While There Have Been No Confirmed Cases Of COVID19 Locally So Far, Local Health Officials Are Urging People To Take Precautions Just In Case

Wed 3-11-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- Local public health officials are stepping up efforts as the number of COVID19, or coronavirus cases, continues to increase in both Iowa and Minnesota.

Doctor Zach Boris, a physician at Lakes Family Practice and Spirit Lake Medical Center who also serves as Medical Director and President of Dickinson County Public Health, has released a YouTube video in which he offers some guidelines. In it, he explains what you should do if you exhibit symptoms of the virus, such as coughing, fever and body aches...Dr. Zach Boris01 

"If you are having those symptoms and you think you've been exposed, so you've been in one of these other countries or you've been in contact with someone who has been, or potentially as it spreads in our community, which it probably will over time, and you've come into contact with someone, then what we'd like you to do is call our office or call the hospital and let us know what's going on. You'll be transferred to a triage nurse who will be able to tell you what you should be doing, and if you're not severely ill we're probably going to ask you to stay home, and perhaps stay home for a couple of weeks, testing your temperature twice a day and if symptoms worsen then we would have you come to the hospital. As tests become more available and more widespread, or if it becomes more endemic in our local community, we may have you come to the hospital and stay in your car where we can come out and assess you and potentially test you there. We want to try to minimize exposure of other people to you if you have it."

Doctor Boris adds it's important to keep it in perspective...Dr. Zach Boris02 

"There are tens of thousands of deaths every year in the U.S. to influenza and worldwide, less than 10,000 people have died from this novel virus. We don't know where this is going to go. We don't know how extensive it's going to be, but by being prepared, by working together, by if you are ill by not exposing others to it, we can try to limit the spread of this and limit the affects."

He adds it's very important to cover any coughs and sneezes and to regularly and thoroughly wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.

Doctor Boris also recommends having atleast a two-week supply of non-perishable food on hand and those who are on prescription medicines should try to get those now. He also recommends making sure you have something such as Tylenol on hand.