Yesterday, the Livingston County Health Department hosted a meeting with city and county officials along with school administrators, healthcare providers, emergency medical services, law enforcement and others to discuss the COVID-19 also known as the Coronavirus.

Sherry Weldon, director of the Livingston County Health Department noted that as of Monday there have been no one in Livingston County test positive for the virus, and while there are no cases in the county yet, that could change at any time, and likely will.

“We know from just looking at the spread here and in other states, that it is just a matter of time before we have someone present with symptoms and meet the criteria for testing,” she said.

There is a limited number of test kits currently, though Weldon expects the state to get more in the next 10-14 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established specific criteria for testing. Weldon said the health department is closely following the CDC guidelines and encourages citizens to do the same.

“Social distancing - being at least three but preferably six feet from other people, is best if you are out and about,” she said. Weldon noted business owners should try and establish traffic flow in their businesses that would allow people to remain six feet apart.

Environmental cleaning, limiting exposure to groups and handwashing are all key, especially for those with compromised immune systems and the elderly population.

Healthcare professionals present noted that patients should be reminded to not just show-up at clinics or emergency departments if they think they have the virus, they should call first.

Anyone with questions about COVID should call the Missouri Coronavirus hotline at 1-877-435-8411.

As of March 16, the Missouri State Lab had tested 215 people, 207 were negative for the virus and eight were positive. Of the eight positive results, three are from Greene County, three from St. Louis County, one from St. Louis City and one from Henry County, according to Gov. Mike Parson’s office.