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story.lead_photo.caption Canadian geese are seen on William Woods University's campus. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

Four more cases of COVID-19 have been reported at William Woods University in Fulton, the Callaway County Health Department announced Monday.

This brings the total number of known Callaway County cases to nine, all centered at WWU.

The Health Department confirmed all nine patients are students but declined to give further information.

The first case was detected Thursday; since then, the Health Department has been working to identify those who may have come into contact with the patients.

"The patients have self-isolated at this time following the Department of Health and Senior Services and Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention) in Atlanta guidelines," according to a news release from the Health Department's Mylene Dunn. "William Woods University opened their Emergency Operations Center upon notification of the first case and has staffed the facility with trained individuals to assist with student health and resource management. This group has worked tirelessly to insure student and community safety."

The Health Department plans to continue working with WWU to follow CDC and DHSS guidelines for cleaning, quarantine and isolation on campus. The WWU campus officially closed Friday; students still on campus are asked to remain sheltered in place in their rooms.

Dunn said she's unsure how many COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the county so far, as the Health Department is only notified of positive results.

Callaway County's nine cases have not yet shown up in the DHSS's official count, which showed 17 cases in neighboring Boone County and five in Cole County, but only one in Callaway County as of Monday afternoon. DHSS's list was last updated at 2 p.m. Monday and showed 183 total cases in the state.

"All our cases have been tested by a private lab (not the state lab), and I am not sure why they have not (been listed) yet," Dunn said Monday. "Cases (now) do not have to be confirmed by the state lab."

If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-877-435-8411 or contact your healthcare provider. It is critical that your provider is aware you may have COVID-19 prior to your arrival at a health care facility. Once directed to a healthcare facility, follow all instructions given there to protect yourself and others, the Health Department said.

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