Hospital seeing low number of coronavirus cases, severe sickness

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KAIT) - A glimmer of hope, as COVID-19 cases in Arkansas and Missouri are going down, especially compared to last year.

In 2021, Ozarks Healthcare in West Plains was forced to open a coronavirus unit, but now, the hospital has seen some of its lowest numbers.

Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Curtis Horstman explained that if you’re sick, even if it isn’t from COVID-19, it’s a good idea to stay home if possible.

“If you do have it, we aren’t asking people to quarantine as long or as strictly as we used to early on, but we are asking them to limit exposure to others to limit the spread, which is still a good idea whenever possible,” he said.

Horstman said in a year’s time, things have changed a lot regarding the virus, including isolation periods.

“A large number of people in the community have gotten it, so there’s some immunity there, the vaccinations have helped, so we’re in a much better position than we’ve ever been, especially compared to 2020,” he said.

There is still a slight concern among healthcare professionals for those that are older or who may have pre-existing medical conditions.

“They tend to still be affected a lot more than other people. We see more younger people getting it now, but they seem to weather it out at home, with relatively mild symptoms and no significant intervention from us,” he said.

Dr. Horstman added if you have trouble breathing or have concerns about the virus, it’s never a bad idea to reach out to your primary care provider.