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story.lead_photo.caption St. Mary's Hospital sits on Mission Drive. SSM and MU Health announced in August 2018 they were negotiating the possible sale of SSM Health's St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City and Mexico (the former Audrain Medical Center) and their associated clinics, following SSM's decision to leave the Mid-Missouri marketplace. Photo by Kris Wilson / California Democrat.
For more news about the COVID-19 coronavirus, access the News Tribune Health section.

Drive-thru testing for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will be available in Jefferson City through SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital, starting Monday, March 23.

Also on Monday, most visitors will be prohibited from entering the hospital.

The hospital made the announcements Saturday afternoon through two news releases.

With regards to drive-thru testing, St. Mary's Hospital's site will be at the Health Plaza East entrance at 2505 Mission Drive, on the hospital campus — but people will need a physician's order to be tested.

The drive-thru testing site will be open noon-4 p.m. initially, and hours may vary depending on traffic. People who are showing symptoms of the virus will be tested, if they also have a physician order.

Anyone who feels sick and has symptoms of COVID-19 is encouraged to call their primary care provider or complete a free online evaluation. SSM Health offers such a free online evaluation at ssmhealth.com/covid19, and people do not need to be an existing SSM Health patient to complete it.

People who do the virtual assessment will be connected with an SSM Health Medical Group provider for evaluation and care, as appropriate. Those who are recommended by a provider for testing will be directed to the nearest SSM Health testing site.

People should see a white tent with signs at the testing site. People are to stay in their vehicles through the testing process and will be asked to provide identification and an insurance card, though no one will be billed for the test or asked to pay a co-pay.

Hospital visits extremely limited

SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital is also suspending all hospital visits Monday, with the following exceptions for people over the age of 18:

Compassionate care, including end-of-life situations — on a case-by-case basis;

Family Birth Center patients will be allowed one primary support person;

Pediatric patients will be allowed one parent or guardian.

Visitors who meet one of those exceptions will still be asked to complete a health screening — including travel history — and have their temperature taken.

All employees and physicians will also on Monday start having a daily health screening and temperature check.

For more news about the COVID-19 coronavirus, access the News Tribune Health section.
 
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