Health officials are sending out a warning about the sustained widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Cape Girardeau County.
The county's public health center reports there have been 172 confirmed cases of the virus in the past two weeks. The volume of tests being requested is delaying the reporting of results, sometimes taking up to six days.
The positivity rate in Cape Girardeau County is currently at 5.7 percent...just above the state average of 5.5 percent.
The overwhelming number of new cases is in the 20 to 29-year-old age group.
The health center fears there will be an increase in hospitalizations and deaths in vulnerable populations unless more stringent safety measures are followed.
Meanwhile, face coverings will be required at Southeast Missouri State University beginning Monday as a significant measure to help mitigate transmission of COVID-19.
University officials say face coverings are required, particularly due to widespread sustained community COVID-19 spread in Cape Girardeau County, especially among the 20-29-year-old age group.
Face coverings will be made available to faculty and staff who need them. Faculty will also be provided clear face shields which can be worn in the classroom to allow for lip reading and for the easier projection of their voice.
SEMO is offering some in-person classes this summer.