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COVID-19 widespread testing is crucial to fighting the pandemic, but is there enough testing? The answer is in the positivity rates.

USA TODAY

COVID-19 has affected Missourians since the virus began to spread in the state in early February.  As of Sept. 30, the state has reported 126,113 cases, including Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson. More than 2,100 people have died in Missouri as a result of COVID-19.

Recent spikes in both cases and deaths have been attributed to students returning to school and college. The virus is remarkably contagious, making it is easy to spread to individuals of all age groups from young people, many of whom also work public-facing jobs like in food, retail or entertainment services.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) recommends wearing a cloth face-covering in “areas of significant community-based transmission” and to practice social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19. Missouri is one of more than a dozen states that don’t have a mask mandate in place, although various cities and counties in the state have such an order in place.

You can track the spread of the virus, learn symptoms, and where to go for testing below:

Track COVID cases, deaths in Missouri

What are the symptoms of COVID?

The MDHSS currently lists the following symptoms that may occur after 2-14 days after an individual is exposed to COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should contact your local health care professional.

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COVID testing in Missouri

A doctor’s note is not equired in order to be tested for COVID-19. The MDHSS has identified testing locations in the state on a map you view by clicking here. You should call the facility closest to you for an appointment and instructions before visiting if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Occasional walk-in, free testing events continue to be announced. Such events may or may not require you to have exhibited symptoms or have a doctor’s order in order to get tested. Continue to check the Springfield News-Leader for updates on such events in Greene County and beyond.

In their own words, hear the stories of those impacted by COVID-19 across the U.S. in these videos:

Nate Chute is a producer with the USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter at @nchute

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