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This article is free to all readers because it includes information important to public safety and health in our community.

Moniteau County reported its 13th death due to the coronavirus Thursday afternoon.

The deceased person was a resident in their 60s, according to a news release release from the Moniteau County Health Center.

This is the latest in a string of COVID-19 deaths in Moniteau County, the last reported at the end of October. In the two-week period prior, another six deaths were recorded.

Moniteau County's COVID-19 case count continues to inch higher, as active cases as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday number at 143, seven of which are hospitalized. The county's total number of cases since the start of the pandemic is 895.

New cases added to the daily tally have been in the double digits since Oct. 27.

The Health Center again urged everyone to take actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including avoiding close contact with people who are sick; avoiding touching one's eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; washing hands with soap and water regularly; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces regularly; staying home if one feels sick; and adhering to proper social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from others and wearing a facial covering when engaging in tasks away from home.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website at health.mo.gov/coronavirus or the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Missouri operates a statewide COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411 from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week.

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