experiencing a second wave. We have NO intentions of closing Missouri back down at this time.” Parson is “confident that [the state is] on the road to recovery.”
- Southwest Missouri has had several new cases of COVID-19 in the past few weeks. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced a “box in” strategy to attempt to slow the spread of the virus. According to the Department, the strategy involves testing, isolating all infected people, contact tracing, and having those contacts self-quarantine for 14 days. In addition, the CDC will send a team to Southwest Missouri to investigate the outbreak.
- Clay County has announced that it’s opening an ongoing investigation into allegations that personally identifiable information has been exposed on the COVID-19 dashboard. According to the individual who first caught the information, they were able to see names, addresses, age group, ethnicity, phone numbers, and addresses of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. A spokeswoman for the Clay County Pubic Health Center stated “Clay County Public Health Center takes any potential violation of HIPAA very seriously. When we learned there was the possibility of a problem existing, we immediately disabled access to the dashboard. Some sections of information that were previously available have been removed from the dashboard until the situation can be fully investigated. We are following HIPAA standards and currently have our HIPAA Privacy Officer and HIPAA Security Officer thoroughly investigating the matter.”
- The Missouri National Guard is partnering with state and local health departments to perform tests for residents. The only requirement is that individuals be residents of Missouri and that they make an appointment online or by calling the COVID-19 hotline.
- Springfield is working with the Missouri Department of Health and the University of Missouri in an effort to test wastewater for COVID-19. According to the agencies, the research could help determine more about the spread of the virus. The research is funded by a grant from the CDC.