The Taney County Health Department announced Friday that nine additional county residents have died from COVID-19.

According to a press release, the deaths occurred from mid-November into December.

The release stated, “The death’s included 2 males in their 60’s, 2 males in their 70’s, and 2 males in their 80’s. The deaths of 3 females, one in her 70’s, one in her 80’s and one in her 90’s have also been confirmed.”

That brings the total number of Taney County residents who have died due to COVID-19 to 55.

The health department stated that the announcement of some of these latest deaths was delayed because the health department only announces COVID deaths “after the county of residence and the cause of death can be confirmed with both the Taney County Coroner’s Office and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.”

In Stone County, the Stone County Health Department announced on Thursday that four more Stone County resident had died from COVID-19. 

“We are saddened to confirm the Covid-19 related deaths of 4 more Stone County Residents,” the Stone County Health Department posted on Facebook. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families during this difficult time. Stone County’s positivity rate has also increased to 14%. We are currently investigating cases resulting from holiday gatherings. These cases will ultimately have a snowball effect for weeks to come.”

That brings the number of COVID-19 deaths among Stone County residents to 28.

According to the Taney County Health Department website, as of Thursday, the county had 2,559 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with another 1,575 under investigation. A total of 2,279 had recovered.

In its release, the Taney County Health Department urged everyone to continue taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially entering during the winter, including physical distancing, hand hygiene, staying home when sick, wearing a face covering, and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces. The health department also urges anyone who hasn’t gotten a flu shot to do so.

“Prevention is of utmost importance, especially during the winter months.” Taney County Health Department Director Lisa Marshall said in the release. “Cooler weather encourages indoor gatherings, which increases opportunities for transmission. We need our community to continue their diligence in hand hygiene, physical distancing, watching gathering sizes, staying home when sick, and wearing face coverings.”

For more information contact the Taney County Health Department at 417-334-4544, or visit taneycohealth.org. For the Stone County Health Department, call 417-357-6134 or visit stonecountyhealthdepartment.com.

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