PENDER, NE (March 17, 2020) – Pender Community Hospital & Medical Clinics urge the community to be proactive when dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The most important thing people can do right now is to stay home, wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing.
Social distancing is a proven tool to stop or slow down the spread of contagious illnesses, such as COVID-19. To practice social distancing, avoid shaking hands, cancel large events, avoid large crowds, and keep a 6-foot distance between you and others.
“It’s critical that we take action now in order to protect our vulnerable population,” said Melissa Kelly, CEO. “Our community has a large, high-risk population that includes older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. Because of this, it’s imperative to take social distancing and self-isolation very seriously.”
For individuals who feel sick or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (symptoms include fever greater than 100.4, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat) it’s essential that your entire family self-quarantine. If possible, the individual with symptoms should isolate separately within the home, staying in a separated bedroom and bathroom area. When your entire family is under self-quarantine, no one should leave the home unless medical care in needed. This is absolutely essential to avoid spreading this highly contagious virus. Plan to have other people drop off needed supplies outside to prevent the disease from spreading to others.
Pender Community Hospital & Medical Clinics also want community members to know that if you have mild symptoms that appear like a cold, such as sneezing, running nose, cough, sore throat, you don’t need to be seen by a provider immediately. Patients experiencing symptoms are first asked to self-quarantine their entire family at home. If symptoms continue for 3 days, are getting worse, you are having difficulties breathing and/or shortness of breath, contact Pender Medical Clinic to visit with a provider. From there, providers will screen over the phone to assess your risk level and determine next steps.
“Often, patients who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover and manage their symptoms at home. Waiting three days prior to contacting the clinic will allow medical staff to ensure they are able to treat for the correct condition and that the severity of the symptoms requires medical attention,” said Dr. Matthew Felber, trauma director and primary care physician at Pender Community Hospital and Medical Clinics. “Be sure to get care if your symptoms get worse, you are having difficulty breathing or think it’s an emergency.”