BROOKINGS – Following COVID-19 social distancing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) and the White House, Brookings Health System has suspended all in-person events, classes and support groups at their facilities.
“Reducing the number of people from the general public inside our doors enables us to better maintain the microbial integrity of our facility,” Infection Preventionist Bunny Christie said. “While the COVID-19 threat exists, Brookings Health must protect our patients who need care as well as our team members who need to stay healthy in order to care for our patients.”
The health system is exploring ways to host certain classes and events virtually.
The public can find the latest information on COVID-19 at brookingshealth.org/COVID. The page also includes links to the CDC and DOH websites.
“Remember,” Christie said, “this is an evolving situation. Get information about COVID-19 from a credible source and do not spread misinformation.”
Facts about COVID-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. It was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has now been detected in several locations internationally, including the U.S.
According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Complications may include pneumonia in both lungs. People at greatest mortality risk from COVID-19 include the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, COPD, underlying heart and lung diseases, or other immune compromising conditions. Children are more likely than adults to present with mild symptoms. The best prevention is to avoid exposure to the virus.
To help local healthcare teams care for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms, Brookings Health requests the public to follow triage guidelines shown in the chart above.
The public should remain calm and use scientifically proven infection control methods.
• Practice good respiratory etiquette and hygiene. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze in your upper sleeve
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Practice social distancing when out in the community by trying to stay three to six feet away from other people. Do not hug, kiss, shake hands or make other unnecessary contact.
• Clean and disinfect high-touch surface areas, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, etc. every day. COVID-19 is easily cleaned by household cleaners or soap and water.
• Stay at home if you’re sick and self-isolate to prevent the spread of illness.