Missouri’s health director says it’s important to target younger residents with a specific message of the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing.

State Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams says he had a discussion with the White House coronavirus response coordinator this week, about the issue.

Dr. Williams says it’s crucial for 20 to 30 year-olds to wear a mask and to practice social distancing.

He adds Missouri ranks 16th in the nation for COVID-19 cases, per 100-thousand people, down from 14th last week:

Dr. Williams says Missouri’s COVID cases are increasing by about 11-hundred per day, lower than the national average of 16-hundred per day. He continues to emphasize the importance of the “box-in” strategy for the state’s long-term care facilities. 115-thousand tests have been conducted in Missouri long-term care facilities, using that strategy.

He also says staff from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been in St. Louis and Kansas City, helping to battle the pandemic.

DHSS says Missouri has now had 70,675 confirmed COVID cases, up from 68-thousand earlier this week.