The Phelps/Maries County Health Department is currently investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst a cluster of employees at the Great Circle Campus located in St. James. To date the number of cases per county related to this outbreak are: Phelps (8), Maries (2), Dent (1), and Pulaski (1). One positive case from Phelps County and one positive case from Maries County are direct household contacts to employees that have tested positive. One case does remain hospitalized, requiring ventilation at this time. The remainder of the cases are isolated at home.

The health departments have been working closely with Great Circle, Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Social Services, and Department of Mental Health to quarantine, isolate, and contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Prompt action was taken by Great Circle to assist in providing the health departments with information necessary for contact tracing to ensure all potential contacts were identified and contacted directly by the appropriate health department. All necessary precautions have been and continue to be taken by Great Circle to ensure the safety of their staff, residents, and our communities. Facility wide testing has been conducted, so there is a possibility of a continued increase in case counts as pending test results become available. Due to an increased concern for privacy, no further information related to this outbreak will be released other than to update case numbers if pending test results are positive.

Great Circle has provided the Phelps/Maries County Health Department with the following statement:

“Nothing is more important than the health of our clients, their families and our staff.

“As part of everyday operations, Great Circle follows stringent policies and procedures to minimize the risk of exposure to all infectious diseases. This commitment to care, as well as guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health authorities, has guided our COVID-19 response plan since early March.

“All plans and procedures were in place when Great Circle was notified of staff who work at our residential campus in St. James, MO testing positive for COVID-19. We immediately implemented our safety measures, which include the quarantine of all potentially exposed staff and clients in our care, and we are fully complying with measures recommended by local public health authorities.

“As Great Circle redoubles efforts to support the behavioral health needs of the children and families we serve, we remain vigilant in our infection control efforts and are doing all we can to support efforts to combat this pandemic.”