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Posted on: March 13, 2020

Citizens: Contact medical provider about elevated symptoms before going for care

The City of Joplin and Jasper County Health Departments are monitoring the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and remind citizens to stay calm if they have cold or flu-like symptoms. Presently, the staff reminds citizens the risk to the general public is low. Data shows that children and young adults are likely to not show symptoms or have mild ones, much like one would have with a cold or mild flu.

At this time, transmission risks are primarily associated with the higher-risk populations including:

  • People who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers, or household members.
  • People who have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread at
  • Older adults and those with serious health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and any condition that affects the immune system).

Currently, there is not a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Joplin. As the public has heard regarding cases in the United States, the situation is evolving and is subject to change. We will keep you informed of any status changes that occur in our area.

If COVID-19 is contracted, most people will have mild effects from the virus, but it can cause severe illness and pneumonia in others. People diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus reported symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms include:

  • Fever (100.4 or greater)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

If you have symptoms, please stay home. Most people will experience symptoms of a mild cold or flu and should recover fine. If the symptoms progress where you have difficulties in breathing, then call your doctor to get instructions on what to do.

Citizens should not just go to their dr. office, medical clinic or emergency room – please call them first.

“People with mild respiratory symptoms without a fever who do not have a travel history to a COVID-19 area or a known exposure to a COVID-19 case are not recommended to get tested at this time,” said Ryan Talken, Interim Health Director. “The testing recommendations could change in the future. It is important to remember there are other conditions that can cause similar symptoms such as the flu, such as the common cold or even allergies, so one should not rush to the conclusion that they have COVID-19.”

Talken cautions though that if a person has been in direct contact with someone who’s been confirmed with the COVID-19 virus and has developed symptoms, they should notify their healthcare provider. They should supply them with information about their symptoms and that they had contact with a confirmed case. Again, citizens should not go to their healthcare provider, a clinic, or an emergency room without contacting them first so they may take precautions to protect the patient and others.

There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Although most people will recover on their own, you can do some things to help relieve your symptoms, including:

  • Take medications to relieve pain and fever
  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough
  • If you are mildly sick, drink plenty of fluids, stay home, and get plenty of rest

Citizens can get more information about COVID-19 on City of Joplin’s website at or from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at

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