Health department investigating COVID outbreak at Great Circle

    The Phelps/Maries Health Department announced on Thursday, June 25, it is investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 relating to employees of the St. James campus of Great Circle.

    The department said there were eight positive cases in Phelps County, two in Maries County, one in Dent County, and one in Pulaski County related to this outbreak. One positive case from Phelps and one positive case from Maries County are direct household contacts to employees that have tested positive. One case remains hospitalized, requiring ventilation. On Saturday, the Health Department updated the outbreak to include a total of 19 related cases.
    The Department said it is working closely with Great Circle, the Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Department of Mental Health to isolate and contain the spread of COVID-19 on the 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,” the Health Department said in a news release Thursday.
    “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,” the Health Department said.
    Great Circle said, “Nothing is more important to the health of our clients, their families, and our staff,” in a statement also released on Thursday. The statement said Great Circle has been following guidelines and safety measures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with local health authorities, since May. “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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