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Four more deaths reported in SFC
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Four more deaths reported in SFC

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UPDATE: COVID-19

St. Francois County Health Center reported four more COVID-related deaths since Wednesday. 

The county now has 18 confirmed deaths associated with the virus. There are seven suspect deaths in which the health center is awaiting a death certificate to verify the cause of death.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in St. Francois County rose by 190 this week.

As of noon on Friday, there have been a total of 2,597 cases of COVID-19 reported in St. Francois County since March 22. 

Among the 190 new cases that were reported this week, 48 stem from outbreaks within the Department of Corrections and 19 were reported by long-term care facilities. 

There were 308 active cases on Friday.

St. Francois County health officials reported that 95 cases have required hospitalization during their illness; up four from last week. 

St. Francois County Health Center Director Amber Elliott had noted a decrease in daily reported case numbers at the end of last week, but said the daily case count has begun to increase once again.

“We're still getting quite a few cases per day,” said Elliott. “Our rolling average over the last couple of days has increased. We did see a dip last week, but our positivity rate is back up over 10%.

“So we are kind of in more of a holding pattern than anything,” the health director added. “But we're still getting a substantial amount of cases reported and still seeing widespread community transmission, which is similar to other parts of our region and across the state as well.”

She advised that every interaction with persons outside your household should be treated as a risk for transmission.

Farmington Presbyterian Manor

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Two health care residents and a direct resident care employee at Farmington Presbyterian Manor have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings their seven-day total to two residents and five employees.

The positive tests resulted from ongoing testing at our community of both employees and staff. On Monday, they tested 112 residents and 124 staff members. No staff members were positive as a result of that testing. However, the direct care employee began to notice symptoms on Tuesday, resulting in a positive test at an area urgent care.

The residents were tested as part of ongoing measures related to employee positive tests from September. The employees were tested as part of their ongoing surveillance testing.

Surveillance testing requires all employees, agency employees, volunteers, hospice, lab and therapy providers at the campus to be tested on a frequency determined by our county’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate. Based on the county positivity rate of between 5-10% for COVID-19 tests, the campus has been testing employees once a week.

The residents are being cared for in isolation. One is asymptomatic while the other has signs and symptoms of the virus.

The employee is recovering at home.

They have notified the St. Francois County Health Department and per their recommendation, they will retest all residents next Monday. They will continue our surveillance testing of employees.

The COVID positive residents will remain in isolation and be cared for by designated staff. They will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the residents may come out of isolation. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic residents may leave isolation when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of the resident’s fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and the resident’s symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Asymptomatic positive residents will quarantine for 14 days. Designated staff members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following CDC infection prevention protocols.

They follow CDC and KDHE guidelines in determining when an employee may return to work. Under the current guidelines. the employee may return to work when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of the employee’s fever without the use of fever-inducing medications and the employee’s symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

“We continue to prioritize resident and employee health and safety,” said Jane Hull, executive director.

Farmington Presbyterian Manor continues to screen all employees as they enter the community building for a shift and before they have any direct contact with residents. In addition, staff members are wearing masks per CDC recommendations.

Other counties

Also on Friday, the Ste. Genevieve Health Department reported three new virus cases, bring the county’s total confirmed case count to 269. Ste. Genevieve County now has 24 active cases and 12 probable cases.

The Iron County Health Center reported 17 active cases as of Friday, bringing the total case count in the county to 146.

Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at bradford@dailyjournalonline.com

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