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Posted on: March 27, 2020

SGCHD expands COVID-19 case count to include epi-linked cases, epi-linked death

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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is adding epidemiologically linked cases of COVID-19 to their case count, one of which is an additional death. 

An epi-linked case refers to illness in an individual that has not been confirmed by a lab test, but has a connection to another case and has symptoms are determined to be evidence of COVID-19. 

The additional death is epi-linked. This patient was a woman in her 90s who was a Morningside resident. She passed away before Morningside residents were confirmed positive for COVID-19. There have been four deaths due to COVID-19 in Greene County.

Currently, the total number of cases in Greene County is 41.

Three of the new cases of COVID-19 in Greene County are epi-linked. In this situation, two people in one household were lab-confirmed cases. Another three people, our epi-linked cases, have classic symptoms of the illness and were in the same household as the lab confirmed cases. They are therefore being counted as Greene County COVID-19 cases. 

Including epidemiologically-linked cases allows the community to have a clearer understanding of case counts without taking up testing capacity, as testing remains limited. 

During today’s news briefing, questions about available ventilators were asked.

CoxHealth reports 17 ventilators currently in use, with another 110 available right now. Ten more are being repaired, bringing a grand total of 137.  

Mercy Hospital Springfield reports currently using less than 25% of the total ventilators that are currently in the facility. Across Mercy, less than 40% of their ventilators are in use, with a total of 472 ventilators available across four states. Mercy also has dozens of portable units that are not currently in use and could be quickly moved to patients who need them. 

Archived video of briefings on COVID-19, including this announcement, is available at https://livestream.com/sgfcityview/covid19

For more information, visit our website at health.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@springfieldmo.gov, or call 417-874-1211.

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