While local health providers announced Monday they had assembled enough tests to step up COVID-19 detection and testing, the count of confirmed cases in the region climbed to seven, including a presumptive positive involving Joplin's first case.

Dan Pekarek, the director of the Joplin Health Department, said that the cause has not been determined, though it may not be the result of travel. He said there has not been enough investigation yet to determine whether it is the result of community spread.

The person is a resident of Joplin on the Jasper County side, he said.

The patient is isolated in their own home, the health department director said, and some individuals who have had contact with the person also are quarantined in their homes.

The Joplin Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will work together to determine any other close contacts of the individual who were possibly exposed. If exposed, health officials will provide information to them and monitor them for the development of symptoms. 

There also was a newly identified case admitted for treatment Monday at Mercy Hospital Joplin, though that person is not a Joplin resident.

 "After having been tested for COVID-19 at an emergency department in the surrounding area, a patient was referred to Mercy Hospital Joplin for care," hospital officials said in a statement.

"Since arriving to our hospital, the patient’s test results came back positive. Our staff was prepared and has continuously followed the appropriate CDC protocols since the patient arrived in order to eliminate any risk of exposure to co-workers and patients,” the hospital stated.

The patient was referred from Bourbon County, Kansas, but the patient's age was not immediately available.

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