To protect the patient’s right to privacy, identifying information will not be provided. As part of the regular practice of disease investigation, the Health Department will notify people who have had contact with the patient, who was a traveler.
Health Department staff are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to determine any close contacts of that individual who were possibly exposed. If so, health officials will provide guidance to these individuals and monitor them closely for the development of symptoms.
On Friday, we asked community events expecting 250 or more people to voluntarily postpone or suspend for the time being. Workplaces and schools are not considered part of that recommendation.
Guidance on considerations for COVID-19, as well as recommendations on cleaning and other health practices if events do go forward are available on our website at health.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirus
It is again important to note that the Health Department is urging high risk groups—including those 60 and older, who have a chronic illness or who are immune-compromised—to take extra precautions. These include:
Stay home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel
- Take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people.
- Consider alternative ways of getting food and supplies brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks or by using delivery or pick up services at stores.
Have a plan if you get sick (fever, shortness of breath, cough):
- Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your personal health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
- Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
- Determine who can provide you with care and bring supplies if your caregiver gets sick.
Have supplies on hand
- Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
- If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
- Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms.
- Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
Take everyday precautions
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones).
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs
- Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
- If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face