County discloses 4th new COVID case in 12 days
Marion County confirmed yet another case of COVID-19 Sunday — the fourth new case in the past 12 days since stay-at-home orders were lifted.
The county now has 11 confirmed cases. The total had not increased since mid-April, shortly after stay-at-home orders were imposed.
As has been standing practice, Marion County health officials are refusing to provide any additional information about the latest case.
No information is available about the age, gender, hometown, or condition of the patient, or about when and where the disease may have been contracted.
This newspaper has repeatedly objected to such secrecy on grounds that the public’s important right to know can be satisfied without revealing any victim’s identity. Many other jurisdictions appear to be providing much more complete information.
One new case was reported five days ago. Two additional cases were reported a week before that.
Unconfirmed rumors suggest that one of the new cases involved a person who attended a social event in the Kansas City area and another involved a cheerleader who attended team practices at Centre High School.
Unconfirmed rumors also suggest that one of the cases from March or April involved a Hillsboro-area farmer who delivered grain out of the county and that another involved a Hillsboro woman who had traveled abroad.
Two of the cases reportedly involved patients whose relatives include people working in sensitive areas involving health case.
After repeated questioning, health officials disclosed Sunday that two county residents continue to be treated for active COVID-19 infections. Which two of the cases are active was not disclosed.
Health officials continue to emphasize that residents should remain at least six feet away from anyone not residing in the same residence. They also should frequently and thoroughly wash their hands, sanitize frequently touched surfaces, stay home when sick, and always wear a face covering when in public.
Reporters covering events around the county, including Saturday’s graduation ceremonies at Peabody-Burns High School, have noted that many of these precautions are not being observed.
At one point in the ceremony Saturday, all graduates were loaded into a school bus, where social distancing would be impossible.
Similar situations have been noted at many other events and gatherings.
County health officials say they are sequestering patients and tracing and contacting those with whom they may have been in close proximity.