Kirby Medical Center, Dewitt-Piatt Health Department, and Piatt County
Emergency Management Agency have been maintaining collaborative, regular,
daily communication regarding coronavirus. Crystal Alexander, Kirby’s
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and Safety Officer, and Michelle Spainhour,
Kirby’s Director of Quality and Infection Prevention, as well as
the county partners have been participating in frequent conference calls
and webinars to learn of the latest developments and strategies regarding
COVID-19. As always, know that we are all working very hard to prepare
our community. We ask that everyone please assist us. Community residents
can take many steps to help prevent the spread of illness, including COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common
human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract
illnesses, like the common cold. Symptoms may include fever, cough, and
short of breath. Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected
person to others through the air by coughing or sneezing, close personal
contact such as touching or shaking hands, and touching an object or surface
with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing
Hand hygiene is the best prevention. Be sure you are washing hands for
at least 20 seconds and using hand sanitizer as indicated. The CDC advises
that people follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap
and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
Stay at home if you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched and objects and surfaces.
If you have not already, get a flu shot and if you are eligible, a pneumonia
shot. Make sure all your vaccinations are up to date. Please continue
to follow the guidelines provided by public health and the CDC.
IDPH, in coordination with the Illinois Poison Control Center, has launched
the Illinois Novel Coronavirus Hotline and email address to answer questions
that Local Health Departments, clinicians, and the general public may
have regarding COVID-19. The hotline and email address were created to
provide consistent information, answer questions, share facts about symptoms,
and provide up-to-date information from the CDC. Illinoisans can dial
1-800-889-3931 24/7. Email –
DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV to get questions answered.