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Ozarks Medical Center Recommends Being Proactive While The Community Re-Opens

As the community prepares for a cautious reopening, Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) continues proactive practices to keep patients safe at the hospital. The single-point-entrance into the hospital at the Emergency Department entrance as well as current visitor restrictions will remain in place for the near future. Visit www.ozarksmedicalcenter.com/Coronavirus to learn more about visitor restrictions in place.

In addition, OMC encourages vulnerable populations to maintain current social distancing practices and other recommended precautions to decrease the chances of contracting the coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), precautions include:

  • Stay at home if possible

  • Wash your hands often

  • Keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about two arm lengths)

Vulnerable populations include adults 65 years or older and those with chronic medical conditions, including but not limited to, people with chronic lung conditions, diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis, liver disease, and anyone who has immunosuppressed systems including cancer patients.

OMC is offering free care packages, which includes a homemade cloth masks, donated by local seamstresses. These care packages can be picked up at the OMC Pharmacy drive-thru on Eighth Street in West Plains.

“These recommendations are parallel to those that should be followed during flu season,” said Dr. Curtis Horstman, Medical Director of OMC Emergency Department. “Although businesses will soon be open, it’s important to take care of yourself, especially those who have compromised or aging immune systems.”

These unprecedented times have adversely impacted the health of the community beyond the virus itself. Officials at OMC recently reported an increased number of patients presenting with time sensitive diagnoses such as stroke, heart attack and respiratory distress, not related to COVID-19, with adverse outcomes due to patients delaying care. Patients have also been hospitalized with serious infections that could have been treated sooner with medication at home if medical care would have been sought after sooner.

“Please be assured that the hospital and the clinics are taking every precaution necessary to keep you safe while you are here,” said Dr. Wallace, Medical Director of Hospitalists. “Please do not let your fear overpower your need to take care of your health. We are here for one reason and one reason only – to take care of YOU, our community. Please do not wait to call us or come in.”

The Ozarks Medical Center Emergency Department is always open for you and walk-ins are welcome seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at OMC Urgent Care, 181 Kentucky Avenue, Highland Park, Suite 100, 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, visit www.OzarksMedicalCenter.com.

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