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KNOX CITY – As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout Texas, many in Knox County are left wondering what to do. Fortunately, the easiest way to help prevent the spread of the virus is to simply stay home.
Knox County Hospital District CEO Stephen Kuehler reported his hospital has been working around the clock to bolster their ability to respond to a county-wide outbreak after the recent announcement about the first case.
“Knox County Hospital continues to stay updated on the COVID-19 state and CDC guidelines to serve the healthcare needs of our community, but prevention is what is most helpful,” Kuehler said. “I urge everyone in our community to follow the advice from state and federal health officials to prevent community spread of the coronavirus. The best thing you can do is to stay home.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Those who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been in an area with an ongoing outbreak are also asked to seek medical advice.
If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, or are experiencing any symptoms, Kuehler says that you should not go directly to the hospital or clinic, but rather call your healthcare provider or the clinic first to determine what to do next.
Testing is currently available in the community for those who meet certain medical criteria, as evaluated by the hospital’s medical team.
Those most at risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 are those with weak or compromised immune symptoms and the elderly.
It is believed that the virus is spreading from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing; close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and rarely, fecal contamination.
“Everyone has heard it thousands of times now, but it is absolutely true,” Kuehler emphasized. “Staying home and constantly washing your hands is so critical. We know that news reports of the virus here in Knox County and across the nation, and world for that matter, can be troubling. That is why staying sheltering in place is important.”
In addition to limiting time in public, frequent handwashing is an important way to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Wash hands regularly, especially after coughing or sneezing, caring for someone who is sick, or after handling animals. It is also important to be mindful of when you touch your face and avoid doing so.
“Knox County Hospital District continues to monitor the situation in cooperation with county, state, and federal officials,” Kuehler said. “Staying calm, practicing good hygiene and avoiding large groups can help control the spread.”