Twelve people tested for COVID-19 at Ozark County clinics, no positive results so far
Ozark County Health Department administrator Rhonda Suter said 12 people had been tested for COVID-19 at Ozark County clinics (Gainesville Medical Clinic, the Gainesville branch of Missouri Ozarks Community Health or Theodosia Family Medical Clinic) as of Friday morning. Nine tests have been negative and three tests are still pending results.
All local clinics have access to tests now
Suter said all Ozark County clinics now have access to limited numbers of COVID-19 tests. Residents who believe they may have the virus should call the clinic before they arrive in order to be screened. Phone numbers for local clinics are listed below:
Gainesville Medical Clinic: (417) 679-4613
Missouri Ozarks Community Health - Gainesville: (417) 679-2775
Theodosia Family Medical Clinic: (417) 273-2300
Who should be tested
Suter says the medical clinics in Ozark County, as well as those nationwide, have to be selective in who they test.
"It's not just that the number of tests are limited, but it also has to do with bogging down the lab results. If everyone is tested, then it takes longer to get results back. There might be someone way down at the end of the list that really should have had their test results back quickly," Suter said.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.
"Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus," the CDC website states. The CDC says that decisions about testing are being made at the discretion of state and local health departments and individual clinics.
Therefore, it is best to call your medical provider to discuss your symptoms and exposure and whether or not you should be tested or should self-quarantine.
CDC testing priorities
The Centers for Disease Control has issued these priorities concerning who is tested:
Priority one: Ensures optimal care options for all hospitalized patients, lessen the risk of healthcare-associated infections, and maintain the integrity of the U.S. healthcare system
• Hospitalized patients
• Healthcare facility workers with symptoms
Priority two: Ensures those at highest risk of complication of infection are rapidly identified and appropriately triaged
• Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms
• Patients 65 years of age and older with symptoms
• Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms
• First responders with symptoms
Priority three: As resources allow, test individuals in the surrounding community of rapidly increasing hospital cases to decrease community spread, and ensure health of essential workers
• Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms
• Individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms
• Healthcare facility workers and first responders
• Individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations
Non-priority: Individuals without symptoms