SIDNEY— “At Wilson Health, we want to assure you our focus remains on the health and well-being of our patients, providers, staff and community,” said Dr. Michael Trygstad, Interim Chief Medical Officer of Wilson Health and Medical Director of Wilson Health Medical Group. “Our planning and preparation for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) started back in January and we continue to work closely with our public health partners and have ongoing engagement at the regional, state and federal levels.”
Wilson Health wants people to be informed and have access to reliable information. Here is some helpful information about the COVID-19 disease and what you need to know.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
“Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with the common respiratory coronavirus diagnosis,” said Trygstad.
How Does the COVID-19 Spread?
This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
• Shortness of breath
How can you protect yourself and your family?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
• Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
• Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
“Please continue to practice proper hygiene techniques and protect yourself and those around you from all infectious diseases by using these precautions,” said Linda Smith, RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Prevention Specialist and Employee Health Nurse at Wilson Health. “I know it sounds simple and redundant but we can’t emphasize the importance of proper hygiene during this time.”
• Stay home when you are sick
• Avoid contact with people who are sick
• Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
• Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
• Cough or sneeze into your sleeve instead your hand or tissue
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands or after touching services
• Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces often
• Call before visiting your doctor/medical provider
• Be kind, show compassion, care for and help those who need it
“The last point above is an important one,” said Trygstad. “Caring for others means helping your neighbors or friends who might be at high risk by offering to shop or run errands and by limiting their exposure to you if you are sick. Avoiding large gatherings will help to decrease exposure to the virus for everyone.”
Need Medical Advice?
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call your primary care provider first. Please do not go directly to your doctor’s office or emergency department without calling first. Our medical teams are prepared to provide a COVID-19 screening over the phone and determine next steps for patients.
Wilson Health Virtual Care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to video chat or talk with a licensed medical provider from the comfort of your home, minimizing the risk of exposure to yourself and others. Wilson Health Virtual Care medical providers are here to help. If you have symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, our providers can assess your condition and help determine the necessary next steps, all from the comfort of your home.
To access Wilson Health Virtual Care visit www.wilsonhealth.org/virtualcare or you can download the Wilson Health Virtual Care mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
There is a lot of media coverage and information sharing about COVID-19. Wilson Health recommends the following resources for reliable, accurate and timely information:
• The Ohio Department of Health has opened a call center to answer questions regarding COVID-19. The call center is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 1-833-427-5634.
“Our community has always pulled together during times of need to support each other and help those less fortunate,” added Trygstad. “With some planning ahead and without resorting to panic or hysteria, we can and will get through this challenge to once again demonstrate the resourceful and caring nature of our community, state, and nation.”