Active COVID-19 cases continue slight decline

    The Phelps-Maries County Health Department reported active COVID-19 cases have continued to decline slightly just as Missouri rolls out its COVID-19 vaccination plan. The health department did not report as normal on Monday due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but did report as normal last Thursday. The county has seen numbers gradually decline since cases spiked to their peak in December.

    According to the health department, as of Thursday, January 14, there were 274 active cases in Phelps County, down from 283 on Monday, January 11, with the total positive test up to 3,082 cases to date. Deaths related to the virus continue to rise, with 112 now reported to have died from COVID-19 in Phelps County.
    Maries County had 39 active cases of COVID-19, with 617 confirmed total cases in the county. There have been 14 deaths associated with COVID-19 in Maries County. It was determined that one individual moved out of Maries County and that individual has been removed from County’s death count.
    To check current information, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) COVID dashboard is updated daily. The link to that website is:
    According to the state dashboard on Tuesday, numbers included data reported through January 16. All seven-day metrics are based on the date a test or death occurred and are subject to a three-day delay to ensure data are accurate and complete. As a result, Monday’s numbers were for the date range of January 10 through January 16.
    According to the state dashboard, there have been 2,811 confirmed positive cases to date 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 have been 111 new cases reported in Phelps County over the seven-day date range. Phelps County is at 6,307 in cases per 100,000 population to date.
    Missouri as a state has a total of 440,197 confirmed cases to date as of January 16. The seven-day positive percent PCR tests are at 12.7 percent using the CDC method and there have been 6,263 confirmed deaths in the state associated with COVID-19. Over the seven-day date range, there have been 12,089 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 that residents not contact them via Facebook as there are too many comments 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 the spread of COVID-19.