February 28, 2020
“We are committed to providing new information from the CDC as we receive it in what is a dynamic process, and we encourage people with questions to visit our website for accurate and timely information,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
As previously announced by DHSS, the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory was approved by the CDC to begin providing testing on Thursday. The test uses real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) to detect the virus which causes COVID-19, and it can provide same-day results from when a specimen is received at the laboratory.
To date, there have been no cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Missouri. However, it is important to know what to do if you have concerns about an illness during this outbreak. DHSS encourages people to call their health care provider or local health department if they are at risk for COVID-19 to inform them of travel history and symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.
There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of all types of respiratory viruses. These include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
PUBLIC HEALTH CONNECTS US ALL. Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases.
As your public health department we receive daily and weekly communicable disease reports from local hospitals, clinics and schools which allows us to take measures to prevent outbreaks and protect the public.
We can break down ways we work to prevent public disease and keep our community healthy into these 7 topics:
1. Public Health Nursing Visits
Our public health nursing staff is available with doctor’s orders to provide in-home nursing services to the community such as basic health assessments, blood draws, immunizations, filling medi-sets, and checking vital signs. These services are also available at our walk-in clinic.
2. Walk-In Clinic Immunizations
There are many ways to prevent the spread of disease. Vaccinations have helped eliminate or greatly reduced disease threats. Kids, teens and adults should all be protected and stay up to date with their recommended immunizations. Our agency staffs a full time LPN to be available to the public for immunizations, nursing services and more with no appointment necessary. Some services require physicians orders and some are free of charge. Visit our walk-in clinic tab for a list of services, fees, walk-in clinic hours and more. Call and ask us about free adult & child immunizations.
3. Communicable Disease Prevention & Education:
Some diseases spread from one person to another while others can spread from animal to person. Some are spread through the air, by touch or through bodily fluids. Some diseases may produce mild symptoms; others can be lethal. Our agency works hard to investigate potential threats to our community and ensure our population is educated when this happens. Call our office to learn more.
4. Community Immunization Clinics:
We schedule clinics open to the public through out the year to assist our community in getting their vaccinations easily. Some of these clinics include our Spring School Shot Clinics, Back to School Shot Clinics, and our Drive Thru Flu Shot Clinics.
5. Emergency Preparedness
In the event of a disease outbreak or natural disaster we assist other local emergency response teams in the coordination of medical care such as mass dispensing medications, vaccines and other nursing services. We also educate the community how to prepare themselves in the event of such emergencies.
6. Food Safety
We work hard at inspecting all local establishments that could harbor food borne illnesses. Our Environmentalist inspects these places on a regular basis to ensure proper steps are being taken to keep the community safe.
7. Sewage & Septic Services
These services are considered an environmental health service; household wastewater is loaded with disease-causing bacteria and viruses, as well as high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. It is important to the health of the community to ensure area residents have a properly functioning septic system as it helps remove these pollutants so well water and nearby surface water doesn’t get contaminated.