County COVID cases doubled in September

• Three more deaths reported

    Total cases of COVID-19 in Crawford County have more than doubled in the last month. On August 31, the county reported 194 cases, and on October 1, that had increased to 430. The increase in has remained steady over the past two weeks, but three new deaths for those with positive test results have also been reported.


    As of Monday, October 5, the total number of COVID-19 cases for the county was at 443, according to numbers released by the Crawford County Health Department (CCHD). That reflects an increase of 39 cases over the previous week, the same increase as that of the previous week. Of the October 5 total, 41 are active cases, 394 have been released from isolation, seven have positive serology (antibody testing), and there have been 6,141 negative results.     
    Three new deaths were reported this week, the first increase in that number since the September 14 report. That total has now increased to eight. Those eight deaths occurred following a positive lab test for COVID-19, but CCHD has explained, 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 has slowed following two weeks of the highest to date, in part attributed to mass testing events. Between September 21 and 28, the increase was 39. Between September 14 and 21, the increase was 75 and from September 7 to 14, the increase was 70. Between August 31 and September 7, the increase was 26. The total increase reported from August 31 to October 1 was 236.
    As a result of the institution of mass testing and facility-wide testing at some locations within the county, the CCHD is now separating data to better illustrate the distribution of new cases by also reporting the numbers specific to cases within congregate living facilities. For these reports, a congregate living facility is one where persons reside and share common spaces with other residents. These include, but are not limited to, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, jails, prisons, mental health facilities, dormitories, and resident summer camps. It does not include hospitals, apartments, or condominiums.
    Of the numbers reported on Monday, there have been 110 total cases located in a congregate living facility. Eighteen have been staff members, and 92 were residents. There are 10 active cases and 100 inactive cases.
    Mass testing is performed regardless of the presence of symptoms or known positive cases and is a useful tool to reveal asymptomatic positives and to determine a base line of prevalence within a target population. Having accurate knowledge of the prevalence within a population helps to guide future decision making and planning.  
    The CCHD continues to follow and contact trace each positive case reported to them and will continue to monitor these situations as they progress.
    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 at a particular time. The Missouri COVID-19 Dashboard was also recently updated. The new state dashboard can be found online at https://showmestrong.mo.gov/data/public-health/. It is important to note that, while the state page is updated daily, there is a delay on the seven-day metrics as they are based on the date a test or death occurred and are subject to a three-day delay to ensure accuracy. Date ranges for reporting are included on the website.
    Updates from the county health department with current numbers have been posted on the Steelville Star and Cuba Free Press Facebook pages, reporting totals as of Mondays and Thursdays.
    Health officials continue to caution that 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. The health department doesn’t report details on each case, but does release information on public exposures, as warranted. In these situations, no specific individual can be pinpointed, and exposure may or may not have occurred. Identifiable close contacts will be contacted privately by the health department, but everyone needs to be alert to the possibility of exposure.
    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.
    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.
    Health officials continue to urge people to follow the steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of getting any viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. 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.    
    CCHD has taken and will continue to take the necessary precautions to keep the 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.