Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) and the Emergency Management Team announced
that OMC facilities would start restricting visitors to help stop the
spread of COVID-19, the illness known as the coronavirus.
There are three restrictions that residents in Howell County and the surrounding
counties must be aware of when visiting OMC facilities.
- Children ages 12 and under who are not seeking treatment are asked to avoid
- Anyone who has had a fever or who has felt sick within the previous 24
hours, and is not receiving treatment, should avoid visiting all OMC facilities
for the protection of others including the hospital, and outpatient clinics.
- Anyone with a scheduled appointment at an OMC facility should attend alone
unless extra assistance is needed. Everyone should check their temperature
before arriving at a facility. If they experience a fever before arrival,
please call to reschedule.
“We are taking every precaution available to protect and care for
our patients,” said Dr. Ritu Kathuria, OMC Hospitalist who specializes
in infectious disease. OMC will continue to follow all CDC and Missouri
Department of Health and Senior Services protocols and policies.
If you have questions about exposure or symptoms, please call 877-435-8411
to be screened before going to the emergency department or your primary
care provider. According to the CDC and experts at OMC, there are some
important steps for prevention.
- Practice hand hygiene all the time. (It’s crucial.) Wash with soap
and water for at least 20 seconds. Using hand sanitizer containing at
least 60 percent alcohol is an effective alternative. Both should be done
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Practice the six-foot rule.
If you must be in a public space and notice someone ill, keep that distance
to lessen your risk.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular
household cleaning spray or wipes.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wearing a facemask to protect
themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the
spread of diseases.
These guidelines are similar to those that would be in place for a tough
“We will continue to work with the Missouri Department of Health
and Senior Services to help us prepare for any possible local cases,”
said Tom Keller, President and CEO. “We plan to continue to track,
prepare and implement the best practices to keep our communities safe.”
Under preventative measures, OMC has canceled two community education events
scheduled for March 20 in Mountain Grove and March 26 in West Plains.
Ozarks Medical Center is a system of care encompassing eight primary care
and 17 specialty clinics, along with complete rehabilitation, behavioral
healthcare, and home care services. While the 114-bed acute care hospital
cares for more than 5,400 admissions, the entire medical system has more
than 364,000 patient visits annually in South Central Missouri and Northern
Arkansas. For more information about OMC and coronavirus, visit