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Pettis County Health Center issues new quarantine guidelines

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Pettis County added 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 5,157, according to the Pettis County Health Center. 

This total does not include three individuals who tested positive more than 90 days ago and are testing positive again. There is one individual hospitalized at Bothwell. 

According to the Pettis County COVID-19 Task Force briefing issued Monday, the positivity rate for April was 5.39% with 78 positives and 1,431 negatives. 

“The DHSS website is reporting Pettis County has a positivity rate of 8.5% for the past seven days. The number of tests for the same seven-day period has declined to 260, which is a significant decline,” the briefing states. “Having a strong testing program helps to know how the disease is spreading more effectively.”  

The county-wide face covering rule will end at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, May 12. The rule is being replaced by a Public Health Advisory and the text of the advisory is available on the Pettis County Health Center website and Facebook page, as well as in the Democrat article published Friday that included coverage of the Board of Trustees vote.

Pettis County has vaccinated approximately 28.2% of the population with at least one dose, according to the briefing. According to the state website, 11,953 Pettis County residents have received one dose and 10,449 have completed the two-dose series, which means approximately 24.7% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Pettis County is falling behind the state rate of 38.7% with at least one dose and 31.2% fully vaccinated. The state is reporting 49.2% of the population over 18 has at least one dose of vaccine and 39.8% is fully vaccinated. 

The Pettis County Health Center will start having regular walk-in clinics from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11. First doses will be available as well as second doses for those unable to make their second dose appointment. Appointments are not required, but people can register by calling 660-827-1130.

OATS is providing transportation to vaccine clinics free of charge. To schedule transportation, call 1-800-276-6287. 

Bothwell is hosting the following Pfizer second-dose clinics this week; however, people may walk in for first doses as well: Wednesday, May 12, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Bothwell Internal Medicine; Friday, May 14, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Bothwell Healing Arts Center, and Saturday, May 15, 8 a.m. to noon at Sacred Heart School Hoying Gym (small gym). Bothwell is partnering with St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Parish and Catholic Charities of Central and North Missouri to host this clinic for the Hispanic community, as well as for English-speaking residents.

A one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinic will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, May 14 in the Bothwell Healing Arts Center. 

Katy Trail Community Health will be testing for COVID-19 at its Sedalia location from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. It will be vaccinating any patient of Katy Trail Community Health any time and doing Sedalia community vaccinations on a walk-in basis on Thursdays. For more information, call 877-733-5824 or visit www.katytrailcommunityhealth.org.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported a seven-day total of 2,123 cases on Monday or an average of 303 per day. There were a total of six deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Missouri during the last seven days, representing an average of one deaths per day. There were 174,926 vaccines administered in the last seven days in Missouri for an average of 24,989 per day.

On Monday, the Health Center issued a news release stating that due to the improvement in case numbers, it now supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance relating to using COVID testing to shorten the quarantine period for non-household contacts from 10 to seven days, provided that the following provisions are followed:

• For an individual who has a non-household contact, the person must obtain a COVID-19 test, preferably PCR, no sooner than five days after the last contact with the positive test.

• The individual wishing to end quarantine early must notify the Health Center case investigator and report the negative test to the Pettis County Health Center. Quarantine cannot be released until at least seven days after the last contact with the positive case.

• Anyone with symptoms may not be released from quarantine at seven days.

• The person who is released early from quarantine must continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the last contact, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from other people, avoid crowds and wash hands frequently.

According to the release, quarantine is the process by which a person exposed to a disease that can be spread before the person becomes sick or can spread the disease without becoming sick is separated from other, non-exposed people to protect non-exposed people from becoming ill. A contact is defined as non-masked contact with the person who is known to be positive for 15 minutes or longer and closer than 6 feet.   

The Health Center states most transmission is happening within households. Research has demonstrated that up to 66% of individuals who live in a household with a positive case will become positive up to as long as 14 days, which is why household contact quarantine will remain at 14 days. For household contacts that do not separate, the quarantine period begins at the end of the 10-day isolation period for the positive case. The failure to separate has extended quarantine for many household contacts, the release states.

Isolation for positive cases remains at 10 days.

For additional information, contact the Pettis County Health Center at 660-827-1130.

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