Coronavirus Information

Coronavirus - What You Need to Know

Last modified on March 17, 2020 @ 05:07 pm
Coronavirus - What You Need to Know

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System is actively working with the South Dakota Department of Health (SD DOH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local authorities to stay prepared to manage coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

A collaborated effort improves safety preparedness. “We’re prepared to deliver safe care,” said Shannon Britt, Infection Control Nurse. Britt manages Prairie Lakes Healthcare System’s infection control program which focuses on methods to safeguard patients and team members alike from contracting infectious diseases.

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Community Preparedness 

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Those with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever.

If you develop symptoms:

  1. Stay home from work and activities.
    • Avoid contact with other people and sharing personal items.
  2. Monitor your symptoms.
    • If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider.
  3. Call your primary care physician via phone and tell them about any recent travel or exposure.
    • Contacting your healthcare provider via phone before going to a clinic or hospital helps prevent spread in the community.
  4. Follow the directions of your provider and public health officials.

What you can do to avoid exposure

Community members should prepare by learning about COVID-19 through reliable resources provided by the CDC and staying calm. The CDC and SD DOH always recommend preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together until they are dry.
    • For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
  • Social Distancing
    • Avoid close contact with others.
      • Limit physical contact, including handshakes.
      • Limit in-person meetings.
      • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough into the crook of your arm. Remember to wash your hands.
  • Regular household cleaning spray or wipes can be used to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Facemasks:
    • CDC and SD DOH do not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever to help prevent the spread of disease.

Reliable Information from the CDC

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Latest Coronavirus News from Prairie Lakes