As residents return from spring break trips and other travel, it is the advice of the Cole County Health Department that they self-quarantine for 14 days.

During that time, travelers returning from outside of Central Missouri are advised to stay home, avoid contact with others, and monitor for symptoms. If a traveler were to become symptomatic, they are encouraged to contact their provider.

While we recognize that this will be a hardship for returning travelers, it is important to prevent the spread of coronavirus in our community. Our community has been working diligently to put strategies in place that will help curb the transmission of illness and hopefully avoid a spike in cases. Travelers may feel fine when returning but could be carrying illness as a result of travel.

It is important that each and every one of us continue to practice basic preventative measures to help decrease the spread. These measures, as outlined by the CDC, include: avoiding contact with people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, proper handwashing, cleaning frequently used surfaces, and staying home when sick.

The Cole County Health Department is taking necessary precautions to keep our community safe and will continue to diligently monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow CDC guidelines to help protect the public health and limit spread of this infection.

We highly encourage, if you suspect that you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider before seeking care. For more information, please visit www.colehealth.org or www.cdc.gov.