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CMH response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Citizens Memorial Hospital and Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation has a multidisciplinary team that is closely monitoring and preparing for the possible arrival of patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).

The safety of our patients, residents, visitors, employees, volunteers and medical staff is our top priority.

We are working closely with board certified infectious disease physician Eric J. Fulnecky, M.D., in practice with CMH Infectious Disease Clinic, along with Polk County Health Department, Bolivar Emergency Management, Missouri Hospital Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to ensure we have the latest information on this emerging and rapidly evolving situation.

CMH Preparations

In addition to practicing our normal protocols for infectious diseases, we are following CDC guidelines as it relates to COVID-19.

All CMH patients and long-term care residents are being screened for symptoms and recent travel history. Visitors to CMH facilities including the hospital, clinics and long-term care facilities, are being asked to not visit patients and residents if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (fever, coughing, body aches, etc.).

In order to protect our employees and keep them healthy, CMH medical staff will use proper personal protection equipment (PPE) when coming in close contact with confirmed or possible patients/residents with COVID-19.

CMH employees are not permitted to work with a fever. If an employee develops a fever and are scheduled to work, they should follow their department procedures for notification and stay home or seek medical attention as needed.

CMH’s Materials Management Department is monitoring supplies and PPE to ensure our employees and patients have the supplies necessary to care for patients/residents.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
    • The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).


Symptoms of COVID-19 may include the following (after 2-14 days of exposure): fever, cough and shortness of breath. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 98% of COVID-19 patients have a fever, between 76% and 82% have a dry cough, and 11% to 44% report exhaustion and fatigue.

If you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea, contact your health care provider.

Before seeking care, call ahead to your health care provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help your health care provider’s office to take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

For the latest information, visit CDC website:



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