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Cases of COVID-19 rise but remain few in Cape County

The number of people testing positive in Cape Girardeau County for COVID-19 continues to inch upward, but remains miniscule compared to either the population of the county (almost 79,000) or to the number of total tests administered (more than 1,100).

As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 20, Cape Girardeau County has had only 35 positive cases of COVID-19, five more than a week ago. Of those 35 positive cases, 21 recovered and one died.

There has been a rapid decline in the number of tests performed, which led to the closing of the community-wide coronavirus test collection center in Arena Park last week (see related stories in this issue).

The total number of people tested by Saint Francis Medical Center (936), SoutheastHEALTH (238) and Cross Trails Medical Center (35 in Cape County) is 1,209 people. Other Cape County health care providers have tested an unknown number of people, and their tests resulted  in eight of the positive cases within the county.

Of all those who have tested positive in Cape County, 19 are female and 16 are male. Seven have been hospitalized.

The ages of those with the disease range from in their 20s to their 80s and are broken down thus: ages 20-29: 5; ages 30-39: 5; ages 40-49: 3; ages 50-59: 6; ages 60-69: 8; ages 70-79: 6; and ages 80-89: 2.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders may have worked to keep the number of positive cases low, but the “natives are getting restless” to get out of their homes and back to work.

The area Chambers of Commerce, Visit Cape and Cape Area MAGNET are working together on an initiative called “Reclaim Our Region” to safely reopen local businesses and rebuild the economy of our region.

There is no way to reclaim the lost spring days of the school year, but JHS seniors will still be able to attend a prom and a graduation ceremony later this summer.

It won’t be much longer before our streets, businesses and churches are once again filled with people. There is light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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