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Coronavirus COVID-19: Be Aware & Prepare

Published on March 19, 2020

We applaud each member of our community – individuals and businesses alike - for the precautionary measures being taken to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

As a healthcare team, we can't stress enough the importance of slowing the spread of the virus through good hygiene and adhering to the recommendations of federal and local public health officials.

While information changes and updates occur each day (sometimes each hour), here are things we wish to emphasize TODAY as we face this challenge together.

Fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, shortness of breath. Illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Please take this seriously and practice social distancing as advised by public health officials. Avoid groups of more than 10 people and practice social distancing by putting space between yourself and others. Note that the recommendation for going out in the public is to limit your travel to only what's necessary, such as to work (as per your employer policy), trips to pick up food or groceries, the pharmacy, and essential appointments. These are today's guidelines, they could change tomorrow.

Continue to practice healthy habits to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
• Clean and then disinfect frequently used surfaces
• Stay home if you're sick
• Avoid touching your face

According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services:
1. All returning travelers, from any international or domestic location, might have an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.
2. All returning travelers, from any international or domestic location, should limit public interactions, practice strict social-distancing, and self-monitor for symptoms.
3. IF a returning traveler develops fever or respiratory illness, they need to IMMEDIATELY self-isolate and report to a provider or local health department.
4. Returning travelers need to know the COVID-19 disease burden in locations visited and traveled through. This information can be found on local/state public health and media websites.
5. Areas with widespread sustained transmission (e.g. CDC Level 3 countries - - plus U.S. locales such as Seattle, WA, Westchester County, NY, Santa Clara County, CA) are at increased risk and of special concern. Such travelers should self-quarantine for 14 days and immediately report any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection to their health care provider. Individuals unable to observe the 14-day self-quarantine should consult with their local health department about appropriate actions.

Please call our clinic (402-694-3191) or hospital ER (402-694-3171) before coming in. We are happy to see you, but want to take the appropriate precautionary measures for the protection of staff, patients and residents, as well as others in the community. We will ask a few screening questions over the phone, and if symptoms are mild, we may discuss the most appropriate treatment to follow over the phone to minimize undo exposure of staff or others.

All patients are being screened for symptoms of illness or travel upon arrival for all appointments. Know that your appointment for a regular or routine check-up with the cardiologist, for example, or your physical therapy treatment will probably be postponed if the screening is positive for symptoms of the illness or travel history that is a concern. We will provide direction at that time.

We are sorry for any inconvenience, but we remain closed to visitors in our nursing home, assisted and independent living residence, and hospital. We appreciate your understanding as we protect the health of residents, patients, and staff. You may wish to consider other methods of "visiting" via phone calls, email, FaceTime, Skype, etc. If you have concerns about visiting a patient or resident, please contact one of the following: East Park Villa 402-694-2300; Memorial Community Care 402-694-8230; or Memorial Hospital 402-694-3171.

HOW WILL YOU KNOW if there are any COVID-19 cases in our area?
Test results are reported through the District Health Department that serves the county in which the individual lives. Overall cases in Nebraska can be found on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website. As of this this afternoon, there are no reported cases of infection in the Central District Health Department and nearby Four Corners Health Department, and one confirmed case in Adams County in the South Heartland District Health Department. Please see links to these resources below.

A great deal of information is available on the symptoms of COVID-19 including what to do if you suspect you have been exposed, where outbreaks are occurring, how you can help stop the spread, and more. If you haven't already, please take time to educate yourself and others on the importance of taking precautions. Please also be cautious about finding reliable sources of information on how you can stay healthy - what works, how to treat, etc. There are many things circulating in social media that may or may not be true. Be smart, be safe, check reliable resources, and if you need to be seen, please call us.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): or

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NEDHHS):
DHHS Hotline: 402-552-6645 8AM-8PM CST 7 Days a Week and

Central District Health Department (CDHD):
-serving Hall, Hamilton, and Merrick counties

South Heartland District Health Department:
-serving Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties

Four Corners Health Department
-serving Butler, Polk, Seward and York