- Listed: March 5, 2020 3:29 am
- Expires: 1 day, 2 hours
Joint March 4th news release from SEARHC and the City & Borough of Sitka:
SEARHC, CBS and the Sitka Fire Department are closely monitoring information being provided by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (ADHSS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to plan and prepare for a local response to the coronavirus threat. Sitka has yet to see any confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.
“Together, we have strategically planned a response to EMS calls and reviewed emergency procedures,” said CBS Fire Chief and Emergency Manager Dave Miller. “Emergency response has implemented updated 9-1-1 dispatch protocols to screen for potential coronavirus on all calls. Hospital teams have set up an Incident Command System to ensure constant communication throughout the event.”
Dr. Elliot Bruhl, SEARHC Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer, shared that SEARHC providers received COVID-19 screening protocols in early February and all locations have been given direction to screen all patients meeting symptomatic requirements. COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of the flu – fever, aching, cough, and shortness of breath. “Sitkans can help prevent the threat by washing hands thoroughly and often; covering coughs and sneezes; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects; and getting a flu shot to eliminate concerns, as COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza,” said Dr. Bruhl. Bruhl also recommends people stay home when sick.
If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus, don’t panic, as the flu or another respiratory virus is still the most likely cause. Contact your healthcare provider for advice. If you choose to visit an emergency department, call ahead to alert staff of your coronavirus concerns and request a mask be brought out to you prior to entering to reduce the risk of exposure. For health questions or concerns outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse.
Residents are encouraged to prepare for any local emergency by ensuring each family member has a 14- day emergency supply kit, including any necessary medications.
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