Four more COVID-related deaths reported by health department

    The Phelps/Maries County Health Department has reported four more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the county to six total coronavirus deaths. Positive cases continue to increase, with several from the Missouri University of Science & Technology (S&T).

    “It is with deep sorrow that we have to report four additional deaths related to COVID-19 for Phelps County that occurred over this last weekend. This brings the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 for Phelps County to six,” the department said. “Maries County has not had a COVID-19 related death at this time.”
    As of Monday, September 21, there were 70 active cases in Phelps County, down from 81 the week prior, but the county has 414 confirmed total cases, a jump from 357 the week before. The department noted the first case was reported on April 1, 2020. The 100th case was reported on August 10, 2020 (131 days later). “It has only taken 40 days to confirm an additional 300 cases of COVID-19 on September 19, 2020 to bring our total into the 400s. Our 14-day positivity rate is 12 percent,” the department said.
    Of the confirmed area cases, 372 have been released from isolation and 10 from the hospital. There is currently one case requiring hospitalization. There have also been 8,394 negative tests so far in Phelps County.
    Maries County currently has seven active cases of COVID-19, with 77 confirmed total cases in the county, up from 67 the week prior. There have been 71 released from isolation of those confirmed and five have been released from the hospital. There is also one case in Maries County requiring hospitalization. There have been 1,025 negative tests in Maries County.
    “Missouri S&T has had a total of 96 positive COVID-19 cases. Of those, 82 have remained in Phelps County and are accounted for in our cases,” the department said.
    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:…
    According to the state dashboard, there have been 415 confirmed positive cases. The discrepancy could be associated with cases not yet reported to the state, false positives which have been changed, or errors in reporting. According to the dashboard, there has been 113 new cases reported in Phelps County over the past 14 days. Phelps County has seen a 12 percent increase in cases over the past seven days and is at 860.68 in cases per 100,000 population.
    Missouri as a state has a total of 114,307 confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning, with 1,463 new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours. The seven-day positive percent PCR tests are at 11.6 percent and there have been 1,807 confirmed deaths in the state associated with COVID-19.
    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.
    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.