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PETERSON HEALTH WORKING CLOSELY WITH FIRST RESPONDERS TO ADDRESS COVID-19 CONCERNS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         CONTACT: Lisa Winters

March 3, 2020                                                                                     830-258-7628

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PETERSON HEALTH WORKING CLOSELY WITH FIRST RESPONDERS TO ADDRESS COVID-19 CONCERNS
Kerrville, TX – Peterson Health and local first responders, specifically EMS, continue to work very closely to monitor the activity and spread of COVID-19.  Valued community partners to include the City of Kerrville, Kerr County, local law enforcement, EMS, and local school districts are communicating on a regular basis and holding weekly meetings to share resources and keep the lines of communication open and consistent.

While Kerr and surrounding counties are still considered a low risk area, and while no cases of the specific coronavirus strain COVID-19 have been reported, Peterson Health will continue to serve as the hub of communication and collaborate with established healthcare partners in order to keep the lines of communication open and consistent.

According to Pam Burton, Infection Prevention RN for Peterson Health, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses.  There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory symptoms, such as a common cold.  Peterson Health does administer respiratory panel testing for common respiratory viruses, which can result in a positive coronavirus, but not one associated with the specific COVID-19, which is associated with international travel.”

Burton says it is not too late to get the flu shot and offers other tips to help prevent novel coronaviruses, as well as other respiratory viruses to include:

  • 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 with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are showing symptoms of illness.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneezes with a tissue or sneeze into your elbow.  Throw the tissue in the garbage and make sure to clean your hands afterwards.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

While healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and stores are experiencing a high demand for facemasks, Burton points out that the masks should be used for persons who are ill or experiencing respiratory symptoms in order to keep these symptoms from spreading in the general public.  The masks are not necessary for people who are not ill.

Peterson Health will continue to monitor and collect all resources from the AHA, CDC, TDSHS, other hospitals and health organizations, and work closely with Kerr area health partners to keep the public updated and informed.

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.

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