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COVID-19

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Frequently Asked Questions

*This is an evolving document of frequently asked Questions & Answers/Information Related to the COVID-19 virus and related policies and procedures at Kearney Regional Medical Center/Platte Valley Medical Group.

Call First Policy.

If you have flu-like symptoms or trouble breathing, the best course of action is to call your primary care provider’s office first so they can make the most accurate recommendation for patients and whether to stay home or come in to the clinic/hospital. If nurse recommends futher testing, you will be asked to enter through separate entrance and meet at nurse with proper PPE.

Testing for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-2019 can only be done by public health authorities. Currently, only people who meet certain criteria are being tested. Criteria include both symptoms and likely or known exposure to a person with COVID-2019. If you are not having any symptoms or if you are having symptoms but no exposure, then you would not be tested at this time. If testing is requested, the test must be approved by the Two Rivers Public Health Department and sent to the Public Health Lab in Omaha. Turn-around time on results is about 30 hours currently.

-Travel from CDC-identified Risk Level 2 or 3 locations in the past 14 days
-Close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. Close contact is defined as within approximately 6 feet for a prolonged period of time: i.e. caring for, living with, visiting, sharing a room with
-Serious illness respiratory and fever (i.e. requiring hospitalization), undetermined origin (other lab testing negative)
-Other cases are considered case-by-case basis if physician feels strongly that patient with fever and respiratory illness with unknown etiology should be tested

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

The flu shot provides protection from influenza. There is no vaccine/shot for COVID-19 at this time, only to treat the symptoms. However, it’s important to note that the flu is making a second wave here in Central Nebraska so we do advise you to still get a flu shot if you have not already.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

If your symptoms are mild, you will be treated in your home with supportive care.  This means treating your symptoms.  Stay hydrated with water or sports drinks.  If you have a fever, treat with ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) per the doctor’s recommendations.  If your symptoms worsen and you feel you need medical care, call your provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19.

Other things that you can do to treat a viral infection at home include:

  • Avoid sharing personal household items (drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or bedding). After using these items, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 30 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have body fluids on them.  Follow the instructions on your cleaning product.

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of transmission is thought to be low.  The decision to discontinue home isolation is made on a case-by-case basis with your health care provider and the state health department.

If your symptoms worsen and you feel you need medical care, call your provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19.  If symptoms are severe, please call 911.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has set up a coronavirus (COVID-19) information line that will allow residents to get answers to general questions and receive information on resources available. That number is (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.