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story.lead_photo.caption Moniteau County Health Center Administrator Andrea Kincaid Photo by California Democrat File

The Moniteau County Health Center is warning citizens to be aware of signs of potential scams regarding the ongoing distribution of coronavirus vaccinations.

Prior to the weekend, the Health Center shared a social media post indicating some Moniteau County citizens are receiving such calls as roll out in the second phase of vaccine distribution continues.

Some signs of such scam calls include if one is asked to pay out of pocket to get vaccinated, if one is asked to pay to put their name on a vaccine wait list or to get early access to the vaccine, and if one is asked to provide personal information — such as a social security number, bank account or credit card information — over the phone or via text.

Moniteau County Health Center administrator Andrea Kincaid said there's no cost associated with the vaccine. Per federal requirements, there is no fee to be vaccinated. Kincaid also said she wanted citizens to know that when facilitating vaccinations, personal information is only collected when citizens are on-site filling out a consent form and includes only information such as date of birth, address and allergies.

If you suspect a scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. If you are a Moniteau County citizen, are contacted and are unsure if it's a scam, hang up and call the Moniteau County Health Center at 573-796-3412 to check.

Active COVID-19 cases in Moniteau County continue to be on a steady decline; active cases as of press time Tuesday sit at just 12, with only one individual hospitalized for their symptoms. There have now been 1,876 total cases of COVID-19 recorded among Moniteau County citizens since the start of the pandemic. The Health Center also reported an additional coronavirus-related death from January on Monday, a resident in their 80s. The total number of deaths recorded in Moniteau County now totals 29.

Part of that decline means Moniteau County has again moved down in its risk category to Category 3: Serious Risk. The county's seven-day positivity rate is now 6.5 percent, and its seven-day rate of new cases per 100,000 members of the population is 62.

Communities are eligible to move down in risk category after two consecutive weeks of meeting a lower category's criteria.

Guidelines for the Serious Risk category are less stringent; for example, this risk category places no limit on business occupancy. Wearing face masks is still advised in all offices and businesses where 10 or more people are present and social distancing isn't possible, and social group sizes should still be limited to maintain 6 feet of social distancing.

The Health Center continues to urge the public 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 in Missouri and what can be done on an individual level to help stop the spread, visit oneforallmo.com. Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at health.mo.gov/coronavirus or cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Missouri operates a statewide COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

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