The Joplin Health Department is reporting eight additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total cases to 37 within the city of Joplin. Seven of the cases are adults with one youth case. All eight individuals reside in Joplin within Jasper County. (Note: these cases will be counted under Joplin on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website.)
To protect the patient’s right to privacy, identifying information will not be provided. As part of the regular practice of disease investigation, the Health Department will notify people who have had contact with the patients.
There is no known recent travel with the eight cases, and five of these appear to be community acquired. Three of the cases are contacts to a known positive case.
The Joplin Health Department staff are working with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to determine any close contacts of this individual who were possibly exposed. If exposed, health officials will provide guidance to these individuals and monitor them closely for the development of symptoms.
As Joplin has seen a sudden increase in cases, Health Director Dan Pekarek reminds everyone to be diligent with simple measures that can be taken that can help prevent becoming ill as well as reducing the spread of illness.
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from others.
- If you cannot socially distance in a location, it is recommended to wear a mask.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
While COVID-19 is spread from person to person, more than 80% of the patients who develop it will only become mildly ill. The concern is for patients with underlying medical conditions and the elderly, who are more likely to need hospital-level supportive care.
Primary symptoms to be aware of include:
100.4 fever or higher - 90% will have fever.
Dry cough - 70% will have a dry cough.
Shortness of breath – for those who become more acutely ill.
Individuals experiencing these symptoms should contact their medical provider before traveling to their office. The public is reminded that a drive-through test site, supported by eTrueNorth and Walmart, is also a possible testing site for persons with these symptoms. Anyone seeking a test should go to www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com to be screened and, if approved, schedule a time to visit the drive-through testing site. The number for the screening call center is 800-635-8611.
Guidance on considerations for COVID-19, as well as recommendations on other health practices if going out for essential activities can be found at www.joplinmo.org/coronavirus or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/ .