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The McDonald County Health Department has reported the first laboratory confirmed case of covid-19 in a McDonald County resident. This is a travel-related case and has had no contacts in the community since returning from travel.

"Our hearts and our support are with the family as they care for their loved one right now," says administrator Paige Behm. "We knew we couldn't stop the virus from coming to our community, but now we must work harder than ever as a community to slow its spread. Most people who get covid-19 will only have mild illness, but there are some members of our community who are at higher risk of getting very sick. We need to band together to protect them."

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » nwaonline.com/coronavirus]

The Health Department urges anyone who develops a fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat to stay home and call their health care provider. County residents should plan ahead to make sure they have enough food, medication and other items to be able to isolate themselves at home for several days if they do become sick.

"It is very important for anyone who is sick to stay home, away from other people, to prevent the spread of coronavirus," Behm said. "We must each do our part to protect everyone in our community."

For more information about covid-19, visit the CDC's website at bit.ly/about-COVID or call the Missouri covid-19 public information hotline at 1-877-435-8411.

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