This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing at www.dodgeglobe.com/subscribe.


Dodge City Medical Center owner Centura Health released information on how it is screening for COVID-19 and why it will not be testing for the virus at its clinics.


"To conserve valuable resources, enable appropriate isolation and preserve the well-being of our patients, clinicians and our community, Dodge City Medical Center is not performing COVID-19 testing," Centura Health said in a news release.


The decision comes on the heels of Ford County announcing its first confirmed case of the virus on Tuesday.


"All of our Centura Health hospitals are equipped and are testing for COVID-19. We are not testing out of any of our Centura Health clinics, so it’s not just Dodge City Medical Center," said Centura Health communications adviser Brett Riggs said.


Despite not testing for the virus, screenings for it will still take place.


Dodge City Medical Center will screen for the virus based on the patient’s recent travel history; whether or not the patient has been in contact with a person who has the virus; and what their symptoms are.


The patient will then be provided instructions on how to proceed.


Patients are asked to call the medical center in advance if they are not in critical condition and feel they may have the virus.


"If you are critically ill, please call 911 or contact your local emergency department," Centura Health said.


Call Dodge City Medical Center at 620-227-1371.


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.