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SFCHC reports first COVID-19-related death; total cases up to 12
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COVID-19

SFCHC reports first COVID-19-related death; total cases up to 12

Health Center prepares for coronavirus

The St. Francois County Health Center reported on Friday the first death of a St. Francois County resident due to COVID-19.

The resident was a male in his 70s and had underlying health conditions. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The case was not travel related.

The number of confirmed cases also rose to 12 on Friday, with five of those still under investigation and three that have no known contact source.

SFC Health Center director Amber Elliott said that number is likely higher.

“We know we’ve got more cases than just 11 right now,” Elliott said.

The latest confirmed case is a woman in her 60s and it is still under investigation.

A breakdown of the numbers can be found on the health center’s website or its Facebook page.

The county stay-at-home order also went into effect on Friday.

“We all need to treat this like this is here because it is,” Elliott said. “We all need to take these recommendations very seriously.”

Elliott said that it is the responsibility of every single person to follow the guidelines set by the White House coronavirus task force, by public health authorities, and by healthcare providers.

“And that really is to stay home as much as possible,” Elliott added. “We don’t have a vaccine for this disease, so the way that we prevent it is by social distancing and by handwashing and hygienic practices.

"So we really need people to listen to what has been provided, the guidance that’s been provided over the last several weeks because this is really up to every single person.

A stricter stay-at-home order could be enforced at some point, Elliott said, as they continue to do disease surveillance and looks at what’s coming in.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced a three-week statewide stay-at-home order that will going into effect on Monday.

“Our order right now is more strict than what the governor’s order was prior,” Elliott said. “But should the governor issue a statewide stay-at-home order that is more strict than what we have currently, then we will enforce the one that is more strict by the governor’s order.”

Two counties add stay-at-home orders

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iron County as of Friday, according to the health department. But county officials have approved the implementation of a stay-at-home order that will go into effect on Monday.

“This has not been an easy task but is necessary to provide the upmost protection to the citizens of Iron County,” Presiding Commissioner Jim Skaggs said.

It is a little bit different than St. Francois County’s order as it also includes a section that restricts entry or travel through for non-residents who reside in a stay-at-home jurisdiction, except for purposes that are deemed essential.

The entire order can be read on the health department’s Facebook page.

Ste. Genevieve County Health Department has reported six positive cases and also has a stay-at-home order.

The Washington County Health Department and the Washington County Commission have approved a joint directive that goes into effect Monday, encouraging residents to stay at home as much as possible. The county has zero cases. To read the directive or more information visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WashCoCOVID19/

Nikki Overfelt is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at noverfelt@dailyjournalonline.com.

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