Springfield-Greene Co. Health Dept. to reopen STI testing clinic next week
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield-Greene Health Department is planning to reopen one of its health clinics that have been closed for nearly two years due to pandemic restrictions.
“During the (COVID-19) shutdown we were not allowing visitors within the building,” said Rinda Davis, the Springfield-Greene County Assistant Health Director
The health department will start offering limited testing and treatment services for sexually transmitted infections (STI) next week. A clinic offering these services is expected to reopen Monday. Testing will be available at 227 E. Chestnut Expressway.
“To get started we’ll have some slots available for walk-in testing then subsequently follow-up for the education and treatment if necessary,” Davis said.
Health leaders say the program’s purpose is to prevent the spread of STIs (also referred to as STD) through confidential testing and treatment. SGCHD’s program will offer testing for:
- Mycoplasma Genitalium
According to data provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Greene County had almost 3,000 cases of reported chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases in 2021 when the pandemic was in full force. During that time the health department would refer patients to the Jordan Valley Community Health Center or AIDS Project of the Ozarks for testing and treatment.
“But a lot of times people don’t have symptoms or just out of fear that they might get something else like COVID, we saw that hesitation (to go get tested),” Davis pointed out. “So you had people out there who could have potentially been spreading an illness they didn’t know they had and be increasing cases out in the community.”
And just like other members of the medical community are encouraging the public to get back to their physicians for check-ups or medical problems they didn’t have addressed because of COVID concerns, the health department is giving that advice as well.
“We would always advocate for that across the board,” Davis said. “From head-to-toe. Get those appointments set up and if you don’t have a provider, get that established because neglect for the body over time leads to things piling up and making it much worse.”
Limited walk-in testing will be available every Monday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. or until all testing slots have been filled. It is recommended that people coming in the afternoon call ahead to ensure that there is still availability.
For more information on the STI program, call 417-864-1684 or CLICK HERE.
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