Health Department shuts doors due to COVID positive

Monday, July 26, 2021

Office will reopen on Aug. 2, continue services remotely

The Barry County Health Department has shuttered its doors this week due to at least one positive case within the office.

“As cases of COVID-19 have notably increased in Barry County area and throughout the state, Barry County Health Department personnel have contracted COVID-19, as well,” a press release said on Monday. “BCHD will be closed July 26-30 due to this situation to help protect the public and staff in the face of rising cases.”

Roger Brock, Department administrator, declined to say how many staff tested positive, be it one or multiple, but did say the positive case or cases were vaccinated individuals.

“Because of the situation, we decided it was best to be closed for a couple weeks,” he said. “We just don’t want to take the chance of someone coming in and later having issues. We consulted the state before we made the announcement, and we will have staff in and out at times to check phone messages, but we will largely be working remotely.”

The Health Department plans to reopen on Aug. 2.

Brock said the Department has been doing ongoing vaccinations and testing for COVID-19, and those services will not be available this week while the office is closed.

“We’ve been doing vaccines and testing and been fully operational,” he said. “But, we won’t be doing it this week. WIC will be done over the phone, and we will try to get back to normal as soon as possible.

“This virus is hanging on, and we have quite a few positive cases in the county right now. It was inevitable one of our people would test positive — and it stinks. We want to do public health, and this hampers our ability to do that, but we also have to protect our staff and the public.”

Brock said the case serves as a reminder of a conversation he has had with many people concerning vaccines.

“The shot is not a cure,” he said. “Its job is to prevent serious illness, and it’s the best tool we have in the box right now at doing that.”

Those needing Department services may call 417-342-8565 for assistance, or contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Emergency Response Center at 1-800-392-0272 if are unable to reach Barry County Health Department staff.

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