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A Citizens Memorial Hospital employee, who lives in Cedar County, has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a CMH news release, the employee tested received a positive test result for the virus on Saturday, March 28.

“To protect the privacy of the employee and their family, we will not release individually identifiable details,” the release said.

The release said the employee, who does not have direct contact with patients or long-term care residents, has been recovering at home and is in self-quarantine with family.

Also, co-workers with close contact to this individual have not shown symptoms of coronavirus, the release said. They are in self-quarantine, following recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The release said the employee sought care at Stockton Family Medical Center on Thursday, March 19.

Tamera Heitz-Peek, CMH's marketing director, said the employee was tested the same day.

She called the 9-day period between the employee's test and the positive result a "normal wait time."

“The employee called ahead, and the clinic took precautions to ensure that clinic staff and other patients were not exposed,” the release said.

CMH is working with the Cedar County and Polk County health departments “to assure that CDC guidelines have been followed to minimize any exposure to co-workers or others,” the release said.

“CMH employees and medical staff are taking the necessary precautions to protect our employees, patients, residents and community members,” the release said.

The hospital said it will continue to screen and test for coronavirus symptoms.

"We immediately implemented the procedures outlined in our emergency preparedness plan," Gary Fulbright, CEO/executive director of CMH and Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation, said in the release. "Although this news may cause concern in the Bolivar and Stockton communities, please know we are prepared and will continue to work with local, state and federal agencies to protect the health of our employees and residents in the communities we serve."

A CMH COVID-19 screening hotline and extended Virtual Visit hours will be activated Monday, the release said. More information will be available at citizensmemorial.com.

As of Friday morning, March 27, the Polk County Health Center said there were no positive cases of COVID-19 in Polk County.

The center said 121 people had been tested with 50 negative results. There were 71 test results still pending.

Numbers released Saturday afternoon by the state indicate there are 838 confirmed cases across Missouri, including 10 deaths. Five cases did not list a county of origin.

*Editor's note: This article was updated at 6:15 p.m. with comments from a CMH representative.

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