COVID-19 cases have remained steady at around 50 cases per day in Buchanan County.

This comes as the 14-day and 10-day rolling averages are on a decline, along with COVID-19 hospitalizations dropping to 56 at Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph.

Gary Clapp, a chemistry professor at Missouri Western State University, has been tracking the averages of COVID-19 cases and described the current case trend as a plateau.

Clapp said the rate of administered tests is up almost 1.5 times compared to last December, and the positivity rate is down to about 10% compared to 25% at this time last year.

“I think we’re doing a good job of holding our own ... the idea is that reflects personal behavior, our behaviors, meaning time spent in front of someone is limited,” Clapp said.

Buchanan County has seen the omicron variant present, but Clapp said the majority of cases still are delta, although there needs to be a close eye on cases as the new variant becomes the eventual dominant.

Clapp said there have been reports of large case increases across the country, but Buchanan County has avoided a big spike for now.

“We’ve done a great job I think of keeping it down, but all it’s gonna take is another day or two and we’ll start creeping back up,” Clapp said.

Clapp said that while not every variant will be worse than the previous one, tracking data can tell you how transmissible or deadly a virus could be.

“We’ve seen so far that omicron is tremendously more contagious than some of the earlier ones, just like delta was more contagious than alpha,” Clapp said.

Wednesday represented a slight case increase from Tuesday with 91 new COVID-19 cases reported by the health department.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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