Missouri COVID-19 numbers continue to spike, more deaths in Phelps County

    The Phelps/Maries County Health Department has reported more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the county’s to 11. As Missouri numbers continue to spike, local positive tests are also on the rise.


    The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported that 1,125 patients were in hospitals with confirmed or presumed CCOVID-19. That is the highest number the state has logged during the pandemic. On Friday, there were 1,068 patients and on Saturday there were 1,101.
    As of Monday, September 28, there were 123 active cases in Phelps County, up from 81 the week prior, and the county has 519 confirmed total cases, a jump from 453 the week before. Of the confirmed area cases, 425 have been released from isolation and 13 from the hospital. There are currently three cases requiring hospitalization. There have also been 9,607 negative tests so far in Phelps County.
    The health department also noted there have been signs placed in people’s yards identifying positive COVID patients, which is not a practice they do and have asked anyone who has had this happen to them contact law enforcement. “Under no circumstances will the Phelps/Maries County Health Department place signs or any other form of notification of potential COVID-19 households or will the health department instruct any person or agency to do this on our behalf. If this situation does occur, please contact your local law enforcement agency. The health department takes privacy and confidentiality seriously and does not condone these types of actions,” the department said.
    Maries County currently has 18 active cases of COVID-19, with 94 confirmed total cases in the county, up from 82 the week prior. There have been 77 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 1,136 negative tests in Maries County.
    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: showmestrong.mo.gov.
    On September 28, Governor Mike Parson announced the Missouri is expanding the information provided through the state dashboard. Included on it are multiple charts, maps, and measures about COVID-19 and its impact on the state. The state’s cross-governmental COVID-19 Fusion Cell helped coordinate development of the dashboard, which will include data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
    According to the state dashboard, there have been 456 confirmed positive cases in Phelps County. The discrepancy could be associated with cases not yet reported to the state, false positives which have been changed, changes to the new dashboard, or errors in reporting. According to the dashboard, there has been 69 new cases reported in Phelps County over the past 7 days. Phelps County is at 1,023 in cases per 100,000 population.
    Missouri as a state has a total of 124,762 confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning. The seven-day positive percent PCR tests are at 13.6 percent and there have been 2,086 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.