COVID-19 cases in Missouri stood at 5,807, with 177 deaths as of 2:00 p.m., April 20. Cases in Region H were at 67 with two confirmed cases in Atchison County.

“As of April 21, 2020, Atchison County has two recovered cases of COVID-19,” remarked Atchison County Health Department Administrator Julie Livengood. “In addition, several close contacts have already completed quarantine. Per guidelines, it is recommended that those identified by the health department as a close contact of a positive case are in self-quarantine for 14 days post exposure due to the potential of coming down with symptoms in those 14 days. Please note: Someone who has completed their quarantine or met the requirements to discontinue isolation measures does not pose a risk of spreading COVID-19.

The decision to discontinue isolation for a positive case is made in the context of local circumstances. The CDC gives options that includes two strategies:

• A test-based strategy and/or,

• A time-since-illness-onset and time-since-recovery (non-test-based) strategy.

A test based strategy says we can discontinue isolation if a positive case has a resolution in fever (without fever-reducing medications) AND, improvement in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) AND, at least two negative tests collected at least 24 hours apart.

A non-test based strategy has a couple different components depending upon symptoms:

• If a positive case has no symptoms, officials take the date of the positive test and discontinue isolation after 7 days from the test date.

• If a positive case has symptoms, isolation is discontinued under the following conditions:  resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND, improvement in respiratory symptoms; AND, at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.”

Exact details can be found on the CDC website (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html.)

Julie went on to say, “For all persons in the community, we are still encouraging those to stay home if you can. If you need to be out for work or essential reasons, follow the six-foot physical distancing guidelines (stay six feet away from others who are not in your home); wear a face covering in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain; stay home if you do not feel well; wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when unable to access soap and water; and disinfect highly touched surfaces often. Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself and other Atchison County residents safe!”