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Boone County Health Center updates community on COVID-19

Boone County Health Center issued the following statement on Monday, March 9, regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the U.S.
Boone County Health Center is staying vigilant amid growing concern about COVID-19, also called coronavirus, reaching Nebraska.
“We are following the advice of East Central District Health Department (ECDHD) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, we ask that the patients with a known exposure to COVID-19 as well as a fever, cough and shortness of breath call the ECDHD COVID-19 Hotline available 24/7 at 402-562-8960 before coming into our clinic or hospital,” said Dr. John Mazour.
ECDHD considers exposure to COVID-19 to be close contact with someone known to have COVID-19 or those who live in or have recently traveled from a place with ongoing spread of COVID-19.
“In an effort to provide additional protection to our patients and staff, we are asking anyone with fever, cough or shortness of breath to please put a mask on when entering the hospital or clinics,” said Mazour.
Boone County Health Center has access to COVID-19 tests. The Health Center also has the proper personal protection devices such as masks and gowns to keep patients and staff safe. Year-round training and policies have prepared staff at Boone County Health Center with the proper procedures should a health emergency arise.
ECDHD’s advice for the public states: “If you have not traveled from an area where COVID-19 is spreading or have not been in contact with an infected patient, your risk of infection is low. It is understandable that you may feel anxious about the outbreak. Get the facts from reliable sources to help you know your risks so you can take reasonable precautions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/share-facts-stop-fear.html.“
To stay healthy and protect yourself and others, the CDC asks the public to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or going to the bathroom and before eating or preparing food. Also, try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. It is also wise to use common sense and consider avoiding large crowns especially if you are elderly or have a weakened immune system.
Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
According to ECDHD, for most people, COVID-19 infection will cause mild illness; however, it can make some people very ill and, in some people, it can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes) are at greater risk for severe disease.
Stay up to date with the latest information from the Center for Disease (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Patients with known exposure to COVID-19 and symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath are asked to fill out the ECDHD’s screening form. This form can be found at https://cip-dhhs.ne.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=JKHEPR4DPR or on the BCHC web site.