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COVID-19/Coronavirus disease resources

At Truman Medical Centers/University Health, your health and safety is always a priority. Right now, there's a lot of information coming at you about COVID-19, or Coronavirus Disease 19. As information and recommendations keep updating, we understand it can be both frustrating and scary. Truman Medical Centers/University Health will continue to update this site. As always it's important that you get the latest updates on this situation from a reputable source. View updates from the Centers for Disease Control.

While this virus is new, we are experts in infection prevention. The Truman Medical Centers/University Health Infection Prevention Team is already in the practice of following a strict protocol designed to keep patients, visitors and staff safe. It involves the use of protective equipment, isolation rooms with negative pressure airflow, and proper hand hygiene.

Safety precautions

We offer a range of doctor appointment types to meet your needs, including in-person visits and telehealth options by computer or phone.

If you decide on an in-person appointment, it's safe to come to TMC/UH. We take every precaution to maintain a clean, virus-free environment.

  • We temperature-screen our employees before they start their shifts.
  • We wear masks, and provide masks for patients who don't have one.
  • We are continually sterilizing and wiping down all work and patient areas.
  • We have virtual check-in and check-out for appointments, done by phone.
  • Patients will wait in their cars for appointment time to cut down on exposure to other people.
  • Our waiting rooms and entrances have been rearranged for social distancing.
  • Patients receiving outpatient care will be shown directly to exam rooms.
  • All surgery patients and most patients having a procedure will receive a COVID-19 test 48 to 72 hours before their surgery or procedure.
  • We are continuing our no visitor policy to cut down on the number of people in the building.

Truman Medical Centers/University Health is prescreening patients for COVID-19 before they arrive. When calling with appointment reminders, staff ask patients if they are running a fever, experiencing a cough and experiencing shortness of breath. Patients also are asked if they have had contact with anyone with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms.

If you are feeling ill, running a fever and have shortness of breath, please call before coming to Truman Medical Centers/University Health. Please call 816.404.CARE (2273). It is important that you call.

COVID-19 restricted visitor access

To protect our staff, patients and community during the outbreak of COVID-19, visitor restrictions will occur. Routine visiting will be suspended at all Truman Medical Centers/University Health campuses until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community.

Visitors will be allowed in based on the exception list outlined below. The exception list applies provided there is absence of symptoms on screening:

No visitors

  • Inpatient.
  • Emergency Department patient.
  • Critical care patient.
  • Outpatient/clinic visitors.
  • Patients waiting on COVID-19 results, or positive results/and any other patients currently in isolation.
  • Long-term care/nursing home.
  • Chemotherapy patients requiring a ride: Driver must wait outside.
  • Testing or procedures requiring anesthesia and a designated caregiver: Driver must wait outside.

Thank you for understanding.

One visitor

  • LDRP (must have ID).
  • Neonatal intensive care unit (must have orange wristband).

Limited visitors who are granted access are asked to stay with the patient and in the designated care area where the patient is receiving care.

Thank you for understanding.

Frequently asked questions and answers

The information below is from the CDC.

What is a novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43 or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

How does the virus spread?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It's important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community ("community spread") in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.

Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should: stock up on supplies; take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; when you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick; limit close contact and wash your hands often, and avoid crowds. If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor.

Am I at risk for COVID-19 from a package or products shipping from China?

There is still a lot that is unknown about the newly emerged COVID-19 and how it spreads. Two other coronaviruses have emerged previously to cause severe illness in people (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV). The virus that causes COVID-19 is more genetically related to SARS-CoV than MERS-CoV, but both are betacoronaviruses with their origins in bats. While we don't know for sure that this virus will behave the same way as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, we can use the information gained from both of these earlier coronaviruses to guide us. But from what scientists are seeing so far, in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. Information will be provided on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website as it becomes available.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.