Central Iowa Times

Central Iowa Times

Monday, March 30, 2020

Government, hospital officials say they are prepared if coronavirus hits Webster county

Local Government

By Mary Lou Lang | Mar 19, 2020

Local government and hospital officials say they are prepared if any cases of coronavirus are reported in the county.

Local government and hospital officials in Webster County said they are prepared to handle any cases of the coronavirus and the challenges it may bring, though no cases have been reported in the county as of March 18.

At a meeting last week, local officials said they are prepared to protect the health and safety of residents.

“Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of those in our community,” said Kari Prescott, Webster County Health Department director at meeting on the virus last Friday, as reported by The Messenger. “There is not an identified case in Webster County as of today. However, situations change very quickly.”

UnityPoint Health Hospital COO Troy Martens said the hospital has supplies on hand to deal with the virus, reported the Messenger.

While COVID-19 has not yet been reported in the area, the county has been dealing with a high number of patients who have the seasonal flu.

As a result of the normal increase in flu cases, the hospital already has restrictions in place regarding visitors, meetings, business travel and other programs.

Regarding the coronavirus, Prescott said proper hand-washing is the best way people can prevent spreading the virus. In addition, she suggested people buy some supplies but not to leave others without, the Messenger reported.

“We encourage residents to have a 14-day supply of food, pain relievers and prescription medications, but there is not a need to stockpile supplies,” Prescott said. “Residents should also create a contact list of family, friends, and neighbors, who are at greater risk and might need checking on or help with supplies.”

People older than 60 are most vulnerable to the flu and the coronavirus said Prescott. Anyone who exhibits coronavirus symptoms should consult their physician, said Leah Glasgo, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health. 

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