Community Coronavirus updates

Madison County prepares for Covid-19

Madison County is taking preparedness measures for a coronavirus outbreak.

Preparation for diseases and viruses is a constant task for hospitals and first responders. Leaders in healthcare have
been and continue to prepare for the Coronavirus. Madison County’s Public Health Services held a public Coronavirus Preparedness meeting March 9.

“We in the healthcare field, we’re ready for things like this,” Madison Valley Medical Center infection control officer Peggy Shumsky said. “We use infection control measures all the time. We use personal protection equipment, which for this virus is gown, gloves, masks and eye protection.

Forty-eight people from both hospitals, ambulance services and other healthcare fields and first responders attended the Coronavirus Preparedness meeting in Virginia City. According to Madison County’s Public Health Nurse, Melissa Brummell, all organizations are working on continuing their preparation efforts.

“The entire county is working together,” MVMC CEO Allen Rohrback said. “Which is what the CDC is recommending for us to do.”

MVMC and the Ruby Valley Medical Center each have a negative pressure room, which is a temporary holding area that does not recirculate the air in the building. These rooms could be used to quarantine a potential severe case of the coronavirus. Depending how sick an individual is, will determine where they will receive care. If it is not a severe case, infected individuals will self-quarantine at home.

“Going back to the basics,” MVMC Director of Nursing Allison Treloar said. “Stay at home when you’re sick, wash your hands and cough into your arm.”

A shortage of test kits in the United States is a concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said more will be available soon. Montana has 200 test kits in Helena.

“It’s a start,” Brummell said. “It’s not enough.”

Brummell encourages people to make their own preparations, like having extra prescription medicine in the event that you’re unable to go to the pharmacy. People with preexisting health issues and the elderly are the highest risk of contracting Covid-19.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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