Increase in COVID cases shows slight decline

    Crawford County’s total for positive COVID-19 cases as of Monday is at 220, according to numbers released by the Crawford County Health Department (CCHD). Although the total count is now over 200, the increase in cases is the lowest in several weeks.

    On Monday, September 7, the health department reported the new total of 220 cases, showing an increase of 26 over the total of 194 a week ago on August 31. Of the September 7 total, 35 are active cases, 185 have been released from isolation, five have positive serology (antibody testing), and there have been 4,035 negative results.
    The health department has also reported four deaths that occurred following a positive lab test for COVID-19, along with this explanation: When reporting the aggregate number of deaths, the health department does not know what the cause of death has been or will be determined to be, but each was an active lab confirmed case at the time of passing. These cases also can't be reported as active or released from isolation.
    The increase in total positive cases reported by the CCHD shows a decrease over the previous week’s numbers—between August 24 and 31, there had been an increase of 52 cases, between August 17 and 24, there was an increase of 31, and between August 10 and 17 the increase was 34.
    Time frames for reporting often differ slightly between the state and the county level, due to when results are made available and sometimes errors in assigning cases to counties, resulting in different total numbers reported. However, the numbers on the Missouri COVID-19 Dashboard on Monday, September 7, showed the same total of 220 cases for Crawford County. On the county tab, the state page shows a total of 72 new cases over the last 14 days, and a rate of new cases over the last 14 days per 100,000 in population of 300.54. The map showing the seven-day percent increase in cases showed a 15 percent relative percent increase based on a total of 192 cases seven days ago and the current total of 220.
    Updates from the health department with current numbers have been posted on the Steelville Star and Cuba Free Press Facebook pages reporting totals on Mondays and Thursdays. Information can also be found on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) COVID dashboard, which updated daily at 2 p.m. That website can be found with an online search for the Missouri COVID dashboard.
    The CCHD no longer issues press releases with each confirmed positive case of COVID-19 as was the practice in the beginning stages of the pandemic due to an increasing number of positive cases and locations of potential exposure, and has noted, it should be understood, at this point, any public activity should be considered a potential risk, and all precautions need to be taken to protect your own health and the health of those around you.    
    Those who suspect that they have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and are experiencing symptoms, should stay home and isolate from others, especially those at higher risk of severe illness. Call a healthcare provider to let them know before seeking care. It is critical that the provider is aware that a person may have COVID-19 prior to their arrival at a healthcare facility, and that the person follows all instructions for arriving at a healthcare facility.
    These symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms, however.
    As cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to increase rapidly in Crawford County and surrounding areas, the health department urges everyone to take this seriously and follow the steps that people can take to reduce their risk of getting any viral respiratory infections. These include:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Social Distance: Avoid close contact with others.
    • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
    • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when in public.
    • Stay home when not feeling well, stay home after being tested for COVID-19.
    The health department asks that anyone who develops symptoms contact their physician, seek testing and isolate at least until test results are known.
    Potential contacts may call the CCHD office to be screened to determine if monitoring and quarantine are required.
    CCHD’s office number is 573-775-2555. After hours, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This account is checked on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please do not contact the health department via Facebook.
    CCHD has taken and will continue to take the necessary precautions to keep our community safe and will continue to diligently monitor the COVID-19 situation as it evolves by following the CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of this infection.
    For general information and questions regarding COVID-19, please call 1-877-435-8411.