Hospital actively prepares to identify coronavirus

From Local Sources

JASPER — Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center is actively preparing to identify any individuals who seek care within its organization and meet the current criteria to be evaluated for the 2019 novel coronavirus.

According to the hospital, which is acting in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, no persons are under investigation for the coronavirus in Dubois County. But, the hospital is “proactively taking steps to be prepared,” according to a press release.

“Communities in our area are still considered to be low-risk for exposure to the virus, according to the latest information from the CDC,” the press release states.

Later this week, Memorial Hospital patients and visitors will see new signs when they enter any of the hospital’s locations. The signs list the criteria for the virus and provide instructions to patients and visitors to immediately alert staff and put on a face mask.

“Recognizing those at risk for coronavirus is a key step in identifying cases and preventing further transmission,” the press release states.

It adds that it is important that you call your doctor’s office or the emergency department before you arrive and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. If you have traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea in the last 14 days and have a fever with a cough or shortness of breath, it is important that you alert staff immediately upon your arrival and apply a face mask. If you are unable to tolerate a mask, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue in a trash container immediately after use.

The best way to protect yourself from any respiratory illness, including the flu, is to:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

According to the press release, the most important thing you can do right now is educate yourself about the virus and follow the steps above. For additional information about novel coronavirus, click here.

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