The Monroe County Health Department reported the first two positive tests for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus late Monday morning.
Health Department Director Paula Delaney said the cases involve a couple, who are currently quarantined in their home. Delaney said the Health Department could not address their ages or location in the county.
Delaney said that she learned late Sunday night of the two positive cases. She said the Health Department informed Monroe County Emergency Management of the coronavirus cases early Monday.
“They are in quarantine and our staff is working with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to trace any close contacts of the couple who may have been exposed,” Delaney said. “If we find there were close contacts with any person, we will work to help the person – or people – and monitor them closely for the development of any symptoms.”
Delaney said there no evidence that the couple are connected with the cases of workers at the Brenneman Pork facilities in Monroe and Audrain counties, who tested positive last week. Because they live in Audrain County, those cases are reported in Audrain County.
The health department continues to urge the public to practice good hygiene, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from others and limit in-person interactions.
Delaney said people who are sick, particularly with fever and cough, or shortness of breath, should stay home and contact a primary care provider for guidance regarding symptoms and next steps.
“The best tips for prevention are still social distancing and proper hand-washing,” she said. “Staying home if you are sick and avoiding close contact with others will help us limit any spread.”
As of Monday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 12,167 cases of coronavirus in Missouri, an increase of 715 from Saturday to Monday. Overall, cases have increased by 7.9% in one week, according to the department.
A total of 685 deaths have been attributed to the coronavirus, an increase of nine since Saturday.
Audrain County has 60 reported cases, an increase of 58 since May 15. According to state health officials, Randolph County has nine coronavirus cases, Ralls County has two cases, Shelby County has one case and Marion County has five cases.
“It is important that these are total cases in the counties reported by the state, and many have been resolved,” Delaney said. “The state department does not keep track of those who have recovered.”
A statewide COVID-19 hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-435-8411.