Missouri launches hotline for coronavirus questions
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri has launched a telephone hotline staffed by medical professionals for people seeking guidance on the new coronavirus.
The state health department says people can call 877-435-8411 at any time on any day. The hotline launched Wednesday morning.
The department says 46 people in Missouri have been tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 but just one has tested positive in St. Louis County. Saint Louis University has suspended most in-person classes next week to try to guard against the coronavirus. Maryville University in St. Louis County also is switching to an online-only class schedule until the end of the month.
Release from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
JEFFERSON CITY, MO –The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. At 8 a.m. today, the hotline opened and can be reached at 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 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 that causes COVID-19; one of those has tested positive.
“It is important to know what to do if you have concerns about an illness during this outbreak,” said Williams. “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. They’ll be instructed on how to receive care without exposing others to the possible illness.”
Simple preventive actions that help prevent the spread of all types of respiratory viruses include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
KDHE also has a phone-bank operation that is staffed during regular business hours through March 13. The phone number is 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF). KDHE also has an email address for general inquiries, COVIDemail@example.com.
Oklahoma COVID-19 Call Center: 877-215-8336
Call Center Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.