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Lake Regional Screening Patients, Visitors for Influenza-Like Illnesses

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Area residents who are experiencing flu-like symptoms are encouraged to stay home and call their doctor before heading to a local clinic or emergency department.

“When you call, tell them about your symptoms and your travel history,” said Dane Henry, CEO of Lake Regional Health System. “This will help your doctor take care of you while protecting others from the spread of illness.”

Much like the flu, most individuals who come into contact with COVID-19 have mild symptoms. These people can recover at home, ensuring community resources are available to care for individuals who do require hospitalization.

At Lake Regional Health System, a screening process has been implemented for visitors to the hospital. Beginning March 14, visitors will be screened for illness and travel history before entering the facility.

As part of the hospital’s preparedness plan to ensure patients can safely avoid exposure to respiratory illnesses, the hospital has erected negative air pressure rooms, which filter air, inside its Emergency and main lobby entrances. Patients and visitors will be screened for symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 inside the rooms.

“We have added an additional step to triage where our nurses will ask a series of questions," Henry said. "This will help us determine if the patient should be wearing a mask and following certain other protocols.”

Henry stressed that restricting the hospital entrances is a preparedness step for the hospital. These spaces are not testing centers for COVID-19.

To contact your Lake Regional primary care provider or a Lake Regional Express Care location, visit lakeregional.com/locations for a complete list of phone number and business hours.

If you do not have a health care provider, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has activated a 24-hour hotline at 877-435-8411.

To learn more about symptoms of COVID-19 and how to stay safe from illness, visit lakeregional.com/COVID-19.