As the coronavirus continues to sweep across the country, more and more states are opting to issue “stay-at-home” and “shelter-in-place” orders to combat the spread of COVID-19 infection, which is both highly contagious and new in the U.S. population. Now that many counties throughout Kansas and Missouri have also issued orders of their own, it’s important for residents to keep in mind what “stay-at-home” really means – and which activities are still considered essential under these mandates.
Even if you are not experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19, you are still allowed to seek medical treatment for other healthcare issues, whether that means physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, or a trip to the pharmacy for a prescription. Most healthcare providers and facilities will be fully operational during the crisis, and while their staff may be feeling the pressure of the rising coronavirus cases and supply shortages, you are still entitled to get medical care for your injuries and illnesses.
In all Kansas and Missouri counties affected by a stay-at-home order, citizens are legally allowed to do any of the following:
- Visit the doctor for routine checkups and exams
- Obtain medicine
- Go to a pharmacy or healthcare supply store
- Keep appointments with medical specialists (as needed)
- Seek aid for illnesses, injuries, and long-term conditions
- Go to physical therapy
- Get counseling and mental health services
At this time of unprecedented crisis in the world, we need to continue taking care of our health and seeking out services that keep us safe and well. Although some people may be afraid of catching COVID-19 at healthcare centers and facilities, medical professionals should be fully aware of the risks and take appropriate measures to ensure patient safety, such as regularly washing their hands and wearing protective gear with every patient. Failing to meet the “standard of care” can still make medical professionals liable for unnecessary injuries and losses.
Because many public health experts anticipate that healthcare providers will become overcrowded in the months to come, it’s especially important to follow up on your doctor’s recommendations now, when most people are free of the coronavirus and staying at home. By being proactive with your health, you not only help yourself – you may also be better able to help the people around you, including family members and loved ones.
Do you have any questions about your legal responsibilities under a stay-at-home order? Please contact our legal team at DiPasquale Moore today by calling (888) 743-1030.