Surge in Local COVID-19 Cases

On May 28, two public health agencies, Howell County Health Department and Texas County Health Department, announced they are conducting a joint disease investigation and follow up after a positive COVID-19 case was identified with connections to both counties. 
The patient, a resident of southern Texas County, has been notified they tested positive for COVID-19. The Texas County public health disease investigation has identified the locations of businesses visited within 48 hours of symptoms are all located within Howell County. 
The Howell County Health Department is keeping the patient’s identity confidential, and they say they will not release any further personal information. At this time, the patient’s symptoms do not require hospital care, and the Health Department says the patient is following all public health guidance for designated time of home isolation, and resolution of symptoms.
Close contacts of the patient have been notified to ensure they are monitoring for symptoms and following public health guidance to contain the spread.
The case was present at the following locations, but the Health Department stresses that people visiting locations during the dates/times below are at LOW risk for contracting COVID-19.
Exposed individuals are suggested to monitor themselves for symptoms. There is no need to self-quarantine or isolate unless symptoms develop. Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider regarding testing and take all necessary precautions to avoid exposing others.
Friday, May 22nd – Signal Station, Mountain View approximately 4:00 am – 2:30 pm; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday May 23rd – Porters Flower Shop, Mountain View approximately 12 noon – 1:00 pm
Sunday, May 24th – Walmart, West Plains approximately 11:30 am-12 noon
Monday, May 25th – Signal Station, Mountain View approximately 4 am – 10 am
Tuesday, May 26th – Signal Station, Mountain View approximately 2 am – 12 noon
To be clear, this is the first case reported in Texas County as well as the sixth case in Howell County. Both statistics are one individual with ties to both counties. 
In Shannon County, three people have tested positive for the virus. The Shannon County Health Department is not releasing any personal details or contact tracing, but have announced the three cases are: 
-A 27-year-old female with a community-acquired case who is quarantined at home
-An individual under the age of 20 who is a contact of the woman above
-A 30-year-old male, who is also a close contact of the other positive cases.
Shannon County anticipates two additional contacts will test positive for the virus. 
On Friday, Howell County Health Department confirmed a seventh Howell County resident who has been confirmed positive for COVID-19. The patient is reportedly doing well and quarantined at home in West Plains. Public exposures have not been identified as a concern in this case.  All close contacts to the patient are being notified. 
Finally, Douglas County also announced its first positive COVID case this week. The Health Department says they are actively investigating this case to identify and contact persons who may have come into contact with the individual while they were infectious and will monitor them for fever and respiratory symptoms. This person reportedly took extra precautions while out in public by wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer when in public areas.
“Our hearts and our support are with the family as they care for their loved one right now,” said administrator Valerie Reese. “We knew it was only a matter of time before the virus came into our community but now we must work harder than ever as a community to slow its spread. Most people who get COVID-19 will only have mild illness, but there are some members of our community who are at higher risk of getting very sick. We need to band together to protect them.”
People visiting locations during the dates/times below are at LOW risk for contracting COVID-19, but should monitor themselves for symptoms. 
Saturday, May 23 – Lakey’s Feed- 9:30-10:00. Wal-Mart and Town & Country Supermarket at approximately 4:00 p.m.
Monday, May 25 – Murphys in Ava at approximately 2:00 p.m.
Local health departments continue to remind the public, “It is important that each and every one of us continue to practice basic preventative measures to help decrease the spread of illness. These measures include: avoiding contact with people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, proper hand-washing, cleaning frequently used surfaces, mask while out in public and staying home when sick.”

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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