MU Health Care confirms 1st positive COVID-19 test

Drive-thru testing will begin Wednesday
Posted at 7:44 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 20:44:52-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Missouri Health Care announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case and promised to begin drive-through testing Wednesday for patients with a doctor’s order.

“MU Health Care has treated a patient who has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19),” according to a statement on the MU Health website. "The patient is self-isolating at home, and MU Health Care is taking several additional steps to assess, test and treat people to prevent the spread of the virus."

State officials have confirmed one COVID-19 case in Boone County, where the Mizzou campus is located, but no identifying information has been released.

It is unclear if the patient is a student, but the university previously canceled all in-person classes for the remainder of the semester.

Patients exhibiting mild symptoms who have been assessed by a doctor in-person or via video will be eligible for testing, which will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the parking lot at the Mizzou softball stadium.

“The new system will provide a fast, safe and convenient way to test for the virus without increasing exposure risks to others,” MU Health Care Chief Nursing Officer Mary Beck said in the statement. “The drive-thru will also lessen the testing burden on our emergency departments for patients with mild symptoms, freeing them up to care for the sickest patients.”

MU Health Care also announced that rapid testing is available in hours rather than days thanks to a partnership with a local vendor.

Additionally, MU Health Care is offering free video visits for COVID-19 assessments online.

Also starting Wednesday, all adult MU Health Care patients are limited to one adult visitor. Children may have two visitors.

“We are taking these steps to protect our patients, visitors and staff,” Kevin Gwin, MU Health Care chief patient experience officer, said in a statement. “We understand this will be an inconvenience for our patients and their loved ones, but we believe these steps are necessary to ensure a safe environment for everyone.”

Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.