HARRISONVILLE - The Cass County Health Department today announced that it was informed Tuesday of the first death of a Cass County resident due to COVID-19. The Belton resident was a female in her early 70s. She tested positive for COVID-19 on March 20. The case was not travel-related and she had underlying health conditions.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the county has 20 positive COVID-19 cases - a significant uptick. Last week ended with 8 positive cases in the county.
“We knew this day might come but we are still crushed with the news of this loss,” said Belton Police Chief and Director of Emergency Management James Person.
“Even one death resulting from this pandemic is too many. This is why we are working so hard to reduce its spread.”
Person said that the source of COVID-19 has more and more moved from affecting those who have traveled to what is referred to as ‘community spread,’ which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means some people have been infected with the virus who are not sure how or where the infection occurred.
“In coordination with the Cass County Health Department, the city of Belton continues to direct residents to stay at home except to carry out essential services and when you do go out for those, or to get some fresh air or exercise, to follow the CDC guidelines, especially to keep a physical distance of 6 feet and, most importantly, wash your hands,” Person said.
Everyone is urged to take preventive actions to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses. These actions include:
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Cover coughs and sneezes using your elbow or shoulder rather than your hands
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Stay home if you are sick
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. If you suspect that you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider to let them know before seeking care. It is critical that your provider is aware you may have COVID-19 prior to your arrival at a healthcare facility and that you follow all instructions before arriving.
For more information, visit the DHSS website at www.health.mo.gov/coronavirus or the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. A statewide COVID-19 hotline also operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-435-8411.