'Significant Increase' in COVID Cases Across St Francois County

(Park Hills, Mo) - St Francois County has now topped 400 cases of corona virus less than a week after it topped 300 cases.  The current count, according to the St Francois County Health Department is at 402, an increase of 57 since Friday.  Of the 402 cases, 116 are active, and 16 of the 116 are from the prison outbreaks in Bonne Terre and Farmington.

St Francois County is now averaging 15-20 lab-confirmed cases per day, according to the county's health department.  An initial investigation and tracing is about 4 hours per case.  As cases increase rapidly, the department says the capacity to investigate and contact trace decreases. The health department is asking that you do the following:

If you test positive for COVID-19, please stay home and isolate yourself away from others. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).  Start making a contact list for "close contacts" that you have been around 48 hours prior to symptom onset.  Let your contacts know that they may have been exposed.  

If you have been within six feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case for at least 15 minutes, please self-quarantine at home away from others for 14 days after the last contact with the case and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.  If you are being tested for COVID-19, please self-quarantine at home away from others until test results are available.  

The Health Center strongly encourages citizens to do the following: 

1. If you are sick, stay home and contact your medical provider. 

2. Avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.

3. Social settings of more than 50 people, where physical distancing isn't practical, should be avoided.  

4. Wear face coverings when in public settings.  

5. When in public, individuals should maximize physical distance from others.  

6. Vulnerable persons should avoid non-essential travel and take strict precautions.   

7. Continue to practice good hygiene:
---Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces; 
---Avoiding touching your face; 
---Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow or shirt; and
---Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.