Wyoming Department of Health issues COVID-19 protocol


TORRINGTON – As the number of cases of COVID-19 continue to grow nationwide and numerous events, including the WHSAA 3A/4A State Championship Basketball Tournament scheduled for this weekend, have been cancelled, healthcare providers in Goshen County have asked that patients take certain steps before seeking care for ailments.

During a roundtable discussion between Goshen County Public Health, Banner Community Hospital, Torrington EMS and other providers in the county, it was determined that locals should use the Centers for Disease Control protocol to minimize risk from the virus.

Public health emergency response coordinator Heather Saul said patients experiencing symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath need to call ahead before seeking medical treatment.

“If somebody calls or has some flu-like symptoms, we will go into a protocol,” Saul said. “The protocol will ask if they’ve been traveling, if they have a fever, if they don’t, and then from there we will contact the health provider. We will have them escorted to the clinic. The clinic will then do three different tests - strep, influenza and RSV. If those come back negative, that provider will call the state health department.”

The Wyoming Department of Health issued a press release earlier this week with guidelines to avoid contracting or spreading viral diseases, like COVID-19. Dr. Alexia Harrist, WDH state epidemiologist, said there are still many unknown factors around COVID-19.

“There are simply some things we don’t yet fully know about COVID-19, such as how easily it spreads and how many patients may experience severe illness,” Harrist said. “However, the symptoms reported with this disease are familiar to all of us: fever, cough and shortness of breath.”

 

Steps to avoid spreading respiratory illness, including COVID-19:

 

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible
  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 percent alcohol.

 

 

Harrist did note that travel restrictions and protocol need to be taken seriously.

“Travel recommendations and restrictions are also important to help prevent the spread of illness,” Harrist said. “The CDC currently recommends no non-essential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy, and no travel on cruise ships. Entry to the United States from China and Iran is also restricted.”

 

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