Confirmed COVID-19 Case: Updated Press Release from Bates County Memorial Hospital

BCMH Update: COVID-19 in Our Community

March 25, 2020 – With the announcement of Bates County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 21 by the Bates County Health Center, and as testing continues to be in short supply, Bates County Memorial Hospital urges the community to understand that coronavirus is here, and to behave accordingly.

Bates County Memorial Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. John Bustle said in an interview with radio station KMOE (FM 92.1) on March 23 that testing continues to be problematic, and the hospital is conserving tests for those who need to be hospitalized.

“We need community members to stay home as much as possible, and call your provider if you have any questions,” he said, adding that if your symptoms are severe, the emergency room is the place to go. (Please call ahead: 660-200-7070.)

BCMH continues to anticipate and prepare for the development of the COVID-19 pandemic in our own community.

  • Testing results may speed up as different options become available.
  • We do not expect to manage COVID-19 patients in the hospital unless it is a last resort, though we may need to manage less acute patients and more swing bed patients to open capacity in Kansas City hospitals.
  • We are continuing to monitor our supplies closely, and have put into practice judicious use of personal protective equipment for our staff.

“The changes we made on March 16 of stopping non-urgent outpatient treatment and establishing a dedicated Respiratory Clinic was several days ahead of other hospitals and health systems in our area.  We are now poised to continue to manage this virus in our community as best we can. We urge all in the community to do your part to slow the spread,” Dr. Bustle said.

Please consult the hospital’s website for the latest information at