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Pawnee County COVID-19 News Release
Pawnee County COVID-19 News Release
Bryce Wachs
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

NEWS RELEASE                              

Pawnee County Health Department        Pawnee Valley Campus

715 Broadway Street, #3                           923 Carroll Avenue

Larned, KS 67550                                      Larned, KS 67550

(620) 285- 6963                                          (620) 285-3161

 

March 17, 2020 For Immediate Release

The situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing frequently. The Pawnee County Health Department and The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus along with other community partners are working together not only to address the current environment, but also to plan and be prepared as the situation changes. We want to assure our community that we are working closely with state agencies to monitor and prepare accordingly.

Understandably, community members are concerned about their safety, travel and what to do if they become ill. Resources are available.

A top priority at Pawnee Valley Campus is keeping patients and visitors safe. The hospital team treats patients with several respiratory illnesses every day. We have the training, tools and techniques in place to isolate and care for patients who are potentially at risk for COVID-19 following guidelines identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, have direct access to the premier experts at The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City.

Pawnee Valley Campus has teamed up with HaysMed and opened a COVID-19 Hotline effective Monday, March 16. The Hotline will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The number is 877-261-7140. The hotline is designed for people who have questions about the novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 Symptoms

If you are feeling ill and think you have symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed:

·      Call the COVID-19 hotline or contact your doctor’s office for instructions

o   Let them know your symptoms, if you traveled recently, or been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19

o   Please do not go to the Emergency Department unless instructed to do so

·      It is important to call ahead prior to arriving at any doctor office or hospital to minimize the spread of the illness to others.

·      If you do not have a doctor, you can also call the Pawnee County Health Department

·      Symptoms include fever greater 100.4 degrees, coughing, and shortness of breath

·      If you feel that you have an emergency medical condition, please call the emergency department prior to arriving at the hospital to give personnel adequate time to prepare so they can better minimize the spread of the illness to others

Prevention

·      Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based sanitizer.

·      Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

·      Avoid close contact with sick people, clean and disinfect regularly and most important, stay home when you are sick.

·      Pawnee County Health Department and the Pawnee County Commissioners/Board of Health strongly advise all citizens to follow the national recommendations for social gatherings as these may change daily.

 

Testing Process

·      At this time testing will only be completed on those persons who meet KDHE criteria and that KDHE approves.

·      Your doctor, Advanced Practice Provider, or the County Health Nurse will contact KDHE for approval.

Travel

KDHE is strongly encouraging Kansans to follow their guidelines regarding travel. Traveling outside of Kansas is discouraged.

KDHE is now recommending 14-day home quarantine for Kansans who have:

·      Traveled to a state with known widespread community transmission (currently California, New York, and Washington states).

·      Visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, and Gunnison counties in Colorado.

·      Traveled on a cruise ship.

·      Traveled internationally

·      Received notification from Pawnee County Health Department that you are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. A close contact is defined as someone who has been closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes while the patient is symptomatic.

Those who are under home quarantine should not attend school, work or any other setting where they are not able to maintain a 6-foot minimum distance from other people.

Please contact the Pawnee County Health Department at 620-285-6963 if you meet the above criteria.

Resources

For the most up to date information on COVID-19 visit the KDHE website http://www.kdheks.gov/ or the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov.