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County issues new orders aimed at improving COVID-19 response

St. Charles County Department of Public Health Director Demetrius Cianci-Chapman signed two orders this week to improve timeliness of reporting test results of COVID-19 and to outline directives for residents and staff at local residential care facilities, according to a press statement issued by the county Wednesday evening.

“We are at a crucial stage in our efforts to protect St. Charles County residents and the entire metropolitan area from worsening impact,” Cianci-Chapman said.

According to the Rapid Notification Order, beginning no later than 12:01 a.m., April 10, all laboratories, healthcare facilities and healthcare providers must adhere to strict orders for reporting COVID-19 test results and other information that affects St. Charles County residents. Facilities and providers must report to the St. Charles County Department of Public Health the below information regarding St. Charles County residents within the following time periods:

  • Positive test results – within 6 hours of notification
  • Negative test results – within 24 hours of notification
  • Patient hospitalizations – within 24 hours of notification
  • All deaths – within 24 hours

“The sharing of accurate and expedient information by healthcare providers and laboratories with the Department of Public Health is a vital step in controlling this pandemic,” Cianci-Chapman said. “The sooner we receive these results, the sooner we can begin implementing strategic mitigation measures to limit the spread.”

The Residential Care Facility and Nursing Home Order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, April 9. According to the order, all assisted living, intermediate care, long-term care, residential care and skilled nursing facilities located within St. Charles County must adhere to guidelines for preventative actions by patients, staff, visitors and vendors and on the reporting of COVID-19 information.

The 21-point order is designed to:

  • Prevent further spread of COVID-19 in this community, especially in vulnerable populations.
  • Monitor the well-being of those who live and work in these facilities.
  • Alert staff and the Department of Public Health to potential infections.
  • Enact recommended sanitation and hygiene policies for patients and staff.
  • Limit outside contact with individuals who could transmit the virus to those within these facilities.

“Residents living in these facilities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19,” Cianci-Chapman said. “When coupled with the rapid reporting of illness cases, these precautionary guidelines will help the Department of Public Health and staff act quickly to protect these individuals and others in our community.”

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms such as dry cough, fever or difficulty breathing should isolate themselves from others and contact their healthcare provider or call the St. Charles County Public Health Information Hotline from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily at (636) 949-1899. For more information, visit sccmo.org/COVID.

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