Health and education experts met about coronavirus plans

利众棋牌A panel of health and education experts met without a public audience Monday to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and answer questions phoned in by residents.

COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. To help our community combat the outbreak, we are providing this content for free. For an interactive map and continuing coverage click here. Please consider supporting our efforts in providing local coverage by subscribing to the St. Joseph News-Press.


利众棋牌A gathering of local health and education professionals met Monday night with the goal of educating St. Joseph on the coronavirus and methods of prevention being taken.

A six-person panel of representatives from local health services, Missouri Western State University and the St. Joseph School District discussed how each of their entities is handling the situation currently and too questions phoned in from an audience that was only able to view the panel on TV or online due to community distancing concerns.

The panelists were Buchanan County EMS Director Wally Patrick, Missouri Western President Matt Wilson, Mosaic Life Care President Dr. Davin Turner, St. Joseph Health Department Executive Director Debra Bradley, SJSD Director of Non-Academic Services Robert Sigrist and Steven Brushwood of Northwest Health.

The event was hosted by the St. Joseph Health Department and moderated by Clinic Supervisor Connie Werner.

利众棋牌“Before this has gotten to the place that it is, we knew that we wanted to get our community educated on this ever-changing disease,” Werner said. “We knew that there were questions that everyone was asking, and we thought about how best to get the information out to the general population.”

利众棋牌She expressed that the situation is constantly evolving and recommendations could change, something that each panelist agreed with as the discussion went on.

利众棋牌Medical updates

Mosaic Life Care announced that they have tested 17 people from the area, but every test has been negative so far.

Turner said Mosaic has more than 80 ventilators available if need arises in order to stay ahead of COVID-19.

“We are as prepared as we can be and we are working forward,” Turner said.

He said Mosaic is on Tier 2 on a six-tier escalation scale, which translates to test having been done, but no positives found so far. Tier three will be in effect if a patient tests positive.

According to Turner, Mosaic is following CDC guidelines as far as testing goes. Samples can be collected, but so far testing is only being done for those with symptoms, and even then, tests for other diseases are done first in order to rule them out.

利众棋牌Brushwood said many times, if a patient qualifies for a test, they are sent to the hospital. However, the state turns down some tests requests if they are not symptomatic. He expects there to be unlimited testing potential in Missouri beginning next month.

Both doctors agreed that treatment for the disease is supportive at this time, meaning there is no cure, but symptoms can be managed.

Brushwood said he would expect that an infected person would develop some sort of immunity once they have recovered, but there is no way to know how far that immunity goes at this point.

利众棋牌He recommended eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting enough sleep and making other healthy choices in order to keep one’s immune system in shape.

利众棋牌Weekly meetings are being held at Mosaic to determine if certain, less important, elective surgeries need to be postponed in order to keep space available at the hospital.

Patrick said that ambulances are being sterilized with chemicals and UV lights. He asked that people be honest and patient when talking to a 911 operator on the phone, because they are carefully trying to determine if certain illnesses could be COVID-19 so that steps can be taken to protect emergency workers.

Education

利众棋牌Sigrist said the decision was made by the school district on Monday to suspend all spring activities, including meetings in their buildings and student events.

利众棋牌He said the district is working with cleaning supply company Hillyard to get equipment and chemicals needed to perform an intense cleaning of the buildings.

In a response from a phone call asking how many people needed to get sick before schools were closed, he said that the Governor’s recommendation that school decisions be made at the local level was being followed, and it is not yet known if or when closings will happen.

利众棋牌He said they have discussed distanced learning and figuring out meals for students if they need to stay home.

Wilson said Missouri Western State University is on an extended spring break that could continue to be extended. He said more information on that would come out Wednesday.

City news

With Mayor Bill McMurray’s order that public gathering be limited to 50 people or less for the next eight weeks, several questions from the public had to do with the possibility of more changes being made.

Bradley said the city is not currently recommending the 10-person limit that President Donald Trump has recommended because it is not the current guideline given by the CDC.

She said those could change, and the emergency ordinance that enacted the current St. Joseph guideline could allow the city to enact a curfew if it is recommended.

利众棋牌Businesses and schools are exempt from the limits.

Bradley said people still need to make a living and children still need daycare.

Prior to the discussion, Werner opened up with a reminder for the public to distance themselves from one another, especially when sick, and to wash hands frequently.

“I know this information is something that you’ve heard before, but I encourage you to use it to make a plan,” Werner told the viewers.

Werner said she does believe the community has done a good job of following guidelines and helping to prevent the spread of the virus so far.

“This is the first time that I have seen the necessity of an entire community, an entire state, an entire nation come together come together to make efforts to try and minimize the impact of this disease process,” Werner said. “It is unprecedented, and I am so proud of this community.”

Brendan Welch can be reached

at brendan.. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWelch.