While COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is not currently in Iowa, influenza is circulating at high level. Henry County Health Center has been working with Henry County Public Health to receive the latest information about influenza and COVID-19.
“HCHC receives regular updates from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) on COVID-19. We are implementing the screening recommendations from IDPH, and should COVID-19 present in this area we will follow our organization’s Emergency Preparedness Plan. This plan gives detailed processes for how the health center will effectively manage infectious disease for the care and safety of our patients and staff,” explained Cindy Cotton, HCHC’s Quality/Infection Control Director.
HCHC is emphasizing to the public that the prevention measures for influenza and COVID-19 are the same:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissue or your upper arm/elbow.
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water.
- Contain germs by staying home when ill.
Due to the high level of influenza activity, Henry County Health Center asks that individuals with respiratory and/or influenza symptoms, such as coughing, fever, aches, sore throat and runny nose, please refrain from visiting HCHC patients and Park Place Elder Living elders until symptoms are gone. This is a safety precaution to maintain a healthy hospital environment.
Also, due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued screening recommendations for all healthcare facilities. Coronavirus is identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. The virus spreads person-to-person. There have been confirmed cases identified in the United States.
The IDPH Recommendation is that all Iowa healthcare facilities implement screening procedures before or at patient check-in. Patient screening questions asked at HCHC are:
- Do you have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough or difficulty breathing)?
- Did you travel from China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea within 14 days of symptom onset?
- Did you have close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset?
If an individual has traveled to China and/or Iran and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, they should seek medical care right away. Before going to a healthcare office, call ahead and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. Calling in advance will assure that proper infection control measures are taken so that other patients are not put at risk of potential infection of the virus.
HCHC appreciates the public’s assistance in our infection control efforts. Thank you for helping to keep our patients, elders and our community healthy.