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Phelps-Maries County Health Department investigating outbreak at Great Circle campus in St. James

FILE - In this April 16, 2020, file photo, vials containing nasal swabs collected at a COVID-19 drive-through testing site are dropped into a plastic bag to be sent off for processing after being collected in St. Louis. An Associated Press review of more than 20 states found that before the coronavirus outbreak many had at least a modest supply of N95 masks, gowns, gloves and other medical equipment. But those supplies often were well past their expiration dates, left over from the H1N1 influenza outbreak a decade ago. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
FILE - In this April 16, 2020, file photo, vials containing nasal swabs collected at a COVID-19 drive-through testing site are dropped into a plastic bag to be sent off for processing after being collected in St. Louis. An Associated Press review of more than 20 states found that before the coronavirus outbreak many had at least a modest supply of N95 masks, gowns, gloves and other medical equipment. But those supplies often were well past their expiration dates, left over from the H1N1 influenza outbreak a decade ago. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)(KY3)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 9:52 AM CDT
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The Phelps-Maries County Health Department is investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst a cluster of employees at the Great Circle Campus located in St. James.

Health leaders report several cases of the virus:

*Phelps County: 8

*Maries: 2

*Dent: 1

*Pulaski: 1

One positive case from Phelps County and one positive case from Maries County are direct household contacts to employees have tested positive. One case does remain hospitalized, requiring ventilation at this time. The remainder of the cases are isolated at home.

The health departments have been working closely with Great Circle, Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Social Services, and Department of Mental Health to quarantine, isolate, and contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Prompt action was taken by Great Circle to assist in providing the health departments with information necessary for contact tracing to ensure all potential contacts were identified and contacted directly by the appropriate health department. All necessary precautions have been and continue to be taken by Great Circle to ensure the safety of their staff, residents, and our communities. Facility-wide testing has been conducted, so there is a possibility of a continued increase in case counts as pending test results become available. Due to an increased concern for privacy, no further information related to this outbreak will be released other than to update case numbers if pending test results are positive.

Great Circle provided this statement:

"Nothing is more important than the health of our clients, their families and our staff.

As part of everyday operations, Great Circle follows stringent policies and procedures to minimize the risk of exposure to all infectious diseases. This commitment to care, as well as guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health authorities, has guided our COVID-19 response plan since early March.

All plans and procedures were in place when Great Circle was notified of staff who work at our residential campus in St. James, MO testing positive for COVID-19. We immediately implemented our safety measures, which include the quarantine of all potentially exposed staff and clients in our care, and we are fully complying with measures recommended by local public health authorities.

As Great Circle redoubles efforts to support the behavioral health needs of the children and families we serve, we remain vigilant in our infection control efforts and are doing all we can to support efforts to combat this pandemic."

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