The Cooper County Public Health Center appreciates feedback and concerns:

The Cooper County Public Health Center appreciates feedback and concerns:


  1. The CCPHC staff have never stopped contract tracing. Sometimes we get behind when large numbers or complicated investigations occur. If citizens are waiting on a call from the health center, please call us at 660-882-2626. Laboratory notification to the health center may be delayed, and sometimes do not get reports for 10-14 days. There have been some instances where they are a month or more late. We have zero control as to when reports arrive to our office. We are also dependent on the information shared by positive cases. Some individuals give lots of details, some give minimal and some refuse to give any information. So, they may have friends or family members waiting for us to call however, we have no idea the close contact occurred. Once again please call the health center if you have any questions at 660-882-2626.
  2. Now that school is in session weekends are a busy time for events (of all kinds) and sharing of the covid virus. Friday’s are a critical day for new cases and for notifying the public of any announcements and exposure alerts. Public messages are created if we have a case that has potential to spread in large numbers.
  3. In terms of when and how we release public information, each case is looked at for the potential for spread, timing and related events where it occurred and future upcoming events. We also talk with the State of Missouri disease specialists. We must make decisions fast and keep moving on to new cases and contacts. Governor Parson’s has mandated school age children be a priority for case investigations. The cases are coming in so fast public announcements will become a norm and not the exception.
  4. We have been criticized for releasing not enough information and too much information. The decision-making process is as described in the #3. The sharing of information is not shaming the event or persons. It is intended to increase covid risk awareness
  5. Our staff also take calls and respond to reports of people who are perceived to be violating quarantine. Some are accurate reports and others are false. Rumors are often a source of false information that takes time from other patient duties and cases.
  6. The following large events have had zero reports and or cases associated with them. Once again, I remind you that the people interviewed may or may not share important information.
    We have not had any reported cases associated with the following events:

    Cooper County Fair Grounds Fourth of July celebration, Youth livestock fair, Loomis Brother’s Circus. The C Rock City Event at Maggie’s. The Steam Engine show and the Pilot Grove Rodeo.

  7. The following events had 1-2 cases associated as per case investigation. Again, I would like to say rumors may indicate otherwise but if we cannot substantiate rumors or associate positive cases, they remain rumors. We are also dependent upon the positive case being forthcoming with information:
    Buerky’s BBQ, Main Street Pub, Love’s-Hardee’s, The Pilot-Wendy’s, Isle of Capri, Walmart’s, Dollar General and The Cove. This list may not be complete as we have over 500 cases since late June.  Some businesses in town have cameras and they work with the health center to help review positive case activities during the event or work. Decisions are made at that time as to whether there would be a public announcement. It also depends on whether positive case was an employee or a patron and again their level of exposure.

  8. When the pandemic started Cooper County cases were low. Events were canceled and school was online. As the events reopened along with the normal activities of our daily lives our cases have increased. Slowly at first and with each week our numbers have increased. Once schools decided to have in person classes on top of increasing case numbers, it has become more imperative to help reduce cases and keep children in the classroom with their teachers. The volume of time we spend with school systems each day working very hard to keep kids in school is profound. The community has no idea how much time our schools spend working to prevent the spread and keep kids in schools.
  9. We hired and brought on staff late August early September. New staff requires training.
  10. The State of Missouri put in a new disease management reporting system mid-August. It did not migrate pre-existing cases from March through mid-August until the month of September. That migration occurred over the weekends. Our office keeps paper charts. NO DATA has been lost. It may not be easily accessible when working remotely via the computer. The CCPHC has no control of state operating systems and the migration of data. The system also experienced new start up glitches. Those glitches and heavy use slow down the system daily.
  11. The staff of the CCPHC had to build our own contact tracing and data collection system. We needed those new employees to get up to speed and assist in manpower. Our new developed system along with staff has allowed for us to pictorial graphs to help provide education. The timing of the educational reports is related to staffing and creation of a new system. The State of Missouri has not provided a system for contact tracing. Contact tracing varies from county to county in the State of Missouri. The new system mentioned in #10 has components of tracing but does not provide a comprehensive notification system. It is still manual on all levels.
  12. The pandemic appears to be long term in nature. Decisions must be made that are unpopular and everyone is experiencing inconveniences, loss of revenue, mourning a lifestyle we all had. Many families have had losses that are more than an inconvenience. They are the loss of a loved one, access to loved ones in institutions, and long-term physical damage because of covid.


I wish everyone a safe and happy Sunday.


Melanie Hutton RN, MSN






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