Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, praised Missouri’s box-in testing strategy, which involves testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine. “This box-in strategy that is being used here in Missouri I think really is an important example of how to really protect vulnerable individuals,” she said.
Birx met with state officials in Jefferson City this week, including Gov. Mike Parson, officials from Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and community and school leaders as students prepare to return to schools.
Missouri officials have used the strategy in long-term care facilities and other locations. DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said 115,000 tests have been conducted in Missouri long-term care facilities, using the box-in strategy. As of this week,, 468 long-term care facilities in Missouri have experienced at least one positive case of COVID-19 among residents, staff or both.
READ: Missourians going back to work at record numbers
DHSS said that since implementing box-in testing, Missouri has seen a significant decrease in its COVID-19 observed case fatality ratio. During April and May, more than 7 percent of all observed cases each month in Missouri were fatal. In June, that number dropped to less than 2 percent. Parson said it’s now less than half a percent in August. Now, the number is 1% or less.
VIDEO: Dr. Birx addresses Missourians
Birx emphasized the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing. She also suggested that Missouri follow Texas’ model, which requires masks in counties with more than 20 cases. She encouraged all Missourians to do their part in fighting the pandemic.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican,” she said. “You need to wear a mask and socially distance. You need to not have parties in your backyard and in your living room,. And we need to stop the spread of this virus because we can and we will together, while we work on developing a vaccine together.”
Across the nation, the mortality rate has dropped to .03 percent.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice