FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Lisa Winters
June 18, 2020 830-258-7628
PETERSON HEALTH PROVIDES COVID-19 GUIDANCE
Surge in Positive Cases Concern Community
Kerrville, TX – As Kerr County has witnessed a surge in positive COVID-19 cases in the past two days, Peterson Health has experienced high call volumes on the COVID-19 hotline, as well as nearly double the number of people wanting to be tested at the Peterson Outreach Clinic.
Peterson Health continues to follow CDC and TDSHS guidelines for testing patients that are symptomatic only, with the exception of healthcare or childcare workers. Testing is available by appointment at Peterson’s Outreach Clinic located at 1740 Junction Highway Monday – Friday from 7am-7pm. People experiencing symptoms can call 830-258-7814.
Since the onset of COVID-19, symptoms have changed. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and now include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatique, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms and the CDC continues to update the list as they learn more about COVID-19.
Pam Burton, Infections Prevention RN for Peterson Health and the COVID-19 subject matter experts realizes the concern in the spike of positive cases. Shares Burton, “We know it’s unsettling when you think or know you’ve been exposed to someone that tested positive for COVID-19. We encourage you to reach out to our COVID-19 hotline or Peterson’s Outreach Clinic or your primary care physician and ask questions, then monitor your signs and symptoms for 48 hours. Typically, it takes 2-7 days before symptoms will appear. Being tested too soon could potentially offer a false sense of security of being without illness and increasing the potential of exposing others at a later date.”
According to the CDC, Most people who have tested positive have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community:
- Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
- Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
- Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
- Separate yourself from other people. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people or pets in your home.
Continues Burton, “We encourage the public not to panic because of the recent rise in cases. COVID-19 is not going away and the surge was expected with the states opening up more. We are also seeing a rise in testing and positives, statewide, as well as nationally. Peterson Health reminds the community that we can reduce or slow the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to follow CDC and TDSHS recommendations as follows:
- Practice social distancing.
- Limit unnecessary travel and be prudent in your activities. (If at all possible, refrain from travel to known hot spots.)
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- 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 hand sanitizer.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Don’t go to work if you are sick.
- Wear a cloth face covering or mask in public settings, especially in areas where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies). Assure your face covering provides coverage from the bridge of your nose to beneath your chin. An uncovered nose still allows for spreading and acquiring of respiratory viruses.
Peterson Health would like to acknowledge and thank the community for their support and participation in the joint efforts to keep Kerrville and Kerr County a safe haven for those who live here. Adds Burton, “By working together and keeping the lines of communication open in this ever-changing situation, we can stay informed, proactive, and calm.”
For more information and updates on Peterson’s preparedness, contact any of the following personnel: Infection Prevention – Pam Burton, R.N., (830) 258-7448; Communications – Lisa Winters, Director of Marketing and Community Relations (830)258-7628.