Health department sees active COVID cases decrease slightly

    Active cases of COVID-19 decreased in Phelps County, according to a weekly report from the Phelps/Maries County Health Department. There were more active cases in Maries County over the past week, as the pandemic continues to affect the area. Deaths associated with COVID-19 have also increased to 19.

    According to the county health department on Monday, October 19, there were 108 active cases in Phelps County, down from the 146 reported on Tuesday, October 15.  Total positive cases now stand at 792.
    Of the confirmed area cases, 719 have been released from isolation and 32 from the hospital. There are currently seven cases requiring hospitalization. There have also been 14,013 negative tests so far.
    Maries County currently has 35 active cases of COVID-19, up from 33 the week before, with 169 confirmed total cases in the county. There have been 142 released from isolation of those confirmed and six have been released from the hospital. There are also two cases in Maries County requiring hospitalization, but no deaths. There have been 1,485 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:
    According to the state dashboard, there have been 767 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 83 new cases reported in Phelps County over the past seven days. Phelps County is at 1,721 in cases per 100,000 population to date.
    Missouri had a total of 159,625 confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning. The seven-day positive percent PCR tests are at 21.1 percent and there have been 2,615 confirmed deaths in the state associated with COVID-19. Over the past seven days, there have been 11,142 new confirmed cases.
    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.