FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2020 (COVID-19: NR10)
SUBJECT: First presumptive positive case of COVID-19 announced in Joplin
CONTACT: Lynn Onstot, Public Information Officer
417-624-0820, ext. 204
The Joplin Health Department today announces the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in an adult in the city of Joplin. In consultation with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, this is considered a case and therefore will be investigated as such.
To protect the patient’s right to privacy, identifying information will not be provided. As part of the regular practice of disease investigation, the Health Department will notify people who have had contact with the patient. This does not appear to be a travel-related case.
The Joplin Health Department staff are working with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to determine any close contacts of this individual who were possibly exposed. If exposed, health officials will provide guidance to these individuals and monitor them closely for the development of symptoms.
– WWW.JOPLINMO.ORG –
The patient, who is only being identified as a child under the age of 5, is currently isolated and has not been hospitalized.Since receiving confirmation, Crawford County Health Department Officials have been in contact with the parents of the child and are diligently working to identify any recent close contacts the child has had and those who may have been exposed will be contacted as soon as possible.
Over the past couple of weeks, Crawford County Officials with the Health Department, Office of Emergency Management, Sheriff’s Office and other community leaders, including those in the medical field have been meeting and preparing for the continued spread of COVID-19 across the country.
In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Crawford County Health Department Director/County Health Officer Rebecca Adamson continues to urge residents to frequently wash their hands with soap and warm water, refrain from touching their face, cough/sneeze into their sleeve, and stay home if they are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The CDC, KDHE, and the Crawford County Health Department are strongly recommending that citizens limit travel to that which is absolutely necessary. Please remember the recommendations of social distancing (staying 6 feet apart). By limiting face to face interactions with others the spread of the virus is projected to be reduced significantly.
If staying home is not an option, residents are encouraged to avoid large groups of people and avoid being within six feet of someone for a period longer than ten minutes.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of a fever greater than 100.0 degrees (F), a cough and shortness of breath are encouraged to call their medical provider. By calling ahead, you avoid putting other patients and medical staff at risk. Clinic staff will be able to provide instructions and prepare prior to your arrival to the office. Under guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, those who are exhibiting the symptoms previously described, will first be tested for Influenza A/B as well as Strep Throat, prior to meeting the criteria to be tested for COVID-19.
PRESS RELEASE: Second Positve COVID-19 Case Confirmed in Cherokee County
Cherokee County Health Officials confirmed another positive case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Sunday, March 22, 2020. The 69 year-old man is fully cooperating with local health officials and is currently quarantined at home as his condition is not severe enough to warrant hospitalization at this time.
“As with any infectious disease investigation, which the Health Department regularly conducts with a variety of viruses, our team has been working with the man and have been able to rule out any recent travel to known and identified high risk areas along with any recent contact with any known positive cases. However, COVID-19 is able to spread and survive on certain surfaces for a period of several days, which is why we strongly encourage cleaning and sanitizing frequently touched areas,” stated Cherokee County Health Department Administrator Betha Elliott
Under Kansas Department of Health and Environment guidelines, those who are exhibiting symptoms of fever greater than 100°F, cough and shortness of breath, who also test negative for Influenza A and B may then be tested for COVID-19, at the direction of their medical provider. However, on Friday, Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment warned the state is running low on their supply of nasal swabs and kits used to conduct the COVID-19 test.
Sunday’s positive test confirmation is the second positive case in Cherokee County with the first, coming from a 52 year-old man on Thursday, March 19th. Cherokee County Health Department Officials continue to monitor the condition of that man, who also remains quarantined at home.
“As this situation continues to evolve across the country and state, there is a very real concern of overwhelming our medical facilities and a lack of access to much needed personal protective equipment for medical providers and first responders. In the course of just one week, Kansas reported going from 6 positive COVID-19 cases to 55 on Saturday, March 21st.” Administrator Elliott went on to say.
Also over the weekend, a second Kansan lost his life. The death of the Johnson County man was announced during a daily update from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
“The overwhelming opinion of medical professionals across the country is we MUST all do our part to help stop the spread of this virus because while some may contract it and be able to handle the symptoms they also could unintentionally spread it to an elderly person or a person with a weakened autoimmune system and without necessary medical space and supplies, the outcome for them could be dire,” Elliott went on to warn.
In an effort to help COVID-19 from spreading, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued new requirements on March 18th mandating a 14 day quarantine for anyone who has traveled outside of the country or traveled on a cruise ship on or after March 15th, traveled to California, Florida, New York or Washington state on or after March 15th, visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties in Colorado prior to or after March 15th, or have been notified by a public health official (state or local) that you are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.
“We can all do our part to care for our neighbors and help slow the spread by complying with the guidelines provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment along with the Centers for Disease Control and also by maintaining social distancing, working from home if possible, calling in sick if you can’t work from home and aren’t feeling good, not promoting or attending mass gatherings, frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds, disinfecting commonly touched areas and by calling your doctor or medical provider if you have non-emergent symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Because we need to make an effort to keep our area medical professionals safe and healthy, it is strongly recommended anyone exhibiting these symptoms to first call their clinic or doctor’s office so they can provide instructions on what time to arrive and whether or not they should come inside. Many times the medical provider will come to the patient’s vehicle to assess them. Following these procedures helps ensure you don’t inadvertently expose other patients or the medical staff,” concluded Elliott.
Sheriff Groves reiterates the health guidelines placed by the CDC.
The Kansas Department of Health has set up a hotline and online resources for anyone who believes they have COVID-19 symptoms.
If you have questions regarding Coronavirus, you can also call the Missouri Coronavirus Hotline. The number is 877-435-8411.
We will continue to update you with details as they become available.