Norton County health entities release latest information on county COVID-19 spread
October 16, 2020
NORTON, Kan. – Due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Norton County and the surrounding area, Norton County Hospital and Medical Clinic, and the Norton County Health Department, are encouraging the public to increase personal awareness and precautions.
To mitigate COVID-19 positive cases and protect the health care workforce and necessary supplies, Norton County residents are asked to consider the following:
- Health care staff and other essential personnel in the county may not be able to work due to isolation and quarantine requirements. Staff shortages are a real possibility, and we need to work to keep ourselves and the health care workforce healthy.
- It’s a possibility that larger area hospitals could fill up and not accept transfers from smaller rural hospitals. This issue is happening in Kansas and Nebraska currently. Norton County Hospital has a maximum capacity of two COVID-positive inpatients currently, as these cases require negative pressure rooms. This is a main reason to remain vigilant with protective procedures against the virus.
- The hospital may need to make quick changes to its visiting policies and the allowance of elective (non-emergent) procedures as the local COVID-19 environment changes. As of 9 p.m. on Oct., 16, 2020, no visitors will be allowed in the hospital and clinic facilities. There are exceptions to this; for example, one visitor serving as a guardian to a minor child or advocate for a patient with certain specific needs may be allowed. It must be the same visitor per patient under these circumstances (no swapping people as the one visitor). There are also exceptions for end-of-life circumstances (two visitors per patient at any given time). All people in the facilities must wear a mask at all times and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Please remember, if you are a patient in need of medical attention, do not wait. Make an appointment at the clinic or visit the Emergency department as needed; some medical needs beyond COVID-19 cannot wait. Also, please bring a mask to the hospital and clinic facilities to help preserve the supply. If you use a cloth mask provided by the hospital, please be sure to return it to the labeled receptacles at the exits to be laundered and reused.
Here are some ways to take appropriate precautions:
- Make community health a top priority. Wearing a mask protects the people around you by trapping droplets that are released when talking, coughing or sneezing. Protection increases when all people wear masks. Also, practice social distancing and washing hands.
- The virus that causes COVID-19 has been asymptomatic in some people. And, someone who begins having symptoms could have been shedding the virus before symptoms start. This means if you test positive, anyone you have been in contact with would potentially need to quarantine for 14 days.
- If you are gathering indoors with people from outside your household, you could be at high risk for either contracting or transmitting the virus. Large gatherings at this time are discouraged, but if you attend a large event, it is recommended to mask, social distance and wash hands frequently.
- If you suspect you have COVID-19, it is important to call before arriving at the clinic (785-877-3305), or tell dispatch. COVID-suspecting patients can quickly infect health care workers and other staff to cause more staff shortages.
- Get your flu vaccine! Influenza season is upon us. Getting the influenza vaccine protects you, those around you and the health care workforce by keeping us all healthy and preserving supplies. Contact the health department or your provider about getting this important vaccine.
Please make the effort to help one another, so we can get through this in the best way possible. Thank you all for your efforts.