There have been no new cases of the novel coronavirus among the hundreds who flouted social distancing guidelines and attended pool parties at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend, a state health official said this week.
Videos and photos that showed hundreds of partygoers prompted health officials in the state to express concerns that the large gatherings would lead to a surge in cases of COVID-19. Those who attended were urged to self-quarantine and get tested, while officials in St. Louis County — Lake of the Ozarks is a popular getaway for people who live in St. Louis — later issued a travel advisory.
Later, a Missouri man who spent time at one of the pool bars over the holiday weekend was found to be positive for the novel virus, potentially exposing hundreds of others. But on Wednesday, Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said state health officials are not currently aware of any additional cases linked to the pool parties.
“The answer, to our knowledge, is no,” Williams said Wednesday during Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s daily press briefing, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Meanwhile, Dr. Alex Garza, commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, expressed cautious optimism, noting officials “will give it a couple more days” to see if any infections linked to the pool parties emerge, he said during the briefing.
Overall, the statewide hospitalizations from the virus have decreased by more than 40 percent in recent weeks, while the state's number of positive cases has also declined, Parson said during the briefing, per the newspaper.
“Our hospitals are not overwhelmed. Our positivity rate continues to decline. People are recovering, and we are moving forward,” he said.
To date, the Show-Me State has reported more than 13,700 cases of the novel virus and nearly 800 virus-linked deaths, according to official estimates.