CDC COVID-19 illustration

A RENDERING created by the Centers for Disease Control shows the ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Christian County’s COVID-19-positive population doubled from two to four as more test results become available across Missouri.

The Christian County Health Department and the Christian County Emergency Management Agency disclosed that there are now four persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county as of 11 a.m. March 26.

An investigation into the third case is ongoing, as health care professionals work to confirm the source of the patient’s disease transmission. Preliminary information leads to a possible link to earlier cases that have been reported in neighboring county, according to the Christian County Health Department. The fourth case is a traveler related and allegedly had no exposure to anyone after returning to Christian County. 

“While we are dismayed to have additional cases, we do not have any information that would lead to strong concern of community transmission,” Christian County Health Department Administrator Cindy Bilyeu said.

A total of 47 persons have tested negative for COVID-19. Test results are pending for 37 residents, according to the Christian County Health Department, and there are 53 persons under quarantine because they are believed to have come into close contact with a COVID-19-positive person, or have shown symptoms of the virus and have been advised to go into quarantine by health care professionals.

All of Christian County is under a 30-day stay-at-home order that began at 12:01 a.m. March 26. Persons are advised to stay home except to carry out essential actions like seeking health care, shopping for necessary groceries and supplies and working at essential jobs.

“Our community leaders and the citizens they serve have remained diligent in their efforts to keep the spread of the disease from escalating. The stay at home orders that have been adopted this week have added another layer of safety to our community,” Bilyeu said.

Dr. Randall Williams of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said that Missouri health care workers are now administering an average of 2,000 tests per day through academic and private partners, with 28 mobile testing sites across the state, two of which are at Springfield hospitals.

“Our strategy of doing more testing among clinicians in the mobile sites is working, and that’s reflected in the markedly increased number of cases that you see coming back positive, and that will increase as you have community transmission,” Williams said.

There were 356 medical patients in Missouri who are positive for COVID-19 as of 2 p.m. March 25. Figures from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will be updated later in the afternoon March 26.

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