Area hospitals taking precautions against virus

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JOPLIN, Mo. — If you haven’t walked into a Joplin area hospital for a while, you’re in for a change.

While some might think of it as a hassle, others believe it’s just what the doctor ordered.

The days of strolling into Freeman Hospital, and many other medical facilities in Southwest Missouri, and straight to the room of a friend or loved one, have changed, and it’s because of the coronavirus.

Paula Baker, President, C.E.O., Freeman Health System, said, “As visitors enter they will be screened, so we want to make sure that they don’t have flu like symptoms themselves, they haven’t been in contact with someone who has had those symptoms, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that it’s healthy people that are coming in to visit the inpatients.”

Now everyone entering the hospital, including staff and employees, will be screened, and anyone running a fever of 100.4 or higher, won’t be allowed to enter.

One of the first to have to go through the screening process was Charles McKinzie, who understands the reason for the change in policy and agrees with the intent.

Charles McKenzie, Hospital Visitor, said, “To stop this virus from spreading”

“We’re hopeful and are confident that this limitation on the visitors will be very helpful to flatten that curve and hopefully help that virus pass much more quickly so that we can all get back to a normal state of business,” said Baker.

Other changes include visiting hours restricted from 7 a.m. To 7 p.m., excluding the birthing center and pediatrics.

Only one visitor per patient per day will be allowed into freeman hospitals, that includes the birthing center.

No one will be allowed to visit confirmed covid-19 patients.

No one under 18 with the exception of those seeking medical care, will be permitted into freeman hospitals or clinics.

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