Cape Girardeau Co. Public Health Center explains what’s considered ‘close contact’ with COVID-19

Updated: Sep. 25, 2020 at 10:19 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Maria Davis with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center said her agency is fielding questions from people with concerns following the announcement that Missouri Governor Mike Parson tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have gotten a couple calls today about it,” she said.

She explained how health departments handle a situation when there is a gathering and someone test positive.

“The investigation starts with the county that the individual lives in, so if they live in our county, we’re going to be the health department that actually talks to the individual,” Davis said.

If you’re within 6 feet of someone for longer than 15 minutes, it’s considered close contact. Davis said you should be mindful of the symptoms.

“If you are considered a close contact, and if you go and get tested a few days after your exposure, it’s not likely that you would get a positive result. It takes a few days for the virus to incubate in you, and actually show up on a test. So we’re seeing about five to seven days after your last exposure,” she said.

The problem is sometimes you do not always notice them.

“We see a lot of people and they just have allergies and then they go, and they go and get tested and they end up being positive,” she said.

In some cases you may not develop signs at all and still test positive.

“We wouldn’t think an asymptomatic person would be the main cause of spread and that’s kind of the same case here, asymptomatic individuals they can spread the virus but we don’t think they’re the main cause of spread in our community,” she said

Davis said there’s one simple option to lower your chances if you come in close contact with someone.

“The best thing you can do to keep from spreading to others is once you’ve realized you’re a close contact, quarantine yourself,” she said.

Here’s how you can sign up for free testing on Friday, September 25 at Arena Park in Cape Girardeau.

It begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

The Mississippi County Health Department also had questions from residents after Governor Parson visited the LUCE Charleston Outreach Center on Tuesday.

Good morning Mississippi County!! We are getting many questions about the Governor's visit Tuesday, September 22 since...

Posted by Mississippi County Health Department on Thursday, September 24, 2020

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