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On March 18, Bates County Memorial Hospital (BCMH) learned there is a nationwide shortage of supplies for testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. There is currently no time frame for when these supplies will be available from the CDC and commercial suppliers.

We will continue to collect and send specimens to be processed by LabCorp as we are able. There may be a temporary delay in getting results. BCMH also has limited supplies to collect specimens for COVID-19.

BCMH has set up High Street Family Care Clinic as a designated testing site for evaluation and testing of individuals with respiratory symptoms. You must call ahead before entering: 660-200-3627.

During this shortage, we are using strict criteria to determine who will be tested for COVID-19 based on patient priority of need. Individuals suspected of having COVID-19 should self-isolate at home until COVID-19 testing has been completed or release from isolation according to the following:

·                Individuals suspected of having COVID-19 self-isolate at home until COVID-19 testing has been completed

·                OR the patient who is sick with respiratory symptoms should remain isolated until they no longer have a fever, without the aid of fever-reducing medications, for at least 72 hours (3 days) AND the patient has improvement in respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath AND at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

BCMH strongly encourages the community to practice social distancing as much as possible. Avoid discretionary travel, non-essential shopping trips, and social visits. If you are an older person or have a chronic illness, stay home and away from other people. Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities. For example, the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America in “15 Days to Slow the Spread” include this statement:

“Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

If you are sick, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. If you have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease, OR if your illness is worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing), call your health care provider. They will tell you what to do.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough or shortness of breath, and sometimes a sore throat.

To contact your healthcare provider at Family Care Clinics, please call 660-200-3627. Please consult the hospital’s website for the latest updates on our status. www.bcmhospital.com

CDC Guidance for caring for yourself at home: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/caring-for-yourself-at-home.html

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf

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