There currently are no cases of the new coronavirus in Audrain County.
Eight people have been tested, with two tests coming back negative. Results are pending from the other six tests as of Friday afternoon.
Weekly updates from the Audrain County Health Department and other government and non-governmental agencies continued Wednesday through a teleconference coordinated by the health department.
"We are fortunate we do not have a positive yet. We will be providing a brief report each morning as a press release, putting it on our website and social media," Audrain County Health Department Administrator Sandra Hewlett said.
Testing labs, the health department and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital — Audrain all have strong working relationships, she said. The agencies are reporting when a test is conducted and when results come in.
Social media posts and other claims are confusing people in the county Hewlett said. She was backed up by SSM Urgent Care doctor Simon McKeown.
Patients have said they have a co-worker who tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, he said.
"When we have asked who it is, the story falls apart. We have a lot of scared people coming in requesting tests, trying to spin all kinds of stories to try and get tested," he said.
Test results currently are taking anywhere from three to seven days due to the increased testing volume, Hewlett said.
The health department has received similar calls and people requesting a second test to be able to go back to work.
"You are tested when you are diagnosed. We are not doing retesting to show a negative. They are making them do a quarantine period," Hewlett said about Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing guidelines. "They just need a doctor’s release to go back to school, work, outside."
There is a strict triage process for COVID-19. Patients have an initial screening for symptoms — fever, cough, shortness of breath. While testing criteria is loosening, Hewlett said, the requirements for going back to work are available on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website.
"It talks about 72 hours without fever or using tylenol or any other drug that would reduce fever. At the end of the day it is the physician’s discretion," Hewlett said.
McKeown is making sure he gives patients very clear instructions and if anyone has received unclear instructions, he wants to know, he said.
"I would be happy to address that with any physician and if it is anyone that works with me, I will correct it," he said. "Having nonstandard instructions will hurt our community."
SSM has a standard set of instructions given to patients.