Jul. 22—Local COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb as a local hospital prepares to offer a third level of care for those hospitalized with the virus.
Case numbers among Joplin residents jumped from 114 on Monday to 206 on Wednesday, according to Ryan Talken, director of the Joplin Health Department.
"It takes 10 days to come off of isolation from onset or from test date if asymptomatic. This number is in constant flux as new cases come on and prior cases drop off the list," Talken said.
The Jasper County Health Department, which handles cases in the county outside Joplin, had 267 active cases Wednesday. There were 80 new cases Tuesday, the department reported on social media. Of those, 60 cases were among those ages 12 to 49. In the new cases, 77 people were not vaccinated and three had been.
That department reported earlier this month there were 158 cases in the county in May, 618 in June. New cases in July are hovering around 1,000 with 697 of those in the last two weeks, according to the county's numbers.
There are no similar numbers available for Joplin or Newton County. Joplin's website, where the numbers had been reported, has not been operational because of network security incident that occurred July 7 with the city's computer systems.
In Newton County, numbers are not reported on a website like Jasper County and Joplin have used. However, Newton County's last report posted on social media on Monday reported 188 active cases, slightly down from Friday when there were 209 reported. The highest count in that county this month was 228 active cases on July 9.
There were 103 people in hospital care Wednesday, two of Joplin's local hospitals reported.
Mercy Hospital had 60 inpatients, and Freeman Health Systems had 43 with two of those at Freeman Hospital Neosho.
Freeman reported that seven of its patients had been vaccinated for COVID-19. Those patients where in a medical unit, not ICU care, with mild symptoms.
Officials at Freeman on Thursday will talk about a new COVID-19 unit that has been opened to provide transitional care for those with the virus who do not need to be in the intensive care unit but still require specialized equipment and a higher volume of oxygen than those in the medical unit.