After several weeks without any positive cases of COVID-19 in Adair County and surrounding areas, this week has seen a spike in cases.

Sullivan County has seen a large increase in cases this week, adding 34 as large-scale testing happened at the Smithfield plant in Milan. Sullivan announced 11 more positive cases on Friday, bringing it to 35 total.

And Adair County added two more cases to its total on Friday, which now stands at 21 with nine currently active. Those cases were found in two males, ages 45 and 40, who were tested at Complete Family Medicine. Shortly after ACHD put out that release Friday, a third case was added for the day. A 43-year-old woman has also tested positive at Complete Family Medicine.

Of the nine new cases announced in the county this week, the first four came from testing at Smithfield.

Lori Guffey, the communicable disease specialist at the Adair County Health Department, has been a part of contact-tracing efforts this week. That involves contacting the person who tested positive, finding out who they live with and where they have been, and trying to put a path together to alert other people.

Guffey said the two new cases announced on Thursday and Friday can’t be pinpointed toward the Smithfield plant with total accuracy. She called them "community cases," which has the simple definition of being positive cases in the community.

"I don’t want to comment on that because I can’t say directly that they are (connected)," she said.

Jim LeBaron, the administrator for the Adair County Health Department, said 720 tests have been done in Adair County as of Thursday. That includes the drive-through clinic from a few weeks ago where nearly 300 people were tested.

He remains concerned about the virus, advising people to keep disinfecting items that are frequently touched, washing their hands, and following social distancing when in public. He hopes these new cases are just the result of more testing being done.

"Well, I think as testing increases, it seems logical to me that we would have more positive cases. So it doesn’t surprise me that we’re seeing more tests," LeBaron said.

There have been no fatalities in the area due to the virus, with 576 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services’ online database lists 134,458 total cases. That number was as of 2 p.m. Friday, but has not yet been updated with new numbers. It still lists Adair County at 17 cases and Sullivan at 13.