Despite fears of the spread of COVID-19, Lake Ozark officials announced the 36th Annual St. Pat’s Parade will be held as scheduled.

Despite fears of the spread of COVID-19, Lake Ozark officials announced the 36th Annual St. Pat’s Parade will be held as scheduled.

The parade will get underway as planned along Bagnell Dam Blvd. on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.. 

City officials and the Bagnell Dam Strip Association, which sponsors the event, meet on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of cancelling the parade. In a statement issued by Lake Ozark, city officials said while they certainly respect concerns about the spread of the virus, they feel it is in the best interests of the community and its visitors that the iconic parade go on as scheduled. That being said, the city and BDSA encourage parade goers and participants to take precautions as outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Local retailers are beginning to experience shortages from people stockpiling goods like toilet paper, alcohol, cleaning wipes and other products. Stores are hoping to see new shipments arrive soon to restock shelves. 

Wood’s in Lake Ozark reported plenty of paper goods but stock is low or low on sanitizing wipes. Their warehouse is out of sanitizing wipes and it is unclear when they may get wipes delivered. The store has ordered additional hand sanitizer to have in stock. 

Wan-Mart in Eldon and the Supercenters in Camdenton  and osage Beach were out of some products like toilet paper, rubbing alcohol and some cleaning products. 

Casey Staheli, Senior Manager, National Media Relations at the Wal Mart corporate office issued a statement on behalf of the giant retailer addressing the supply shortages.

“We continue to monitor the development of the coronavirus situation globally and are closely following official recommendations while working with our suppliers to understand and mitigate any supply chain disruptions. Providing customers with the products they want, and need remains our focus.”


On Thursday, Camden County elected officials will be meeting to discuss a preparation plan. That meeting is expected to address what the protocol will be if a county employee is exposed to the virus. 

Lake Regional is taking it’s own steps towards preventing the virus from growing rampant within the lake area. Director of Public Relations Jennifer Bethurem has provided the following information:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring a respiratory illness outbreak caused by a novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei province China. Confirmed cases have now been detected in a growing number of locations internationally, including in the United States. On March 11, the World Health Organization termed COVID-19 a pandemic, meaning the experts expect it to spread. According to the CDC, more cases are likely to be identified in the United States in the coming days.

·         Lake Regional Health System is following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health for COVID-19 testing. There have been no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in mid-Missouri. A presumptive positive case was reported in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 7.

·         “It’s important for the community to know the facts and to take an informed approach to this illness,” said Harbaksh Sangha, M.D., senior vice president of Medical Affairs at Lake Regional Health System. “At the health system, we are monitoring guidance from public health experts, ensuring we have supplies on hand and keeping lines of communication open with key community contacts, such as EMS providers and area schools — the same types of preparedness steps we take year-round to ensure we are ready to care for this community.” ·         For example, Lake Regional’s process includes screening patients at intake for potential exposure to viruses by asking about their travel history and symptoms of communicable disease. Now, in addition, staff specifically about areas of concern for COVID-19 exposure. ·         Infection Preventionist Kayla Wood, R.N., is tasked with leading the hospital’s multidisciplinary team for ensuring health care professionals are following the latest CDC guidance.

·         “Lake Regional has been monitoring COVID-19 updates daily,” Wood said. “We are taking all recommended precautions to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees.” ·         The CDC provides daily updates at cdc.gov. Lake Regional provides community education at lakeregional.com/COVID-19 and at Facebook.com/lakeregional.

Testing

Currently, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is reserving testing for certain individuals most at risk for disease, or for those who have severe illness without an alternative explanatory diagnosis, such as influenza. Criteria for testing includes certain combinations of fever, lower respiratory illness and travel history.

Prevention & Treatment

As with seasonal influenza, the CDC recommends everyday prevention actions to avoid becoming ill, including:

 washing your hands often avoiding touching your face getting adequate rest and proper nutrition staying home when you are sick and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

Also, remember to cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze to avoid spreading germs with your hands.

If You Get Sick

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19 infection. If you feel sick, you should stay home and call your doctor.

“Tell them about your symptoms, your travel history and if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19,” Dr. Sangha said. “This will help them take care of you while keeping other people from getting infected or exposed.”

According to Dr. Sangha, much like the flu, most individuals who are infected by COVID-19 will not require hospitalization and will be able to recover from home.

“Like the flu, seniors, especially those with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems, are more likely to have severe symptoms if they become ill,” Dr. Sangha said. “These individuals should know when to seek emergency help by calling 911 or going to the emergency department.” 

Emergency warning signs in adults include, but are not limited to:

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Persistent pain or pressure in the chest New confusion or inability to arouse Bluish lips or face

For more information, visit cdc.gov or lakeregional.com/COVID-19.