A domestic traveler has the third confirmed case of coronavirus in the Springfield area.
The person was experiencing symptoms and tested through CoxHealth, according to an email from local health department spokeswoman Kathryn Wall. It was immediately unclear whether they went to the hospital or a satellite clinic.
The person is currently self-isolating at home, she said.
The case marks a departure from the previous local cases where two people had traveled abroad. Health department officials have not confirmed whether those two cases are related in order to protect patient privacy.
"Both of our first cases have been very concerned about public backlash for just happening to be the people who got sick, from no fault of their own," Wall wrote in an email to the News-Leader on Saturday. "We're being protective of identities — we don't ever want someone to not pursue testing or treatment in the future because they're afraid of the fallout."
The local health department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to determine any close contacts of that person who were potentially exposed. If so, those people will be advised and monitored closely for symptoms, the news release states.
Monday's announcement marked the sixth case in Missouri as a whole. So far, none of those instances have been so-called "community spread," which means they were passed from person-to-person and not related to travel.
In response to the outbreak, Gov. Mike Parson on Sunday urged Missourians to cancel any gatherings bringing together more than 50 people, though he said those guidelines didn't apply to large businesses, schools or day care facilities.
The Springfield health department then sent out a news release affirming Parson's suggestion.
Officials are urging people over 60 or who have chronic conditions such as heart and lung disease, diabetes, cancer or other immune-compromising illnesses to take extra precautions, including:Staying home as much as possible and avoiding unnecessary travel
Having a plan if you get sick
Having extra supplies, such as medications, food and household supplies, on hand
Those people should also follow guidance directed toward the general population. Those recommendations includeWashing hands for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throwing the tissue in the trash
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
For more information about the coronavirus, people can go online to health.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirus, email email@example.com or call 417-874-1211.