Saturday COVID-19 Coverage: 15 positive cases in Boone County

2 months 1 week 5 days ago Saturday, March 21 2020 Mar 21, 2020 Saturday, March 21, 2020 4:26:00 PM CDT March 21, 2020 in News
By: Greta Serrin and Melody Cox, KOMU 8 Digital Producers
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COLUMBIA - As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community.

KOMU 8 News is tracking all positive cases broken down by county here and all closings and cancellations here.

Live updates will become available for Saturday, March 21 below:

UPDATE 5:57 p.m. | Callaway County: 4 new positive COVID-19 test results related to William Woods case.

The Callaway County Health Department said it was notified of 4 additional cases Saturday. They are all related to the first case on William Woods campus that was announced Friday.

It's currently conducting an active investigation of these patients and identifying direct contacts the individuals may have had while symptomatic.

"William Woods University has been very diligent in their work with their students," the health department said. "They continue to support these students and provide for their needs as they remain isolated on campus."

The Callaway County Health Department will be signing a coinciding order with the new recommendations of the Governor’s office and DHSS director Dr. Randall Williams that all gatherings of 10 or more people cease at this time and all food service providers not provide dine-in services and only allow pick-up and drive-through food service.

5:20 p.m. | CPS employee tests positive for COVID-19. 

According to a news release from a district spokesperson, the employee worked at Russell Boulevard Elementary School. 

The district said it has been working directly with the health department and is following its established protocols regarding the virus.

Health officials conducted a risk assessment and contact investigation, and additional contact with employees, students and families connected to the school will not be done as the employee has not had contact with staff, students or families within the previous 24 hours of showing symptoms. 

A letter was sent to families at the school, notifying them of the case.

5:06 p.m. | The Moniteau County has its first positive case of COVID-19 Saturday evening.

The Moniteau County Health Center confirmed the case. 

The patient is now in home-isolation, following CDC guidelines. 

The Moniteau County Health Center continues to work with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the CDC to identify and contact people who may have come into contact with the individual while they were infectious and will monitor them for fever and respiratory symptoms.

No other information will be provided about the patient.

5:00 p.m. | City of Columbia confirms 15 positive cases of COVID-19 in Boone County, according to its website.

There are 73 positive cases across the state of Missouri, according to the Missouri DHSS website.

4:56 p.m. | Soldier at Fort Leonard Wood tested positive for COVID-19

The General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital reported the case Saturday.

According to a news release, this is the first positive case of U.S. Army personnel at the installation.

The case is travel-related. The Soldier recently went to New York and Florida. After getting back to Fort Leonard Wood was immediately screened at Harper In-Processing and placed in isolation.

The hospital reports the soldier is still in isolation in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines.

Military and local health professionals are trying to contact people who the soldier might have been in contact with over the past two weeks.

Military health professionals on Fort Leonard Wood continue to screen service members, Department of Defense civilians and family members who have traveled outside of the state of Missouri during the past two weeks.

4:35 p.m. | SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital suspended hospital visits. 

It said this is put in place to promote the safety of patients, healthcare workers and the community in response to the spread of COVID-19. 

Visitors over 18 years of age might still be allowed in the following circumstances: 

  • Compassionate care – exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, including end-of-life situations.
  • Family Birth Center patients will be allowed one primary support person.
  • Pediatric patients will be allowed one parent/guardian.

If a visitor meets criteria under the new guidelines, they will be asked to complete a health screening including travel history and temperature.

In addition to these visitor guidelines, the hospital will start employee screenings on March 23. All employees and physicians will undergo a health screening and temperature check on a daily basis.

The hospital said the measures are temporary. 

4:23 p.m. | The U.S. Small Business Administration approved Missouri’s request for assistance through the federal agency’s disaster loan program.

This will make low interest disaster loans available to small businesses and private non-profits severely impacted by COVID-19.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for each affected small business or non-profit. These loans can help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

If you would like to apply for a loan, here's how to do it:

  • Online: All information and applications can be found on the SBA's disaster loan website.
  • Through the phone: Call SBA's customer service center at (800) 659-2955.
  • Email: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
  • Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Once you have finished the application, it should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the virus. The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21, 2020.

    3:57 p.m. | SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital will open a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on Monday.

    It will be open from noon to 4 p.m. the first day, but future hours might change depending on the number of patients who come through the site. 

    The site will test people who are showing symptoms of the virus and have a referral from a doctor. 

    It will be at the Health Plaza East entrance, located on the hospital campus. The hospital will have a white tent set up with signs to help find it. 

    Patients are supposed to stay in the cars during the process and will be asked to provide ID and an insurance card. They won't be billed for the test or asked to pay a co-pay.

    3:36 p.m. | Governor Parson asked the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to require social distancing across the state Saturday afternoon. 

    This is all in an effort to slow, or stop, the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus. 

    The order has new measures to protect the health and safety of those in the state. 

    “I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all citizens to practice social distancing and abide by this order, which is backed by intense deliberation and knowledge,” Governor Parson said in a news release. 

    Under this order, DHSS can direct people to avoid:

    • going to social gatherings of more than ten people
    • eating or drinking at restaurants, bars or food courts
    • visiting nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes or assisted-living homes

    The news release also said, in accordance with guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools will remain closed.

    This won't impact people visiting places like grocery stores, gas stations, parks and banks. Parson does recommend keeping at least six feet of distance between people. 

    Offices that have to stay open during the outbreak are encouraged to practice "good hygiene," and if possible, work from home to "achieve optimum isolation." 

    “This is a serious time for our state and nation, and we must continue taking all steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Parson said in the news release.  “The more people reduce their public contact, the sooner the virus will be contained and the sooner we can overcome this challenge.”

    This order will go into effect Monday, March 23 and stay in effect until Monday, April 6 unless the DHSS extends it.

    2:48 p.m. | A family member of a staff member of the Osage County R-2 School District has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the district's Facebook page.

    In an updated post Saturday afternoon, the school said that the county is investigating if anyone at Linn-R2 school is considered high risk.

    "If they don't hear from anyone, then they were not identified as high risk and did not have a situation of close contact," the post read.

    The Osage County R-2 Schools are currently out of school. According to the statement, the staff member will not be back in district buildings until after the period of quarantine is over.

    The post said that in order to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, the district is limited in what information it can share with the public.

    The statement said the district is working with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), and the CDC will identify and contact people who may have come into contact with the individual while they were infectious. The CDC will monitor them for fever and respiratory symptoms. 

    12:17 p.m. | The city of St. Louis and St. Louis County officials have announced new restrictions that will require people to stay home when possible starting on Monday. 

    KSDK News reported that St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said the region will be adopting these restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    According to a statement released via Twitter, residents will still be able to go to locations such as the grocery store, pharmacy and public parks. 

    The press release said that city officials will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. on Saturday to give more details on the new restrictions.

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