Two positive cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in Lincoln County; both were announced on March 26. One patient is travel-related, is a resident of Lincoln County and is in their 40s, the Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) said in a press release.
The second case is a resident in their 70s, and the source of their exposure is still under investigation.
“We understand the sense of concern coming from residents,” the LCHD said in a release. “In order to protect patient privacy, we do not release identifying information on individual cases. We are working closely with our health care partners and the state to monitor the patient and identify any close contacts. Any close contacts will be contacted individually.”
The release advises that social distancing and reducing close contact with others is critical at this time to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“If you have symptoms of a respiratory illness such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should call your healthcare provider,” the LCHD stated. “If your symptoms are severe enough to go to the emergency room, call ahead.”
The LCHD issued an assurance that, while concern is a normal response to an increase in local cases of COVID-19, residents should not be panicked.
“The first two cases highlight the extreme importance of social distancing for every individual in our community,” the LCHD stated. “Social distancing is the practice of reducing close contact between people to slow the spread of infections or diseases. Lincoln County Health Department recommends keeping a distance of six feet from others whenever possible. Avoid handshakes, fist-bumps, hugs and kisses, as well as touching your own mouth, nose or eyes. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.”
In order to comply with the recent order from the Lincoln County Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, residents are to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people. If you have symptoms, you should stay home and call your health care provider.
Symptoms include fever, cough or difficulty breathing. If your symptoms are severe enough to go to the emergency room, please call ahead and tell them about your symptoms. For general questions, individuals can call the Missouri hotline number at (877) 435-8411.
For additional information on the coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.CDC.gov, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at www.health.mo.gov and the Lincoln County Health Department at www.lchdmo.org.