covid 19

As of Friday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Franklin County had risen to six.

Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker explained thus far there have been 188 people tested at the Washington Fairgrounds since Monday.

“There have been 12 negative results and one positive,” Brinker said. “The most recent case is a 31-year-old male and is currently self-quarantined following protocols.”

Brinker added the person was infected through close personal contact of an existing case.

On Thursday, the Warren County Health Department reported its first positive COVID-19 case.

“Since this is a regional testing site, we are getting spillover from St. Louis and Warren counties,” Brinker said. “It all depends on how close people live to the testing sites.”

He added Mercy officials have been promised test results would be coming more rapidly, and of the 188 tested, they were anticipating the results of 40 tests Friday morning.

Overall, Brinker praised the county health department and county office staff for its work in recent weeks.

“They are all rock stars and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful,” Brinker said. “All of the county elected officials and employees have been top shelf. They are all going over the top keeping this county safe.”  

Reaching Out 

County officials are asking anyone who may have visited the emergency room at Mercy Hospital or the Total Access Urgent Care in Washington on Friday, March 20, to closely monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

In a statement released Wednesday, Brinker said out of an abundance of caution the health department is reaching out to anyone who visited the facilities.

“The Franklin County Health Department can confirm six residents of Franklin County have tested positive for COVID-19,” Brinker said. “Through our partnership with other local public health agencies and communicable disease investigations, we are identifying additional confirmed cases that do not reside in Franklin County, but work in our community.”

Brinker added when it is feasible to identify close personal contacts to a case and provide direct notification, the county will do so.

“At times, we may not be able to distinguish who is a close personal contact and who is not for privacy reasons,” Brinker said. “When those situations arise, we will provide notification through a press release.”

The county says anyone who may have visited the facilities March 20 should self-monitor by taking temperatures twice a day and remaining alert for symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat). 

The self-monitoring period should last 14 days since your last contact to the identified location.  

If a fever or respiratory symptoms develop during the self-monitoring period, people should contact a medical provider by phone or contact the Department of Health and Senior Services hotline at 877-435-8411. Mercy also has a website people can visit at Mercy.net/COVID19.

Mercy Hospital

Mercy Hospital Washington President Eric Eoloff said all potentially exposed persons at Mercy Hospital Washington have been contacted directly by hospital representatives.

“They were advised to monitor symptoms and contact the Mercy hotline or their primary care provider if they begin experiencing any of the following symptoms in the 14-day period: fever of 100.4 or greater, cough, shortness of breath.”