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Have COVID-19 questions? Learn about testing and treatment. Or how to get vaccinated.

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.

While in-person appointments are available and safe, virtual visits also are available.


Vaccination Alert: Learn how to get COVID-19 vaccinated.


Testing

ALERT: To manage unusually high volumes in our Express Care, we are limiting COVID testing to patients who have COVID symptoms. We cannot provide testing for travel, events, exposures or return to work.

Also, if you are not experiencing symptoms, please do not visit the Emergency Department for testing.

The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services has links for testing resources.

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.

When and Where to Seek Care

If you have mild or moderate symptoms and want medical attention, please call your primary care provider or visit a Lake Regional Express Care. Please be prepared for long waits. You also may request a virtual visit.

If you have severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or pale gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.

If you have possible or confirmed COVID-19, follow these 10 steps.

  1. Stay home except to get medical care.
  2. Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your primary care provider immediately.
  3. Get rest, and stay hydrated.
  4. 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.
  5. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have or may have COVID-19.
  6. Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels and bedding.
  10. 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

Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines

If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate), everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19, follow these (Quarantine) guidelines.

If you:

Have been boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.

If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.

If you:

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
OR
Are unvaccinated

Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.

Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you are up-to-date on your vaccines. People who are up-to-date do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, up to date people should get tested 5-7 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.

For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

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).

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Monoclonal Antibodies

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.

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

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.

Source: health.harvard.edu

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Resources

Learn More

For more information about COVID-19, visit CDC.gov.