County health officials reported two more people had died from COVID-19 in Phelps County since Thursday, and 16 people are currently hospitalized. 

The Phelps Maries County Health Department on Monday reported 403 active COVID-19 cases in Phelps County. The department didn’t provide localized data on active cases stating staff was three to four days behind in contacting positive cases.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, the department reported 31 people have died from COVID-19 in Phelps County, and there are 16 people currently hospitalized. 

In their Monday report, county health officials said residents who are sick, pending a test result or have received a positive test result should isolate from others and notify contacts who could have been potentially exposed to COVID-19. The department reported that 990 people previously quarantined in Phelps County have now been released from isolation.

In neighboring Maries County, the department reported 64 active COVID-19 cases. 

The department’s report shows two people currently hospitalized in Maries County, while 269 people have now been released from mandatory quarantine.

The health department has reported a total of three deaths from COVID-19 in Maries County.

Meanwhile, the health department on Nov. 4 reported that the number of new daily cases surpassed the staff's ability to conduct case investigations and contact tracing within 24 hours. The department asked residents who have a pending test result or have received a positive COVID-19 test result to isolate from others and notify any individuals they know who may have been within six feet or around for more than 15 minutes during the 48 hours before the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

The health department said residents who have been notified that they are a direct contact should quarantine for 14 days from the date of last exposure and should not go to work, school or places of public accommodation to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

The department had noted priority case investigation and contact tracing would shift to maintain compliance with the Aug. 7, 2020 order issued by Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services Randall Williams. The order states that upon receipt of a positive COVID-19 test for any individual at least three years of age but no older than 21 years of age, the local public health agency shall begin contact tracing such individual as soon as possible, but no longer than 24 hours from the time of receipt.