‘Only a Matter of Time’: Douglas County Health Department Reports First Two Cases of COVID-19

The Douglas County Health Department announced this week that two area residents had tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first cases in Douglas County.

by Michael Boyink / mike@douglascountyherald.com

We all hoped that, like a nasty thunderstorm, it would go around us.

But deep down, we knew better. 

This week COVID-19 found Douglas County.

“We knew it was only a matter of time before the virus came into our community,” said Douglas County Health Department Administrator Valerie Reese. “Now we must work harder than ever as a community to slow its spread.”

Case Number One

Reese announced the first coronavirus case on Saturday, May 30th.

According to the Douglas County Health Department’s Press Release, “The person has been notified and we are working with the individual to ensure they are following Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in regards to isolation. 

We are actively investigating this case to identify and contact persons who may have come into contact with the individual while they were infectious and will monitor them for fever and respiratory symptoms. 

This person did take extra precautions while out in the public even though they had no symptoms at the time they were out. This person reported they wore a mask and used hand sanitizer when in public areas.”

Locations visited by the individual included:

Saturday, May 23nd

Lakey’s Feed at 9:30-10:00 a.m.

Wal-Mart and Town & Country Supermarket at 4:00 p.m.

Monday, May 25th

Murphys in Ava at approximately 2:00 p.m.

School Employee Negative

On Mary 30th, the Ava R-1 Schools communicated to parents and staff that “Ava R-1 School District has an employee that came into contact with a person who has tested positive.” 

The school had the employee tested and on June 1st that the test results had come back negative. The report went on to say that “All Ava R-I employees have been cleared by the Health Department.”

Case Number Two

On Monday, June 1st, the Douglas County Health Department announced “a confirmed 2nd case of COVID-19 in a Douglas County resident.”

Public locations visited by this individual included:

Friday, May 29th

O’Reillys Auto Parts in Ava at 2:30p.m.

Saturday, May 30th

Haro Brothers Restaurant 8:45a.m.-9:45a.m.

If You Were There

If you were at one of the locations listed for either case, the Health Department says you are at “LOW risk for contracting COVID-19” and you should monitor yourself for symptoms.

 There is no need to self-quarantine or isolate unless you have symptoms develop. 

COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Runny nose 
  • Nausea and vomiting

If You Have Symptoms

Contact your health care provider regarding testing and take all necessary precautions to avoid exposing others.

Travel or Community?

Investigating the two cases, the Douglas County Health Department said “it appears that these cases were not travel related. This means we can assume that it is in the community and it is important that individuals take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and those around them safe.”

In addition to the two positive COVID-19 cases, Reese reports 13 additional individuals under self-quarantine. 

Douglas County has tested 165 residents tested thus far.