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Citizens and health providers in Missouri now have a hotline they can call to ask questions about the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

The hotline number is 877-435-8411, and according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS), the number is for public use and will be in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Medical professionals will operate the hotline.

The DHSS said in the release that 46 people in Missouri have been tested for the virus, but only one patient had received a positive diagnosis as of Wednesday, March 11.

A second positive test in Missouri was confirmed last Thursday evening. The person who tested positive was from Springfield, just 30 miles west of Seymour.

Randall Williams, director of DHSS, said in the release that the hotline is being added as an additional resource to be accessed in addition to the DHSS COVID-19 webpage.

The website has information on protective measures against the virus, as well visual instructions on how to properly wash your hands.

“For those who may be at risk for COVID-19, we encourage them to utilize this hotline or call their health-care provider or local public health agency to inform them of their travel history and symptoms. They’ll be instructed on how to receive care without exposing others to the possible illness,” Williams said.

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