The Sedalia City Council heard an update Monday night from Bothwell Regional Health Center CEO Lori Wightman, RN, MHA, FACHE, concerning the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

“I am in almost continuous contact with Pettis County Health Center Administrator JoAnn Martin,” she said. “And in fact, I was talking to her on my phone in my car, and as of 6:10 p.m., there have been no lab-confirmed positive cases of coronavirus in Pettis County.”

One of Bothwell's goals right now is to make sure the only ill people in the building are patients. On Friday, signs were posted at the hospital, urging sick people wanting to visit Bothwell patients to stay home. Additional signs have been posted at the doors of high-risk patients, Wightman noted. Nurses must be consulted before entering those patient rooms.

Only three entrances are being used by the public now, and visitors will be issued a visitor badge once they are screened with a series of CDC questions and their temperature is taken.

“If you are ill and you want to visit somebody in the hospital, stay home,” Bothwell's CEO said.

On Wednesday or Thursday, BRHC will get “a little bit more aggressive” with restrictions involving visitors wanting to see patients.

Only about 17 or 18 coronavirus collections kits are currently available in Pettis County, Wightman noted. But, she added, the situation changes hourly. “I anticipate more collection kits in the near future,” she said, adding that the first test that will be conducted will be for the flu. The last test conducted will be for COVID-19.

Vendors at the hospital will also be screened and their temperatures taken, Wightman said.

In addition, Red Cross and Auxiliary volunteers have been sent home. The gift shop is closed, as well as the cafeteria, except for use by hospital employees and family care givers.

Accompanying Wightman Monday night was Chief Medical Officer Philip Fracica, M.D.

As of Tuesday morning, there were over 4,400 cases of coronavirus in the US, with 87 fatalities.

Worldwide, the coronavirus has infected more than 182,400 people, with over 7,100 fatalities.

As of Tuesday, there were eight cases of coronavirus in Missouri, with the latest announced in St. Louis involving a person in their 20s. The tally so far is  eight positive (Greene County 3, St. Louis County 3, St. Louis City 1 and Henry County 1).

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has set up a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding COVID-19.

The hotline is being operatd by medical professionals and is available 24/7.

Call (877) 435-8411.

Also visit pettiscountyhealthcenter.com or coronavirus.gov.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby