Virus cases up in St. Louis County nursing homes

Associated Press
File - A testing kit sits on the windshield of a car as it passes through a drive-through COVID-19 testing site set up by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and operated by the Missouri National Guard Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Charles, Mo.

ST. LOUIS — Another 306 people were sickened and 33 people died from the coronavirus last month in St. Louis County long-term care facilities, the county health department reported Friday.

COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and other long-term care centers were up in August compared to July, when 256 new cases were reported. At least 33 people died in July as well. 

County health officials say most deaths and coronavirus cases occurred early in the pandemic before rules to stem the spread of the virus were fully implemented.

At least 494 people in long-term care facilities have died from the virus since it first struck the area in March. In total, the county reported 2,320 cases in those centers between March and August. 

In the Kansas City area, the virus has prompted officials to close a courthouse. 

County officials on Thursday closed the Jackson County Historic Truman Courthouse in Independence after "several county employees" tested positive for the virus, The Kansas City Star reported. 

The courthouse will be closed until at least Sept. 20.