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Pratt still a low-risk area for coronavirus

Jennifer Stultz
jstultz@pratttribune.com
Health officials at PRMC and the Pratt County Health Department are closely monitoring the coronavirus disease in the state, ready to test and help any who need such services if and when it becomes a reality in the Pratt area.

Andie Dean, Pratt Regional Medical Center Community Relations Manager and Public Information Officer said in a prepared statement that PRMC and Pratt County Health Department officials continue to monitor closely COVID-19 developments in partnership with state health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“We are still currently at a LOW risk for coronavirus (COVID-19). PRMC is ready, however, with highly trained workers, to care for patients should coronavirus become a concern,” Dean said.

PRMC regularly treats patients with infectious diseases and healthcare workers there are highly trained in controlling the spread of infection, Dean said.

In effort to alleviate local concern, health official in Pratt have provided the following information and resources for guidance.

· https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

· http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/index.htm

· Call KDHE epidemiology hotline 1-877-534-3463 or email COVID-19@KS.gov .

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:

· Fever (98% of the time)

· Cough (80% of the time)

· Shortness of breath (30% of the time)

What can I do to protect myself and others?

Public health officials recommend the following steps to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID-19:

· Please call ahead before going to your healthcare provider if you feel the need to seek medical care.

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick (Close contact is being within 6 feet of a person for more than 10 minutes.)

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

· Stay home when you are sick. You are likely over the illness when you have not had a fever for 24 hours without the aid fever reducing medications (Acetaminophen/ Tylenol, Ibuprofen/Advil).

· Cover your cough or sneeze.

· Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often, using either soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel for at least 20 seconds.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.