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CMH employee tests positive for COVID-19

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A Citizens Memorial Hospital employee, who lives in Cedar County, has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a CMH news release, the employee tested received a positive test result on Saturday, March 28.

“To protect the privacy of the employee and their family, we will not release individually identifiable details,” the release said.

The release said the employee, who does not have direct contact with patients or long-term care residents, has been recovering at home and is in self-quarantine with family.

Also, co-workers with close contact to this individual have not shown symptoms of coronavirus, the release said. They are in self-quarantine, following recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The release said the employee sought care at Stockton Family Medical Center on Thursday, March 19.

Tamera Heitz-Peek, CMH's marketing director, said the employee was tested the same day.

She described the nine-day period between the employee's test on March 19 and the positive result as a "normal wait time."

“The employee called ahead, and the clinic took precautions to ensure that clinic staff and other patients were not exposed,” the release said.

CMH is working with the Cedar County and Polk County health departments “to assure that CDC guidelines have been followed to minimize any exposure to co-workers or others,” the release said.

“CMH employees and medical staff are taking the necessary precautions to protect our employees, patients, residents and community members,” the release said.

The hospital said it will continue to screen and test for coronavirus symptoms.

"We immediately implemented the procedures outlined in our emergency preparedness plan," Gary Fulbright, CEO/executive director of CMH and Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation, said in the release. "Although this news may cause concern in the Bolivar and Stockton communities, please know we are prepared and will continue to work with local, state and federal agencies to protect the health of our employees and residents in the communities we serve."

As of Tuesday morning, March 31, the Polk County Health Center said there were no positive cases of COVID-19 in the county.

The center said 149 people had been tested with 85 negative results. There were 64 test results still pending.

Numbers released Monday by the state indicate there are 1,031 confirmed cases across Missouri, including 13 deaths. Around 15,645 total people had been tested.

CMH expands services 

CMH announced Monday it has opened a COVID-19 hotline. 

Patients and community members with coronavirus-related questions, including those with possible symptoms of COVID-19, can call 328-4300, a release said. 

The hotline, which is for non-emergency calls only, is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For emergencies, the public should call 911, the release said. 

CMH also expanded the hours of its COVID-19 drive-thru testing.  

The drive-thru is now open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to the release. 

The drive-thru testing site is in the former Butterfield Pharmacy, 1125 N. Butterfield Road. Patients need to bring photo identification and stay in their vehicles, the release said. 

Patients with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, can call the CMH COVID-19 hotline or complete a CMH Virtual Visit for screening to obtain a doctor’s order.

For more information about CMH Virtual Visits, go to citizensmemorial.com/virtualvisits.

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