News about coronavirus is changing on a daily basis. Missouri residents now have a convenient source to find the latest information and find answers to their questions.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The hotline opened and can be reached at (877) 435-8411. It is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Communication is vital to our response to this rapidly-evolving situation,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “For several weeks, our COVID-19 webpage has been and continues to be a great resource for the public, but having the hotline as an additional resource will likely be invaluable as citizens seek guidance for their concerns.”
To date, 46 patients in Missouri have been tested for the virus; one of those has tested positive. DHSS said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed the case. A St. Louis County woman in her 20s who returned last week from studying abroad in Italy tested positive.
Universities are taking action to proactively address virus concerns, including the University of Missouri in Columbia. Chancellor Alexander Cartwright announced Wednesday afternoon that in-person classes will be suspended beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. In-person classes are scheduled to resume March 30, following spring break.
“For those who may be at risk for COVID-19, we encourage them to utilize this hotline or call their health care provider or local public health agency to inform them of their travel history and symptoms,” said. “They’ll be instructed on how to receive care without exposing others to the possible illness.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Senior Services announced Missouri will receive $9.9 million as its share of coronavirus funding recently approved by Congress.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice