Officials working to secure local COVID-19 testing
The following statement from Dr. Michael Rothermich of the Hermann Area District Hospital was released to the Advertiser-Courier late Friday afternoon:
"The Hermann Area District Hospital and its clinics continue to work tirelessly to prepare for COVID-19 illnesses and complications, as well as to be able to continue to care for the healthcare needs of our community.
While we are only a federally approved 24 bed facility, we have areas of the hospital that can easily be modified to increase our inpatient capacity (for example, the surgery pre-op area). Also, while we do not have a dedicated ICU, we have multiple ventilators on site, and physicians and respiratory therapists skilled in their use, in the event there are limited ICU beds at other area hospitals. We continue to work closely with EMS and Gasconade County Health Department, with frequent meeting and updates on our available resources.
Our clinics are taking full advantage of the recent changes in telehealth regulations, and have already begun offering these visits to appropriate patients. So far feedback has been very positive.
We are also in the final stages of setting up an offsite testing center, where we will be able to test for COVID-19. We anticipate beginning this service Monday, March 23. We are aware that University of Missouri and Mercy Washington will also be offering this service, but wanted to make sure the people we care for would not have to travel that far. Tests will be done by appointment only, and you will be asked to stay in your car while samples are collected. The easiest way to be scheduled for a COVID-19 test will be to have your provider send an order to the hospital. But you can also call (573) 569-5049, and a nurse can screen you to see if you meet criteria for state-based COVID-19 testing.
We appreciate the support and patience of our community, and while we do not have a dedicated public relations department, will try to keep you updated as this situation evolves.