Pike Health Department Reports Third COVID-19 Related Death

Pike Health Department Reports Third COVID-19 Related Death

August 31, 2020

Pike County, MO – The Pike Health Department was notified of the third death of a Pike County resident related to COVID-19. The resident was an elderly male in the 70-79 age range.  He tested positive for COVID-19 on August 25, 2020.

“We were saddened to hear the news and extend our sympathy,” says Administrator Rhonda Stumbaugh.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time”.

Stumbaugh stressed the importance to continue following guidelines from the Missouri Department of Health as well as the Pike County Health Department.  It is a crucial time, she said, “that we all work together and do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 to prevent any more precious lives taken as a result of this virus”.

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. If you think, you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough, shortness or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for medical advice before showing up.

For more information, visit the DHSS website at www.health.mo.gov/coronavirus or the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. A statewide COVID-19 hotline also operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-435-8411. You may also visit our website for COVID-19 updates at www.pikecountyhealth.org.

PCHD reminds community to stay cautious of COVID-19 Virus

August 10, 2020

Pike County, MO – As your local Public Health Department throughout this pandemic we are working considerably hard to address safety concerns and inform the community on how they can help slow the spread of COVID-19 within Pike County.

With our recent rise in positive cases, we feel it necessary to remind everyone that we are still under the Governor’s Executive order which includes social distancing and taking precautions when social distancing cannot be maintained.

As event season is upon us and like all actions during this pandemic, there are significant consequences to the decisions to host/attend mass gatherings, and we are not immune to those effects. While there are no national or State mandates in place that do not allow large events, we as a local health department will not support/recommend such events take place.

Returning to normal is our ultimate goal for not only the physical health of everyone but for our own mental health as well. We encourage our residents to find safe ways to get the fresh air and socialization we all crave during these crazy times while remaining cautious about this active virus within our community. We urge everyone to continue taking preventative measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 within our county.

This is a recommendation and not a mandate and will remain as such unless there are substantial local changes related to the pandemic or further guidance from state or national levels warrants the enactment of an official mandate. It is the hope that everyone will take precautions and decisions are made in the best interest of our citizens as well as realizing the work load that has been put on our Health Care Providers, Hospital, and Local Health Department.  Pike County Health Department will continue to follow CDC data and recommendations while monitoring any changes in the spread of this virus within our county.

Follow case counts and resources on our website at www.pikecountyhealth.org/covid-19/

 

Missouri pediatricians and state health department encourage parents to seek preventative care

July 27, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a decline in the vaccination rates among children across Missouri. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is partnering with the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MOAAP) to encourage parents to take their children for well-child visits and recommended vaccinations. Well-child visits play a vital role in ensuring children are healthy and protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Well-child visits monitor a child’s growth and development, as well as provide important immunizations,” said Kristin Sohl, MD, FAAP, President, MOAAP. “Routine visits with your child’s pediatrician or primary care provider are essential to keeping your child healthy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Missouri’s vaccination rates during the COVID-19 pandemic

Missouri has seen a decrease in the number of vaccines given among children since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, there was more than a 50% decrease in the number of vaccines given to children 18 years of age or younger as compared to April 2019. Slight increases in vaccines given were then seen in May and June, but compared to the same timeframe in 2019, the decreases were still more than 35% and 30% for the respective months.

DHSS is partnering with the MOAAP, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local public health agencies, and other community partners to help provide vaccines to Missourians in safe and innovative ways to avoid an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease and ensure children are able to enter school as they reopen.

“One of the many things we have been working on is outlining ways that we can help protect students, teachers and their families during this time,” said Randall Williams, MD, FACOG, DHSS Director. “Getting caught up on well-child visits and vaccinations is a proactive measure that we encourage families to take. Many childhood illnesses can be prevented by vaccines, and protecting our immune systems is especially important this school year.”

What are health care providers doing to ensure well-child visits are safe?

Guidance has been given to health care providers on what they can do to ensure safety during the well-child visits. Based on the guidance received from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providers have implemented procedures and have added precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of Missouri families. For example, offices are bringing patients directly from their cars to a room, utilizing separate entrances, completely separating office space between sick and well-child visits, or holding well-child visits first and then sick visits later in the afternoon with additional cleaning procedures in between visits. These extra steps are being taken to prioritize patient safety and health. Clinics are adapting their office visit procedures in real-time based on the most updated guidance.

