The Latest COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Information
At Lake Regional Health System, the safety, health and well-being of our patients, visitors and our team is our top priority. We have taken safety measures at our hospital and clinics and are doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
While in-person appointments are available and safe, virtual visits also are available.
Vaccination Alert: Learn how to get COVID-19 vaccinated.
Do you need a COVID-19 test?
Patients seeking testing should follow these steps:
Step 1: If you’re feeling sick, get screened. Call 573.348.7419 or your doctor's office.
Step 2: Your provider will schedule a virtual visit or arrange an in-person appointment.
Step 3: If your provider orders a test, you will receive that test at Express Care in Camdenton, Eldon, Lebanon or Osage Beach. If you do not have a primary care provider, or need to be seen after hours or on the weekends, you can walk into Express Care for an appointment. The Express Care provider will determine if you need a test.
Step 4: The provider who orders the test will call you with the test results.
Rapid tests are available at all Lake Regional Express Care locations. There is currently a limited supply of rapid testing kits available, and priority will be given to symptomatic patients with comorbidities and patients being seen for return-to-work visits.
For more information about COVID-19 symptoms and testing options, call 573.348.7419 for assistance.
Patients needing COVID-19 testing before a procedure should go to the hospital’s Outpatient Services department from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. A physician’s order, but no appointment, is required.
Keeping You Safe
To protect our patients and staff, our facilities are upholding the latest protocols from the CDC.
- Masks: Patients and visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings. Our staff wear masks and other PPE to protect patients.
- Waiting Options: Patients have the option to wait in their car or in the waiting room.
- Cleaning: Facilities, exam rooms and waiting rooms are cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
- Smaller Groups: To keep the number of people in buildings low, we have updated our visitor policy.
- Social Distancing: Waiting rooms are arranged to allow for social distancing.
If you have possible or confirmed COVID-19, follow these 10 steps.
- Stay home except to get medical care.
- Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your primary care provider immediately.
- Get rest, and stay hydrated.
- Take over-the-counter medications as directed. Your health care provider may recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever and cough medicine to manage a cough.
- For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have or may have COVID-19.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people in or outside the home, wear a mask.
- Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels and bedding.
- Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
When to Seek Care
Call your primary care provider if your symptoms worsen. Be sure to tell the clinic that you tested positive for COVID-19 and the date of your test. You will be offered a virtual visit.
Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone
- Any other symptoms that are severe or you feel need emergency attention
If you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, your health care provider might recommend that you receive investigational treatment. The FDA has issued EUAs for a number of investigational monoclonal antibodies that can attach to parts of the virus. These antibodies could help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. If used, they should be administered as soon as possible after diagnosis (or in some cases, exposure) and within 10 days of symptom onset. Your health care provider will decide whether these investigational treatments are appropriate to treat your illness.
Who is eligible to receive monoclonal antibody therapy?
Monoclonal antibody treatment is available to individuals who:
- Are high risk** for developing severe COVID-19 and
- Have a positive COVID-19 test and have not yet been admitted to the hospital and
- Are 12 years of age or older (and at least 88 pounds)
Post-exposure preventive monoclonal antibodies are available to those who have been exposed (consistent with the CDC's close contact criteria)* and who are:
- High risk** for developing severe COVID-19 and
- 12 years of age or older (and at least 88 pounds) and
- Not fully vaccinated or vaccinated but immunocompromised
*In some cases, direct exposure isn't a criterion. If you meet the criteria above and are at high risk of exposure to an individual infected because of an occurrence of infection in other individuals in the same institutional setting (for example, nursing homes or prisons), you are eligible for post-exposure preventive monoclonal antibodies. For more information visit the CDC's treatment guidelines.
At Lake Regional, the order for monoclonal antibodies can happen in one of three ways:
- ED Visit → Order → Infusion in ED
- Express Care Visit → Order → Appointment for infusion
- PCP order → Appointment for infusion
Step 1: Call your Lake Regional primary care provider to request a virtual visit.
Step 2: The clinic will send you an email with a link to an application called Zoom. Lake Regional uses a secure, HIPAA-compliant version of ZOOM to protect your privacy.
Step 3: About 5 minutes before your appointment, click the link in your email to get started.
Step 4: Just like an in-person visit, your visit will start with a face-to-face meeting with a nurse, and then you will be face-to-face with the provider.
Tips to Prepare for Virtual Visits
For the best experience, think of your virtual visit just like a visit in an exam room with your provider. Your provider will ask you about your symptoms. They might have you take your temperature and talk you through taking your pulse.
Follow these tips to help your visit go more smoothly.
- Make a list of the health issues you want to address.
- Keep your visit free of distractions by finding a quiet place with good cell reception or internet connection.
- Hold the camera at eye level.
- Make sure your volume is turned on.
- Try out your microphone before the visit.
- Close other programs you won’t need during the visit
For more help, visit lakeregional.com/virtualvisit.
Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days after their last exposure to that person. In general, close contact is defined as being within six feet of a person (with or without masks) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period. However, anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to stay home.
- Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
- Someone who has had COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months and
- Has recovered and
- Remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath)
What do I do during quarantine?
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Watch for fever (100.4 F), cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your health care provider.
- If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
Can Testing Shorten My Quarantine?
Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine:
- After day 10 without testing
- After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)
Isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available).
What to do
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
- Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels and utensils.
- Wear a mask when around other people if able.
When Can You be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19?
Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your health care provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.
In general, you can be around others after:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. Note: Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Healthy Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system working properly. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Try to minimize stress.
- Keep current with all recommended vaccines. Vaccines prime your immune system to fight off infections before they take hold in your body.
What about vitamin D, zinc and other supplements?
Speak with your primary care provider before starting any medications or supplements. The science on the benefits of supplements for treating and preventing COVID-19 is still unfolding. This Harvard Health Blog summarizes current research: bit.ly/supplement use.
More from Lake Regional
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides daily updates at Coronavirus Disease 2019.
- The state of Missouri has activated a 24-hour hotline to answer COVID-19 questions at 877.435.8411.
- If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, follow these steps to help protect other people in your home and community.
- News and tips to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Printable COVID-19 information sheets:
All patients receiving care at the hospital are limited to one support person per day for all areas of the hospital. In addition, appointments need to be made in advance to visit Skilled Nursing Facility patients. For everyone's safety, we respectfully ask our visitors not to come/go during visiting hours. Please stay in the patient's room throughout the visit and do not re-enter after leaving for the day. Exceptions will be made for pediatric patients who are allowed to have both parents, and end-of-life situations.
Patients and their visitors may expect the following at Lake Regional Hospital:
- Visiting hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days per week.
- Visitors must be 18 years or older.
- Visitors must wear masks. If they do not have a mask, Lake Regional will provide one.
- People with colds, sore throats or other symptoms of illness should not visit patients.
- While in the hospital, visitors should stay in patient rooms/bays; they should not sit in waiting rooms or common areas.
- The cafeteria is closed to visitors. Meal arrangements can be made with nursing staff.
- To ensure the privacy of our patients, visitors may be asked to leave the room during tests, treatments or physician consultations.
For complete visitor guidelines, click here.
How You Can Help
A special fund has been created to support Lake Regional Health System’s work in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The Lake Regional COVID-19 Response Fund will be directed to the areas of greatest need. Sincere thanks to those who have contributed so far.
For more information about COVID-19, visit CDC.gov.