Jefferson County health officials taking a new approach as county stays in red zone


HILLSBORO, Mo. – Fall is here and the dreaded, predicted, second wave of COVID-19 could be closer than we think.

Reports show Missouri in a vulnerable position heading into the fall and winter and that becomes ever clearer in Jefferson County.

“A bit frustrating to be in the red but it’s not unexpected,” Jefferson County Health Director Kelley Vollmar said.

Vollmar says she’s been doing all she can to drop the county’s COVID numbers, but still they remain in the red zone.

A little over 4,600 have tested positive, 65 people have died, and a little over 3,400 have recovered.

Vollmar says it’s crucial keeping in mind those aren’t just numbers – they’re people.

“Every number is a person and we are looking at how we can reduce the impact as much as possible,” Vollmar said.

Last time Jefferson County tried to do a mandate, that didn’t go over too well.

But it’s like the old saying goes, you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, so the health department director is creating a board that will assist with figuring out a plan to push the Jefferson County out of danger zone.

“We’re not asking for a mandate at this point,” Vollmar said. “We’re not asking you to set any restrictions, we are going to come up with a community plan. We want to take the expertise and bring it to the table and in order to do that, you have to have an open mind to all options.”

The team is expected to meet within the next week to come up with a cohesive plan that involves every part of the community.

Vollmar is pointing to the easing of strict restrictions as what’s leading to the increase in community spread.

At present, hospitalizations are up but the hospitals are not overwhelmed.

The health director says that’s a good thing because when it does, that could spell even worse news for the county.

“Please help us help you. Help us help the community,” Vollmar said.

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