Health care providers should determine which children have missed well-child visits and the recommended vaccines and prioritize rescheduling them, starting with newborns.

What can you do to protect yourself and your child/children during well-child visits?

Below are steps people can take to reduce the risk of getting a viral respiratory infection, including COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces).
  • Wear a face covering (those over the age of 2).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

Based on guidance from CDC, there has been a decrease in the number of vaccines ordered and administered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC has seen a decline in the number of vaccines ordered and administered through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, a national program that provides federally-purchased vaccine to roughly 50% of U.S. children that are 18 years of age or younger who meet the following criteria:

  • Medicaid-eligible
  • Uninsured
  • Underinsured (vaccinated at local public health agencies only)
  • American Indian/Alaskan Native

To learn more about COVID-19 and well-child checkups, visit health.mo.gov/wellchild.

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About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at http://health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo

 

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Protecting our Communities is a Team Effort

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As summer starts to make its way into our area that means that more events will soon be organized. While our agency continues to recommend that our county residents follow the guidelines issued by the State of Missouri as well as the CDC, we strive to assist local businesses, schools, and community organizations on how to implement these recommended actions.

As your local Health Department, our role is to help the community understand and put into action these recommendations through guidance and education. While these guidelines are only recommendations for what we can do during these re-opening phases to slow the spread of COVID-19, we urge the community to continue making safe decisions particularly in ways that protect persons at increased risk of severe illness. During this phase we continue to encourage social distancing and proper hand hygiene as it is each individuals responsibility to take action against this virus.

 

We encourage the public and community entities to reach out to us if you would like assistance in how to implement mitigation strategies during these re-opening phases. Please use our COVID-19 contact form that can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 webpage found on our website at www.pikecountyhealth.org or call 573-324-2111.

Do You Know Your Tools2Thrive? – Mental Health Awareness Month

While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The good news is there are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency – and there are ways that everyone can be supportive of friends, family, and co-workers who are struggling with life’s challenges or their mental health.

 

This May is Mental Health Month Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice is highlighting #Tools2Thrive – what individuals can do daily to prioritize their mental health, build resiliency in the face of trauma and obstacles, support those who are struggling, and work towards a path of recovery.

 

One of the easiest tools anyone can use is taking a mental health screen at mhascreening.org when they need answers. It’s a quick, free, and private way for people to assess their mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems.

 

This May, we are also exploring topics that can help you build your own set of #Tools2Thrive – recognizing and owning your feelings; finding the positive after loss; connecting with others; eliminating toxic influences; creating healthy routines; and supporting others – all as ways to boost the mental health and general wellness of you and your loved ones.

 

When it comes to your feelings, it can be easy to get caught up in your emotions as you’re feeling them. Most people don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with but taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can help you to better cope with challenging situations. It’s ok to give yourself permission to feel. We also know that life can throw us curveballs – and at some point in our lives we will all experience loss. It may be the end of a relationship, being let go from a job, losing a home, or the death of a loved one. It is natural to go through a grieving process. By looking for opportunity in adversity or finding ways to remember the good things about who or what we’ve lost, we can help ourselves to recover mentally and emotionally.

 

It also is true that connections and the people around us can help our overall mental health – or hurt it. It’s important to make connections with other people that help enrich our lives and get us through tough times, but it’s equally important to recognize when certain people and situations in life can trigger us to feel bad or engage in destructive behaviors. Identifying the toxic influences in our lives and taking steps to create a new life without them can improve mental and physical health over time. And we know that work, paying bills, cleaning, getting enough sleep, and taking care of children are just some of the things we do each day – and it is easy to be overwhelmed. By creating routines, we can organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern that makes it easier to get things done without having to think hard about them.

 

For each of us, the tools we use to keep us mentally healthy will be unique. But Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. Finding what work for you may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, and physical health and mental health – and set yourself on the path to recovery. For more information, visit www.mhanational.org/may. Find local mental health resources on our website at and learn more about the mental and behavioral health services that we offer at our office with the help of Clarity Behavioral Health. Follow Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice on facebook  or twitter for Mental Health resources throughout the month of May.