Boone County Health Dept. reports decrease in cases, but officials still concerned


The Boone County Health Dept. reported 380 new COVID-19 cases for the week ending Dec. 4 (data for the BCHD’s reporting week is gathered from Saturday to Friday).

Another two deaths were reported in the county last week. At least one was associated with a long-term care facility. The deaths raise the county’s cumulative COVID-19 death toll to 59, according to BCHD Public Health Educator Claire Haughton.

The cases from the week prior showed a slight decrease since record highs were reported in late-November, but Haughton said the numbers don’t necessarily reflect progress in the right direction.

“Just because we have one week of slightly lower numbers, that doesn’t necessarily mean that trend will continue down,” Haughton said.

Health officials expect a surge of new cases stemming from Thanksgiving travel. Haughton said an increase in cases from the holiday could begin this week could continue into the following week.

“The incubation period for the virus is about two to 14 days,” Haughton said Dec. 3. “We already have been getting calls where somebody was with somebody at a Thanksgiving Day dinner, and we found out that person tested positive. We’re already starting to see it.”

A continued increase in cases could further strain hospitals that are already near capacity, health officials said. Haughton said Witham Health Services, the county’s primary hospital, is at or near capacity and is seeking to add more COVID-19 beds by maximizing existing space.

“Either way, we are still seeing considerably more daily numbers than we have in past months,” Haughton said.