Joplin has five more confirmed cases of COVID-19, city health department officials announced Monday.
That brings the number of cases in the city limits to 24. One of the new cases is an adult who lives on the Newton County side of Joplin, and the other four live on the Jasper County side of Joplin.
None of the cases are believed to be related to travel. Four of the cases involve two children and two adults who are contacts of previous cases. The fifth case is believed to be the result of community spread, according to information provided by the city in a statement.
No other identifying information will be released to protect the privacy of the patients, the city said.
Staff at the Joplin Health Department are working with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to determine any close contacts of those who have developed the infection. Health officials will provide guidance to these individuals and monitor them closely for the development of symptoms, they said.
Dan Pekarek, the city's health director, said earlier that more cases would be found as more people are tested. He reminded residents to continue to take preventive measures. Those include:
• Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet away from others.
• If you cannot socially distance in a location, it is recommended to wear a mask.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
• Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
While COVID-19 is spread from person to person, more than 80% of the patients who develop it will become mildly ill. The concern is for patients with underlying medical conditions and the elderly, who are more likely to need hospital-level supportive care.
Primary symptoms include a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, a dry cough and shortness of breath. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should contact their medical provider before traveling to their office.
A drive-thru test site, supported by eTrueNorth and Walmart, is also a possible testing site for people with symptoms. Anyone seeking a test should go to www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com to be screened and, if approved, schedule a time to visit the drive-thru testing site. The number for the screening call center is 800-635-8611.