Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty said the county has been working with the health department and LRHS to address the best course of action for the county. Hasty said the commission would meet on Monday to reassess the situation.

With the first confirmed case of COVID-19 confirmed in Camden County, residents are being asked to heed the precautions and isolate if showing any symptoms of being ill. 

The Camden County Health Department confirmed Sunday afternoon at approximately 4:30 pm that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services had notified the health department of the case in Camden County. The case is not related to travel. No information was given on the age of their individual who tested positive. 

Based on the information provided by the health department an investigation is underway. Those who may have come in close contact with the person who contracted the virus will be notified and asked to self isolate and monitor symptoms for 14 days. 

Dampier urged residents to follow the instructions given by Governor Parson and the Missouri Division of Health and Senior Services limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people and no eating or drinking inside restaurants, bars or food courts.

If you are ill, please self isolate.  Try to stay in a separate room away from the rest of your family as much as possible if ill.  Monitor your symptoms and if you experience any shortness of breath please contact your physician or Call ER before going, Dampier said. 

Missouri had 90 confirmed cases at the 9 p.m. Saturday report. The state count on Saturday did not include seven of the 17 cases in Boone County or new cases discovered Saturday in Callaway County, which now has five cases, or in Adair, Moniteau and Perry counties, which have one each. The state count does not reflect the current counts in St. Louis or St. Louis County and there were cases reported at Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base. 

Camden County issued a state of emergency order on Friday prior to the first case being confirmed. 

Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty said the county has been working with the health department and LRHS to address the best course of action for the county. Hasty said the commission would meet on Monday to reassess the situation. 

Hasty said he is concerned there are more cases in Camden County that have not been diagnosed. The lack of testing is a serious problem, he said.  

Hasty also pointed to the number of people from out of the area who are opening up their second homes from areas under shelter in place orders  and possibly adding to the spread of COVID-19. 

On Sunday afternoon, Lake Regional Health System issued a press release responding to the community. In an open letter to the community, LRHS CEO Dane Henry shared  what LRHS is doing and their readiness to care for the community.

The letter is being run in its entirety. 

To Our Community: 

In this uncertain time for all of us, we want to take a moment to reassure you that Lake Regional Health System has been planning and preparing to ensure the health and safety of the people we serve.

As a health system built for this region, by this region, we are steadfastly committed to you, your family and our employees. At this moment, that commitment includes additional shifts and extensive precautions. We are up to the challenge, and we are responding swiftly to a rapidly changing situation. 

Here’s an honest look at what we’re facing today.

The COVID-19 testing process is complicated. And although the situation is improving, the supplies needed to perform the tests remain limited. 

We are following strict guidelines established by the state and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prioritize testing of people in immediate need. That includes those who are sick enough to be hospitalized because we need to know what’s causing their illnesses to treat them properly. In the event that they are suffering from COVID-19, we must take special precautions, including certain personal protective equipment for their caregivers. Another high-priority category is high-risk patients with underlying health issues, like heart and lung disease, or who are immunocompromised. Health care workers demonstrating symptoms may also become prioritized because we want everyone who can be on the front lines available to take care of patients. 

We know there are people with mild symptoms who want testing because they are concerned about infecting their loved ones. Please take precautions to quarantine yourself from others and understand that we must test people who are high risk first. We are working to make testing more accessible to more people in our community, but it will take a bit more time. Please continue to be patient and trust that we are doing all we can.

We’re taking steps to protect our patients and the community.

As a protective measure, we are no longer allowing visitors in our hospital, with exceptions for pediatric and birth center patients and end-of-life circumstances. Hospital entrances are restricted, and we screen everyone who enters our facilities, including employees, for fever, symptoms and travel history.

Based on guidance from the CDC and the American College of Surgeons, we have suspended elective procedures until further notice. Surgeons and their office managers are reviewing schedules to determine the best course of action for patients, with the goal of rescheduling all non-emergent cases. This change will reduce the load on inpatient beds at a time that we may need them for medical patients, while also reducing the risk of exposure to illness for surgical patients.

 

All community education, support groups and events have been cancelled through at least May 15.

Like hospitals nationwide, we are monitoring our supply of personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves, and we’re taking steps to ensure we continue to provide a safe environment for our patients and employees. We believe we have an adequate supply chain to meet the demand.

We’re asking you to help protect our community.

Practice social distancing. We need everyone’s help to flatten the curve. This is especially important for those who may be at higher risk for getting this infection, and it only works if we all do our part. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, you can be a carrier and pass the virus onto others.

If you get sick, 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. This will help them take care of you while keeping other people from getting infected or exposed.

Most who are infected will experience mild symptoms. If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home.

We have received a great deal of support from our community. Many of you already have stepped forward with meals for employees or offers of supplies, and we thank you for your generosity and community spirit. If you’d like to contribute, contact Terri Hall at 573-348-8153 or trhall@lakeregional.com.

Our commitment runs deep.

We’re all-in — all 1,545 of us — doctors, nurses, employees, working together to see this through. You can count on us. Thank you for doing what you can to help us serve this community.

 

With your help, we will get through this.

 

Dane Henry, FACHE

Chief Executive Officer

Lake Regional Health System