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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Health Officials Work To Identify Those Who Might Have Had Contact With Springfield COVID-19 Patient

Michele Skalicky

An epidemiological investigation is underway after a Springfield resident tested presumptive positive for the novel coronavirus. 

Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, Clay Goddard, said at a news conference Thursday evening they're working to identify anyone who might have come into contact with the person, identified only as someone in their 20s.

"As we find contacts, we will take all appropriate measures to isolate and quarantine anyone that requires those movements or those actions," Goddard said.

The patient had recently traveled to Austria, officials said.

Dr. Robin Trotman, an infectious disease specialist at CoxHealth, said the patient called ahead to a nonhospital-based clinic to let them know they were coming.  

"The patient presented to an empty waiting room, was masked immediately, which is consistent with our strategy from a public health standpoint, was brought to a private room, had the appropriate testing performed," he said.  "The patient had displayed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and had traveled to a high-risk area, so our education that had been disseminated prior to arrival of this patient was timely."

The presumptive positive test was identified by the Missouri State Health Laboratory.  The specimen has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control for confirmation.  

Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said to date, positive tests for the coronavirus sent to the CDC have all been confirmed.

The Springfield resident is in quarantine and is expected to recover.

Governor Mike Parson said there have been 73 people tested in Missouri for the coronavirus and so far only two tests  have come back positive.  Both cases were travel related.

The Missouri Public Health Laboratory currently has the capacity to test 1000 specimens, and Williams said they expect more testing kits to arrive Friday from the CDC.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.
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