While the 2019 Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) has not yet affected the local area, staff at Kearney Regional Medical Center and Platte Valley Medical Group are taking precautions to help prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including cough, cold, influenza, and COVID-19.
“With the increased spread of COVID-19 in the United States, it is going to be difficult to differentiate the spread of COVID-19 in Nebraska from influenza and other common respiratory illnesses,” said Infection Prevention Manager Josette McConville.
As such, precautionary measures are being taken by the clinic and hospital. Any ambulatory patients presenting with respiratory illnesses will be treated with droplet precautions as a measure to protect the safety of all patients and staff.
- Ambulatory (clinic) patients will be asked to wear a procedure mask upon entrance to the building and throughout the visit, unless instructed to remove by healthcare professional.
- Hospital patients are to wear a procedure mask when outside of the patient room (i.e. transport to a different department)
- Staff will wear a procedure mask for all patient interaction
Kearney Regional Medical Center and Platte Valley Medical Group are following CDC guidelines for all respiratory illnesses, including testing for COVID-19 if patients meet the criteria. We are working closely with Two Rivers Health Department and are passing on any cases that meet the criteria for COVID-19. At this time, there have been no positive results for COVID-19 in the area.
Per CDC guidelines, criteria for COVID-19 testing include fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness AND:
- Travel to foreign countries identified by the CDC with sustained ongoing transmission, or
- Known exposure with a person know to have COVID-19 illness, or
- Individual requiring hospitalization with no alternative explanatory diagnosis
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, contact your primary care provider’s office first. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19, influenza, and other viruses.
Recommendations for prevention of the spread of all infectious diseases include these tips from the CDC:
- Practice good hand hygiene & respiratory hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. Cover mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home if feeling unwell. Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible viruses. If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.