NEW BLOOMFIELD — Even as hundreds of protesters rallied at the Capitol to oppose a statewide stay-at-home order, the number of COVID-19 cases in one mid-Missouri county has been exploding.
Since last Tuesday, the number of active cases in Moniteau County has risen from two to 49, making it one of the most highly infected counties in the state per capita.
As of Monday evening at 7:30, there were 49 active cases in Moniteau County, with 21 of those considered "active confirmed" and 28 "active probable." There are also 85 close contacts being monitored for signs of the disease, according to the county health center's website.
Four people have had the disease and recovered.
On Tuesday, April 14, there were two active cases and one recovered case in Moniteau County. On Thursday the 16th, 10 more cases were reported, followed by 17 cases on the 17th, three on the 18th, and 14 yesterday, April 20.
Tuesday, April 14 was the date the first employee of Burgers' Smokehouse in California was diagnosed positive for the disease. Three more positive cases were confirmed there on Wednesday the 15th, at which time the company announced it was closing the plant for disinfecting. Limited shipping of products continued, according to a press release.
Darrell Hendrickson of the Moniteau County Health Center said most, if not all, of the recently-reported cases can be traced to Burgers'. They are either employees or family members or acquaintances of employees. Likewise, he said the vast majority of the 85 close contacts who are being monitored are in the same categories.