The Phelps/Maries Health Department has announced there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Phelps and Maries counties related to the Licking Volleyball Camp exposure in Rolla July 16-18. The event is being declared an outbreak due to the number of cases and jurisdictions involved initially, after a St. Clair volleyball player was confirmed positive with COVID-19, causing the St. James and Rolla School Districts to cancel the final week this summer’s Licking Basketball Shootout.
The health department said it does not have access to the number of cases linked to the outbreak. A public notice was also put out on July 31 that any individuals who were at the Belle Fair on Thursday July 23 through Saturday July 25, should be on alert for the development of symptoms and should practice social distancing and wear a mask while in public for 14 days. A positive case was identified as having been on rides and at the Belle Dance Team event.
The individual was experiencing “mild symptoms’ and was not wearing a mask. The health department urges anyone experiencing any symptoms to stay home and isolate from others and refrain from being in a public place.
After more testing at Great Circle, no further positive cases have been identified after an outbreak last month. A total of 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were epidemiologically linked to Great Circle, with Phelps County having 33 cases, Maries and Dent counties three each, Franklin County one, and Pulaski County five. Of the 45 cases, 16 were identified as residents, 23 as staff members, and six were household members or community contacts of staff members, the health department reported.
As of Monday, there are currently 10 active cases in Phelps County, along with 76 confirmed total cases. That number continues to rise each week and has been spiking the past two weeks. Of those, 66 have been released from isolation. Maries County currently has five cases of positive COVID-19, with 16 confirmed cases in the county. Of those, 11 have been released from isolation.
To check current information, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) COVID dashboard is updated daily at 2 p.m. The link to that website is: http://mophep.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html…
With each case, the health department works with the DHSS to investigate to identify any individual that may have come in close contact with the positive individual to monitor them for symptoms and assist in the containment of the virus. Any close contacts identified by a positive case within the county will be contacted privately by the health department.
Primary symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, cough, and shortness of breath. Other possible symptoms include body aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell. The health department reported there are a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe illness, with some not experiencing any symptoms at all during their illness.
“It is best to assume that every location you visit is a location of potential exposure and take the appropriate precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your communities,” the health department said in a statement. “It is critical that each and every one of us continues to practice preventative measures to help keep the spread of communicable diseases to a minimum.”
The health department asks that anyone who develops symptoms contact their physician and seek testing and to isolate themselves until testing results are known.
For general information and questions regarding the coronavirus, contact the Missouri DHSS hotline at 877-435-8411. The Phelps-Maries County Health Department can be reached by calling 573-458-6010. The department requests residents not contact them via Facebook as there are too many comment made and someone could be missed.
The health department urges the public to take appropriate precautions, including social distancing, limiting in-person interactions, avoiding contact with people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, proper handwashing, cleaning frequently used surfaces, and staying home when sick, to help contain he spread of COVID-19. The area has seen a spike in the number of cases and the department encourages the public to stay isolated as much as possible to reduce the risk of exposure.