Ozark County’s 5th COVID case reported
Ozark County’s fifth case of COVID-19 was reported shortly after noon Tuesday, July 28. In a post on her personal Facebook page, Ozark County Health Department administrator Rhonda Suter, said the person does not work in Ozark County and has not been out in the community.
The fourth case of the COVID-19 virus was reported Wednesday, July 22. Suter said both cases are quarantined, and close contacts have been notified.
She said the fourth person, without wearing a mask, visited Smokin’ Joe’s Restaurant in Gainesville at lunchtime Friday and Saturday, July 17-18.
Those who were at the restaurant at those times should watch for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and loss of smell or taste, Suter said.
Ozark County has been “blessed” to have kept its case count so low for so long, Suter said, especially as the Douglas County Health Department announced Monday that the second COVID death had occurred there in “an individual in their 70s.” Its first COVID death occurred July 18. Then the number of cases increased by 17, bringing the total confirmed in Douglas County last week to 33. Since then, another 20 cases have been reported, bringing Douglas County’s confirmed cases to 53.
Howell County, to the east, reported 45 new cases during the past week, bringing its total to 113. Early Tuesday morning July 28, Howell County reported its first COVID death, a man in his 90s living in the West Plains area. Eighty-nine new cases were reported in Taney County, which has had three COVID deaths.
Ozark County’s first confirmed case was reported June 19. Its second confirmed case was reported July 2, and the third case was reported July 20.
Suter said a total of 560 tests have been performed in Ozark County, including 96 tests done at a free, drive-thru clinic offered June 26 by OCHD and the Missouri Ozarks Community Health clinic in Gainesville. All of the drive-thru tests were negative. Four others have been positive. The U.S. Census Bureau website estimates Ozark County’s current population as 9,174.
COVID tests are available at all three medical clinics in Ozark County, Suter said. Those whose insurance won’t cover the test, or those who aren’t able to pay for the test themselves may call OCHD to arrange for a free test kit to be delivered to the medical clinic they’re using. Suter said that while the test kit is free, the clinic may still charge a fee for the office visit.