City Council COVID-19

The St. Joseph City Council and city staff met on Thursday to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic in the city.

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The St. Joseph City Council met on Thursday to weigh varying markers in the city’s fight against COVID-19.

While the 14-day average of cases is still in decline, the seven-day average is increasing.

“So at this point we just stay the course,” St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray said during the meeting. “The metrics don’t call us to enact any strict measures or anything of that nature.”

Officials with the City of St. Joseph Health Department agreed with McMurray’s reasoning.

According to data presented to the City Council, Mosaic Life Care Hospital has nine COVID-19 patients under its care, including three in the ICU, with one person on a ventilator.

Brenda Blessing, a councilmember, said she expected cases to rise following the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Councilmember Brian Myers said he would urge the council to mandate mask wearing for those who go out in public should a second wave of cases overtake the city.

Debra Bradley, Health Department director, said she was wasn’t aware of any “mass testing” planned in the coming weeks. According to Bradley, Mosaic and the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce are in talks to host an antibody testing event sometime this fall.

Bradley cited the extreme heat exhaustion that can come with medical staff wearing full personal protective equipment during outside mass testing events as a prohibitive factor for hosting such events.

According to McMurray, about 18% of the city has been tested for COVID-19. McMurray directed the Health Department to issue a news release about the increase in the seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases and the decline of the 14-day moving average.

In recent data released by theHealth Department, 832 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Buchanan County.

Matt Hoffmann can be reached at matt.hoffmann@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NpNowHoffmann.