The Pike County Health Department recognizes the concern of others during this coronavirus pandemic and want to make sure our citizens are well informed and prepared.  On March 16, 2020 President Trump issued new guidelines to help protect Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.  This initiative, called “15 Days to Slow the Spread” is to continue until April 1, 2020.  We encourage our community to follow these guidelines that can be found on our website. Our agency will get updated guidance and continue to share the most updated recommendations via our website and facebook page

The Pike County Health Department along with the County Commission is recommending that everyone follow CDC guidance on Mass Gatherings as well as the New 15 days to stop the spread.  The Health Department’s Environmental Specialist, Stefanie Davis is reaching out to all restaurants in the county through email or phone to communicate any changes or new recommendations for food establishments. The Pike County Commission has requested a list of all restaurants in the county and what measures they are putting in place to do their part; for example, going drive-through or pick-up only, adopting social distancing measures, etc.  We have done so and the list can be found on our website and facebook page. We will update it as needed.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. There is an increased risk of infection with COVID-19 for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, like healthcare workers or household contacts. Other people at increased risk are those who live or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread. The virus spreads through people who have close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You may also contract the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Patients with this virus have had mild to severe respiratory illness. People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive measures. It is important to avoid close contact with people, who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are unable to wash your hands with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should stay home when you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (then throw the tissue in the trash), and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces. If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be restrictions on your movements for up to 2 weeks. If you develop symptoms during that periods (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), seek medical advice. Call the office of your health care provider BEFORE you go, and tell them of your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing others to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, do not go out and delay travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

“PCHD is asking everyone to do their part,” said Rhonda Stumbaugh, RN, Administrator andCounty Health Officer. “All American’s are being urged to do their part for the next 15 days to help decrease the spread during this coronavirus pandemic.  Even if you are young and otherwise healthy, you are at risk — and your activities can increase the risk of contracting the coronavirus for others.  Everyone can do their part.  The new recommendations are simple to follow but will have a resounding impact on public health.  For the new guidelines and how you can do your part visit our website at pikecountyhealth.org or the CDC.gov.  Together we can make a difference.”

If you have any questions about COVID-19, please call the Pike County Health Department 573-324-2111 or the 24/7 Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service public hotline number at 877-435-8411. You may also stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 information at our website pikecountyhealth.org, on our facebook page, on MDHSS website, health.mo.gov/coronavirus or directly from the CDC website at cdc.gov. Be sure to subscribe to our PCHD E-NEWS to stay up to date on health advisories and more.

Send questions and comments to athorp@pikecountynews.com.

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