Health Department provides update on positive Phelps County COVID-19 cases

Lori Amos
Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots.

The health department reported 36 active cases of COVID-19 in Phelps County, where 29 of the active COVID-19 cases occurred in Rolla, five in St. James and two in the Newburg area. The department reported six active cases in Maries County.

Eighty-five people previously quarantined in Phelps County have now been released from isolation, while 21 people have now been released from mandatory quarantine in Maries County.

“We are seeing entire households becoming positive during their quarantine periods. Several cases are reporting unknown exposure location with no recent travel history or contact with known positive cases. These cases are presumed community transmission,” the department said on Thursday.   

As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the department said a total of 5,018 Phelps County residents and 594 Maries County residents tested negative for COVID-19 after they had a polymerase chain reaction test, which looks for the viral RNA in the nose, throat or other areas in the respiratory tract to determine if there is an active infection with SARS-CoV-2.

The health department also reported that a total of 751 Phelps County residents and 56 Maries County residents tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after they underwent a serology test. The department said four Phelps County residents and five Maries County residents have tested positive after having a serology test, which involves taking a blood sample from a person and identifies possible past infection with SARS-CoV-2 —  the virus that causes COVID-19.

“It is critical that each and every one of us continues to practice preventative measures to help keep the spread of communicable diseases to a minimum. It is the utmost importance that any individual experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 isolate from others,” the department said.