COVID-19 Prepare, not Panic
March 18, 2020
The medical center recently put out the following news release.
“Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is now considered a pandemic and a rapidly evolving situation. It is important that everyone in Big Sandy take the appropriate steps to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the community.”
“At this time, the illness ranges from mild to severe symptoms and possible death. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older adults and people with severe underlying chronic medical conditions appear to be at a higher risk for more serious complications.”
“If you have symptoms it is important that you take precautions to prevent further spread. This includes staying home and treating the symptoms as needed. It is important that you prevent spread to the community. Avoid going into public including the grocery store, bar/restaurant, bank, post office, etc. if you have any symptoms.”
“If you have concerns with your symptoms including difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, bluish lips or face, or other concerns please call your medical provider. Big Sandy Medical Center is available for your calls and to give recommendations by calling 406-378-2188. Please attempt to call the facility prior to coming so that staff can be prepared and decrease risk to others.”
“At this time, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. Currently it is thought to be spread mainly from person-to-person. This can occur between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.”
“Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.”
They also included the following email address: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.htm
After visiting with Krystyl Kulbeck, PA-C, at the Big Sandy Medical Center, confirmed that the clinic and the hospital are prepared.
She also reiterated to me they cannot do testing here in Big Sandy. Krystyl said, “If a person believes they have COVID-19, currently, they need to call the clinic.” Calling is the key. After people call, they will receive the appropriate treatment. With mild symptoms, the medical providers will be able to treat appropriately over the phone. Mild symptoms do not need testing. If you have severe, life-threatening symptoms, you need to go to the emergency room. Call before arriving at the emergency room and hopefully drive yourself if you are able.
Currently, testing is not widespread, and only those with severe symptoms are tested. The major of people will heal completely. Krystyl said, “we don’t know how fast this will spread, so the best thing to do is prevention at this time. Prepare, not panic.”
The hospital does not have a ventilator, so if anyone has a severe problem, they would be sent on.
The EMT and the medical staff have been well prepared. They do have all the correct equipment, but they need to know if you believe you have COVID-19 so they can prepare not only to give you the necessary care but to protect themselves as they do.
She wanted to emphasize at least one more time “The biggest thing is to call, not everyone needs emergency care. If you do have any life-threatening, you do need to go to the emergency room.”