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The latest news from every corner of the state, including policy emerging from Missouri's capitol.

Cape Girardeau County Falls Under CDC's 'Low' Level of COVID-19 Visibility

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US Center for Disease Control and Prevention
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COVID-19 Community Levels Across The US

The new policies reflect the organization's view that the US has entered a potentially less dangerous phase of the pandemic as hospitalization rates and case percentages are consistently lower.

On Friday, February 25th, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention eased their COVID-19 masking recommendations as the country enters what the organization is referring to as the pandemic’s ‘endemic’ phase.

The new policies reflect the organization's view that the US has entered a potentially less dangerous phase of the pandemic as hospitalization rates and case percentages are consistently lower.

While the masking guidelines affect indoor spaces and gatherings, the order to continue the use of face coverings on public transportation including trains, buses, and planes, will remain effective until the policy is reconsidered on March 18.

With the announcement, the CDC has also provided a new public page for counties to check levels of COVID-19 apparentness in their communities based on hospitalization rates.

The levels are broken into low, medium, and high categories, with varying precautions to follow related to testing, masking, receiving vaccinations and socially distancing.

On Friday, the Cape County Health Department, along with its Board of Trustees announced their acknowledgment of the updated guidance on masking recommendations and continued that due to Cape’s low 7-day case rates, lower hospital admission, and COVID inpatient occupied bed rates Cape Girardeau County falls within the 'Low' category per the CDC’s new measurement system.

Counties within the 'Low' category are recommended to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots and to get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Missouri has seen a substantial decrease in 7-day positivity rate since the beginning of the year. In January, the average positivity rate for cases was 30%. At the end of February, the positivity rate rests at around 8%.

Though the statewide percentage has lowered, Cape Girardeau surrounding counties range in COVID-19 visibility according to the CDC’s level system.

Scott and Carter counties remain in the low category, Perry and Butler county fall under the medium category, and Madison county sits within the high category.