Health department begins testing in Madill
On April 7, Marshall County received news of its first confirmed case of COVID-19. This positive test was confirmed by OSDH District 8 Regional Administrative Director Mendy Spohn.
Spohn told The Madill Record that her office, the Carter County Health Department, began an investigation into the case on the evening of April 6.
“Once we receive notice of a positive case, our nurses work with the person to identify contracts with risks,” Spohn said.
Spohn said it OSDH policy not to release any identifying details of the person who tested positive.
This includes the person’s city of residence or age.
Spohn could not provide additional information such as if the person is staying at home or hospitalized. Again, this is due to HIPPA regulations.
Simultaneously, the Marshall County Health Department began offering COVID-19 testing at its office in Madill.
Karan Wallace, a nurse who is handling some of the triage calls at MCHD, said residents will need an appointment to be tested.
“These people have called us and have appointments,” she said. “They call the office when they arrive and do the screening over the phone while we fill out the paperwork.”
Wallace said in order to get an appointment people must have a fever of 100.4 degrees, coughing or shortness of breath.
After completing the screening, the patient’s information is given to one of two nurses who stand outside in full protective gear.
The curbside testing appointments for this week are already full, Wallace said.
“However, we will accept more appointments when more tests are available,” she said.
Wallace recommended that people needing more information about future testing availability contact either their healthcare provider or call her office at 580-795-3705.
“We are getting information directly to providers,” she said.
The curbside testing was assisted by members of the Madill Fire and Police Departments who helped direct traffic and keep the area secure.
Meanwhile, Spohn said a positive case in the community does not change their message. District 8 includes Carter, Garvin, Love, Jefferson, Johnston, Marshall, Murray, Pontotoc, and Stephens Counties.
Spohn went on to provide additional guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
“If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath, the CDC advises you to stay quarantined for 14 days,” she said. “Most people will not need to be tested as a test result does not change the treatment recommendations. The symptoms of COVID-19 may last 7-12 days.”
Spohn reiterated a message her office has previously shared with local media outlets.
“Those who are concerned can call the Coronavirus Call Center at 877-215-8336 or dial 2-1-1,” she said. “Most patients will be able to care for themselves at home without going to the doctor. However, if symptoms become severe or do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, people should contact their doctor by phone for further instructions.”