COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is operating a COVID-19 hotline, 877-435-8411. Find COVID-19 Community Testing Events or go to the Missouri Vaccine Navigator to register for a vaccine appointment; you may also call the hotline for testing and vaccine locations. Citizens can also find current COVID-19 information on the DHSS website. The hotline is operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the website is updated regularly. 

The city of St. Joseph Health Department is asking patrons to maintain physical distancing to help reduce the spread of virus. Masks are required in some areas of Patee Market. Please contact the health department for information about our services at 271-4636. The Social Welfare Board is providing essential medical, dental and women’s health services. Please call their clinic 233-5188 to schedule an in person or telehealth appointment.

The City of St. Joseph continues to closely monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) regarding the outbreak of Coronavirus or COVID-19. 

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION  

In Missouri, anyone who meets age and medical eligibility is able to receive a vaccine. There are several ways to find vaccine. Contact your primary care provider; contact area pharmacies; go to www.vaccinespotter.org or use an internet search engine to query "COVID-19 vaccine near me" results; or contact the Health Department.

The federal government continues to test the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure safety and open up the opportunity for more people to get vaccinated. The goal of public health is to protect communities and the best way to do that with regard to coronavirus is to vaccinate as many people as possible. For further review, we advise using reliable resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or Health and Human Services (HHS)

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect your child from getting COVID-19, and also help keep your child from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19. Help protect your whole family by getting yourself and your eligible children vaccinated against COVID-19.

COVID-19 ILLNESS 

COVID-19 is still making people sick in our community. When someone gets sick with coronavirus, it is very important to follow the guidelines established months ago to reduce the spread of the virus. First, after you take a test for COVID-19 if you have symptoms of the illness, you should isolate yourself from others in your household until you get the results of the test. If your test is positive, you have COVID-19 and you should stay home and away from others, even within your house. You should only leave home if you need medical care (call your care provider before going to the medical facility). You should notify anyone you had been around in the two days prior to feeling sick so they can watch for symptoms in themselves. You will likely get a call from a Contact Tracer who will give you additional information and ask you questions related to your illness. Monitor your symptoms and seek medical care if your symptoms worsen. Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

Trouble breathing

Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

New confusion

Inability to wake or stay awake

Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

The City of St. Joseph Health Department contact tracers continue reaching out to positive COVID-19 cases in Buchanan County. The calls consist of questions related to the case's health, people they were around during the time they are assumed to be contagious, and to give guidance on steps to take during isolation and the time-frame for ending their isolation period. There have been changes to the quarantine guidelines and protocol, outlined in press releases found below.

Deciding when you can be around others is different for different situations. Find out when you can safely end home isolation.

The CDC website has detailed instructions for those who are sick with COVID-19

The positive case is responsible for calling people they may have exposed during the time they are considered to be contagious. During the case investigation, Contact Tracers coach the positive case on speaking to their contacts and further guidance is found by clicking the button QUARANTINE GUIDELINES. The QUARANTINE LETTER button may be used by those who need documentation of their quarantine. 

SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste and/or smell
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • Children have similar symptoms though generally milder illness
  • This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Get vaccinated! Contact your medical provider, pharmacy, check online for vaccine availability, or contact the Health Department.
  • Stay home - physical distancing and sheltering in place will stop the spread if universally enacted.
  • Wash hands - use soap and water, scrub thoroughly and use separate towels. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol or containing a sanitizing agent.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when in public.
  • Keep your distance from others when in public - six feet of space is recommended.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes to protect those around you.
  • Do not touch your face.
  • Disinfect surfaces. This is a new virus, and as such, not everything is known about how it spreads or how long it can live outside a host body. Preliminary findings suggest that in some circumstances, the virus can live for several days on some surfaces (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces).
  • CALL your physician’s office if you feel ill and think you have contracted COVID-19. If you experience severe respiratory distress, call for an ambulance and describe your symptoms and that you suspect COVID-19.
  • Additional guidance can be found here

COVID-19 Fact Sheets:

Additional Sites for trusted information include:

City of St. Joseph Health Department Emergency Preparedness

The City of St. Joseph Health Department is in regular contact with regional healthcare providers, communicable disease and infection control specialists, and emergency preparedness and response personnel. Should concerns develop with regional impact, these partnerships will prove to be an invaluable asset in information sharing and response to protect the public. The City Council and Mayor are making decisions to protect our community. Additional updates to these actions can be found on the city’s website.

The Senate passed a multibillion-dollar emergency aid package to confront the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Businesses and individuals wishing to learn more about assistance should visit benefits.gov.

PRESS RELEASES