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PITTSBURG — Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) has made several procedural changes in response to the novel coronavirus.


A screening nurse will greet people at all locations, and under a tent in front of some of the CHC/SEK clinics. Nurses will ask a few questions and possibly take peoples temperature before they enter the clinic to identify any potential COVID-19 patients before they enter so they can properly treat them with minimum exposure to other patients and clinical staff, a press release from CHC/SEK said. In some cases, COVID-19 testing may take place in the patient’s vehicle rather than inside the clinic.


Public health officials are emphasizing that not everyone can, or needs, to be tested, the release said. Potential COVID-19 patients must meet specific guidelines that include specific symptoms and risk factors as directed by the CDC and state health departments.


CHC/SEK said its nurse-staffed information line is now open 24-hours a day to answer health questions and screen patients concerned about exposure to the virus. The toll-free number is 866-888-8650.


“We also understand that as the virus pandemic continues, we must continue to provide our ‘normal’ health care services with as little interruption as possible,” CHC/SEK said.


Some patients are now being seen through eVisits. The patients can be “seen” by their health care provider from home via a smartphone or other device using an internet or data connection.


“E-visits are a convenient option for patients who are generally in good health, and more routine visits. Call us at your regular clinic number to ask about eVisits,” CHC/SEK said.


The health center is also shifting appointment times in some locations, with “well” or routine visits in the mornings (or afternoons), and ill, or symptomatic patients on the opposite schedule with the idea of minimizing exposure risks.


In Pittsburg, CHC/SEK will soon be diverting well-child visits with its pediatricians to its mobile clinic, called the KidCare Connection.


“We want to keep your healthy child’s examinations and vaccinations on schedule in the safest environment possible,” the clinic said.


The bus will be parked at 3011 N. Michigan, on the north side of the clinic.


Apothecare pharmacies at the Pleasanton, Fort Scott and Pittsburg locations are providing free same-day delivery by vehicle or delivery by mail for prescriptions.


CHC/SEK will continue to provide updates as they unfold, the release said.