Joplin ranks as America's No. 1 COVID hot spot

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Local confirmed cases of COVID-19 are still relatively low, with 13 in Nevada.

It seems the walls are closing in, however, as sharp increases have manifested in nearby areas. None more evident than Joplin and its surrounding area, as the city an hour south recorded the single largest coronavirus spike in the nation last week.

This, according to data from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care Project, which tracks COVID-19 growth rates on a seven-day basis.

For the period of June 12-18, Joplin's average daily growth rate checked in at 11.9 percent, nearly three percent higher than the next closest city in the country Tyler, Texas.

With a population of approximately 51,000, Joplin recorded 198 cases per 100,000 residents,as noted by the project.

According to the Kansas City Star, the Dartmouth project's statistics analyze data compiled from 306 hospital referral regions, and "makes its analyses using county-level case data compiled by the New York Times then groups the data by hospital referral region."

A recent Joplin Globe article noted that Joplin's hospital referral region is comprised of various locales of southwest Missouri, as well as southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma.

Dating back to June 19, a trio of Joplin-area jurisdictions reported a grand total of 511 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The Globe also reported on Tuesday an overall increase in Missouri COVID cases with a one-day jump of more than 400.

Another nearby area battered by COVID, Crawford County, Kansas, is located approximately 40 miles southwest of Nevada.

With a population roughly double that of Vernon County, Crawford County, and notably the Pittsburg (Kan.) area, has recorded 15 times more COVID cases than Nevada with 192 as of press time Tuesday.

Free testing

Per a Joplin Globe report, free COVID-19 testing for Missouri residents is available in the days ahead. Individuals do not have to exhibit symptoms, or need a referral. An appointment, however, is required. Testing locations are:

On Friday and Saturday (June 26-27), at McDonald County High School 100 Mustang Drive. Located in Anderson, appointment times were not provided.

Friday and Saturday at Rocketdyne Church of Christ, 1111 Rocketdyne Road in Neosho. The testing window is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, per the Globe.

June 29-30 at Carthage's Memorial Hall, 407 S. Garrison. The testing window is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 29, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 30.

Appointment registration can be completed at health.mo.gov/communitytest, or by contacting the Missouri COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.