2nd Case of COVID-19 Announced in Monona County

The Burgess Public Health has reported its second positive COVID-19 case in Monona County.  This case is unrelated to the first COVID-19 reported on March 25.

The patient is elderly, in the greater than 81+ age band that resides within Monona County.

Burgess Public Health Department is reminding residents of the importance of practicing social distancing, which includes staying home as much as possible, avoiding crowds and mass gatherings, and maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from others. Limiting exposure will slow the spread of the virus and prevent a spike in cases that could potentially exceed the capacity of our healthcare system to treat patients that need care.

Approximately 80 percent of Iowans infected with COVID-19 will experience only mild to moderate illness. Most mildly ill Iowans may not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm that they have COVID-19. Sick Iowans must stay home and isolate themselves from others in their house until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
  • Other symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath have improved AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent the virus, there are many steps that residents can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses:

  • Practice social distancing and avoid handshakes
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people that are sick
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow/upper arm
  • Staying home when you or a family member are ill
  • Call first if you need to see a healthcare provider
  • Routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops with an effective cleaner.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.

First Case of COVID-19 Confirmed in Monona County

A case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Monona County. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the individual is self-isolating at home.

“While this is Monona County’s first case, it may not be the last, and that’s why we encourage all residents to continue to make prevention a priority,” said Burgess Public Health Director Erin Brekke. These actions include:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow/upper arm.
  • Staying home when ill.

Approximately 80% of Iowans infected with COVID-19, will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Most mildly ill Iowans do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19. Sick Iowans must stay home and isolate themselves from others in their house. Stay home and isolate from others in the house until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)

AND

  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)

AND

  • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

If you think you may need healthcare, call first. Your provider can assess whether you need to be seen in the office or if you can recover at home. There may also be options for you to talk to a medical provider from home using technology.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.

Burgess Executes Emergency Plans

Burgess Health Center is actively preparing, planning, and executing our emergency plans, collaborating with local and state health public health departments, and staying on top of the latest guidelines set forth by the CDC and the State of Iowa. At this time, we have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep our staff and patients safe. While not at a critical point, cleaning supplies are a precious commodity. Our planning includes appropriate use of PPE and cleaning supplies to ensure we have adequate supply if a large influx of patients occurs.

There currently is no cure for COVID-19; we are only able to treat symptoms. Our medical staff is working diligently to ensure we are following the latest treatment protocols to lessen these symptoms. Respiratory support is one of the most critical components of symptom management.

Our planning includes ensuring we have the proper equipment to care for patients in severe respiratory distress.  In addition, we are training additional staff to operate this equipment as some of our staff may not be able to work if they become infected. Also, the staff currently trained will not be able to function around the clock if this pandemic is of long duration.

Unfortunately, no matter what preparation we do, Burgess and the U.S. healthcare system could become overwhelmed if we do not slow this virus down. Therefore, follow the recommendations we have been hearing:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover your cough
  • Stay home if you are sick and call your primary care provider
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces daily
  • Practice social distancing at all times & stay home as much as possible
  • Limit travel to only what is essential

Some things Burgess has implemented to protect our staff and patients, to converse PPE and cleaning supplies, and prepare for a potential influx of patients include:

  • Restricted the number of entry points into the hospital
  • Closed our wellness centers
  • Began screening everyone coming to our facilities including patients, visitors, staff and vendors
  • Canceled all elective surgeries
  • Limited visitors

Be assured Burgess is doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of our staff and our community members. Working together as a community and a nation, we will beat this pandemic if we all sacrifice a little. Let’s take the precautions that are being recommended even if they disrupt our normal routine. The life that is saved could be our own or your loved ones.

Burgess Public Health Updates Local Health Partners

Onawa, IA – The Burgess Public Health Department held a meeting on March 13, 2020, with local health partners to address the preparations, plans and support as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect areas of the nation, state and county.

Erin Brekke, Director of Burgess Public Health, spoke to the hospital and school officials, local EMA, Emergency Management Agency, and long-term care facility administrators about the significant amount of planning that is taking place at the local level to ensure preparedness for any potential response that may be needed to COVID-19.

“First and foremost, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monona County,” said Brekke. “I will continue to provide updates to what the current recommendations are from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the CDC.”

Brekke explained if/when a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed in Monona County, the support is in place from the state level to assist locally. The local public health department is prepared for patient monitoring that may be needed.

Brekke highlighted different precautions the public can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including washing your hands frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes and avoiding contact with your face. Also, consider your health before visiting the doctor’s office.

“The most important thing you can do is stay home if you are sick,” she said. “If you answer yes to two or more of the screening questions, you should call your provider first.”

The three screening questions are:

  1. Do you have a fever or respiratory symptoms i.e. cough or difficulty breathing?
  2. Have you been in close contact with someone who is confirmed positive for COVID-19?
  3. Have you traveled internationally in the last 30 days?

If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, you are urged to call your provider to be screened over the phone to decide if an office visit is needed for testing.

The final topic Brekke discussed was mass gatherings and the recent significant amount of cancellations of events.

“We will continue to follow the recommendations of the Iowa Department of Health and the CDC,” said Brekke. “At this time, they have not yet made any recommendations on closing entities.”

Burgess Public Health will continue to monitor the Coronavirus and keep the public informed as the information becomes available. The most up to date information can be found at www.cdc.gov and www.idph.iowa.gov.

A Journey Through Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease.  You likely know someone who has it.  Perhaps you have been diagnosed yourself, but what do you really know about Parkinson’s disease?

A Journey through Parkinson’s Disease is an educational series to help people understand more about the disease, its effects, and possible treatments.  Iowa State University Extension in Monona County is offering the educational series, in partnership with Burgess Health Center.  The three-session series will be held April 2, 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. at Burgess Health Center in Onawa.  Each session is interactive and lasts 45 minutes.

“We will help people recognize the signs of Parkinson’s disease and how to seek medical care, as well as learning about therapies and in-home activities that can delay the progression of Parkinson’s disease.  Learning more about the disease and treatments can help people live a full and happy life with Parkinson’s disease,” said Renee Sweers, Human Sciences Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach and program presenter.

“Growing older is the greatest risk factor for acquiring Parkinson’s disease, and many people live with symptoms for several years before being diagnosed.  People may attribute the symptoms to normal aging or other health problems.  This series helps people and their family members understand the disease and helps them make informed treatment decisions,” said Sweers.

The three-part series is free of charge.  Anyone who wants to know more about Parkinson’s disease is encouraged to attend, including people who have the disease and their friends and family members.  Contact Sue McLaughlin, Burgess Health Center, 712-423-9268, smclaughlin@burgesshc.org for more information or to register.

Burgess Health Center Public Health Reminds Residents Soap & Water is Best

Burgess Health Center Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) remind residents that the three primary ways to prevent illness and its spread, including the virus that causes COVID-19, are simple and easy:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/upper arm.
  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water; if soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Contain the spread of germs by staying home when ill.

Some residents have noted the availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is limited in some places. “This should not be a reason for undue concern,” said Burgess Health Center Public Health Director Erin Brekke.  “Hand sanitizers are convenient and effective, but we want everyone to remember that good old soap and water is still the best way to prevent illness.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps for effective hand-washing:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running (warm or cold) water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.