There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in Texas County at this time. Statewide there have been 215 tests ran at the state lab, with 207 being negative, and 8 being positive. The number of cases tested by private labs is unknown, however no cases have been reported positive.
For COVID-19 testing at the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory, your physician must follow the interim testing algorithm. Because it’s still flu season, testing for seasonal flu is required first to rule it out as the cause of a person’s illness. Then the person’s severe disease indicators, risk factors and compatible symptoms are evaluated.
Private labs that offer testing may require other sets of specific criteria. Persons who feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, AND have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if the person lives in or has recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 should call their physician to ask about getting tested.
It is VERY important to call your physician, clinic, or the emergency room FIRST before going into the office so they can make sure that proper infection control procedures are followed when you arrive.
Citizens need to remain aware the COVID-19 situation is an evolving event where things can change quickly. Public health and county medical response agencies, Texas County Hospital, the physician offices, nursing homes, ambulances, 911, and pharmacies, are following current CDC and state guidance, using the best available science as we receive it.
Strategic interventions are being made based upon contingency emergency operation plans that are in place to respond as needed and depending on the situation.
Currently the county hospital and area nursing homes have implemented restricted visitor policies; they are asking questions about health and travel history when patients arrive for clinic visits and appointments.
EVERYONE HAS A PART TO PLAY IN KEEPING THE COMMUNITY SAFE
Stay home if you are sick, practice good hygiene and wash your hands frequently, use social distancing to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading disease.
We are urging everyone to follow the 3/16/2020 UPDATED guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
For the next two weeks, avoid social gatherings in groups of 10+ people, avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts, use drive thru or pick delivery options. Avoid discretionary travel, unnecessary shopping and social visits. Do not visit nursing homes, retirement homes, long term care facilities unless to provide critical care assistance.
We believe that taking a proactive approach will be more beneficial than waiting until someone gets sick.
We have already seen our community pulling together and helping each other out. As a local health department, we are here to serve you. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions or concerns. You can reach us at 417-967-4131.