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 Ozarks Healthcare prepares for solar eclipse, aims to ensure community access


As the much-anticipated total solar eclipse approaches on April 8, Ozarks Healthcare officials say the local hospital system is taking proactive measures to ensure the safety and accessibility of services for its community.

To accommodate potential increases in patient volume during this time, Ozarks Healthcare’s Walk-in Clinic in West Plains will extend its hours as follows:

• Friday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Sunday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Monday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In addition, Ozarks Healthcare’s Pharmacy located at 307 N. Kentucky Ave. in West Plains will adjust its operating hours and extend its drive-thru services to meet the needs of patients:

• Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; drive-thru extended hours to 10 p.m.

• Saturday: 8 a.m. to noon; drive-thru extended hours to 10 p.m.

• Sunday: Drive-thru extended hours noon to 10 p.m.

• Monday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; drive-thru extended hours to 10 p.m.

Seeking Medical Care at Walk-in Clinics vs. the Emergency Room 

During the solar eclipse event, it's important for people to understand when to visit the walk-in clinic versus the emergency room, officials remind. While the walk-in clinic is suitable for non-life-threatening conditions such as minor injuries, coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms, the emergency room should be sought for emergencies such as severe injuries, chest pain, difficulty breathing or any other life-threatening conditions.

"We want to ensure that our community has access to necessary healthcare services during the solar eclipse event," said Chief Nursing Officer Lacey Carter. "By extending walk-in clinic and pharmacy hours at our locations in West Plains, we aim to provide convenient and timely care to those who may need it."

Ozarks Healthcare encourages everyone to prioritize safety during the solar eclipse and to seek appropriate medical attention when necessary.