COLUMBIA — Boone County hit a new record of 1,500 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. It took the county nearly four months to reach its first 500 cases, then 18 days to reach 1,000 and just 20 days to mark the current milestone. Of those, 240 are active.

Twenty people are currently hospitalized with the virus. Of those, six are on ventilators, according to the Columbia-Boone County Health Department. Five people have died.

The health department — as well as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield — urge people to social distance, practice good hygiene and wear face coverings. On Wednesday, Redfield said in an interview with WebMD if American don’t follow public health guidance, the country could face “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had.”