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Grant County COVID-19 cases surge

60-plus and other high risks told to shelter in place

 

March 18, 2020

Grant County Health District issued three advisories Saturday — a day when the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 jumped from 11 to 18 — urging people in high risk groups to “shelter in place,” leaving home only if absolutely necessary for medical reasons.

Of the seven new cases of the disease confirmed Saturday, which increased the confirmed number by 64 percent, five were in Quincy, two in Mattawa, the two most impacted communities in the county.

A statement issued at 5:20 p.m., however, noted “there are pending tests from all communities and we should expect cases will be confirmed in other parts of the county.”

A 4 p.m. update said that because of the limited number of test kits available, “not everyone who has COVID-19 will be tested. The virus is not limited tho those who have a postive results or symptoms. Yet people with the virus and no symptoms unknowingly pass the virus to others. …

People in Grant County should assume whenever they go into a public place that they could have contact with someone who has the virus at places such as grocery stores or doctors’ offices, the health district advised. People are urged to limit “their public exposure and exposure to anyone outside of their immediate family.”

“Do whatever you would do if you knew someone with COVID-19 was in the public places you are, because it is out there. Stay home as much as you can. If you do need to go out, stay 6 feet away from people when possible, wear a mask, and wash your hands as soon as you get home.”

That advice to the general population came just two hours after the district’s health officer had posted that residents at high risk for severe illness should shelter in place.

That includes anyone 60 or older and those with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, heart or lung disease, or who otherwise have a compromised immune system.

What “shelter-in-place” means

• Stay home and out of public places (e.g., retail stores, post offices, parks, offices), workplaces, places of worship, and local public conveyances (e.g., buses, taxis, ride-shares).

• Limit your visitors to only those who are essential. Maintain 6 ft from each other if possible and do not allow any sick visitors. Do not go to other people’s homes.

• Ask for assistance from friends and family. Try to find others who can run necessary errands and go shopping for essential items for you.

• If you must go out in public, cover your face and nose with a mask or other covering. Homemade or sewn cloth masks, bandannas or handkerchiefs, are acceptable to use during this time. We are requesting that surgical and other medical/construction-grade masks be saved for front-line healthcare workers. You should not go out except for seeking medical care.

• You can and should go outdoors, if you can do it safely. Activities such as walking, hiking and biking are encouraged. Avoid common areas. If you encounter someone while outdoors, stay at least 6 ft away and keep your interaction brief.

Keep a close watch on your health during this time

• Monitor yourself for signs of illness and write down any symptoms you may be having. Record your temperature. Some medications can lower your body temperature, including aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), Tylenol® (acetaminophen), Motrin® or Advil® (ibuprofen), Aleve® (naproxen). If you are taking one of these medications, please take your temperature before your next dose of medication. Write down your temperature.

• If you do feel sick, call your regular healthcare provider first. DO NOT GO to a clinic or hospital without first calling ahead. Calling first will help the clinic or hospital prepare to greet you and take care of you in the safest possible way. It may be recommended that you stay home and monitor your symptoms.

• Seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are worsening (e.g., shortness of breath or difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider. Put on a face mask that covers your nose and mouth before you enter any facility or emergency vehicle. After you put on the face mask, clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Source: Grant County Health District website at http://granthealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Shelter-in-Place-for-High-Risk-Groups.pdf

 

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