The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

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By Candie Fix
Managing Editor 

COVID-19 cases confirmed at local hospitals


Phillips County has its first positive case of COVID-19. Conformation of the positive test result came from the Northeast Colorado Heath Department late Monday afternoon, March 30. The test was collected at Melissa Memorial Hospital in Holyoke and sent in for testing.

"This individual is currently not hospitalized, but is in appropriate isolation," said Trish McClain, Director of NCHD. "It is important that everyone follows the new public health order to stay home. It is up to each of us to protect our community members who are at high risk and not give this virus a chance to spread."

Additionally, both Haxtun Hospital District and Melissa Memorial Hospital have collected tests from other individuals that have also resulted in positive results for COVID-19, however, those persons live outside Phillips County lines.

Late last week, the NCHD said a fifth Logan County resident tested positive for the virus and that test was performed at Haxtun Hospital. The NCHD confirmed a Yuma County resident, who was tested at Melissa Memorial Hospital in Holyoke, also tested positive for the virus.

According to the NCHD, the most recent confirmation brings the total number of northeast Colorado cases to 13; one in Phillips County, five in Logan County, four in Morgan County, one in Washington County and two in Yuma County.

"We have a dedicated team doing everything possible to protect the health of our communities in Phillips County," a press release from the NCHD states. "We understand that there may be some fear and confusion around COVID-19. However, we want to remind our communities that NCHD, Melissa Memorial Hospital, Haxtun Hospital District, Phillips County Office of Emergency Management and other partnering agencies have been preparing for such an incident as this. Phillips County has a pandemic response plan already in motion with tools and protocols in place to monitor patients, visitors, travelers and other individuals who may have been exposed. We have the infection control expertise needed and have identified resources ready to respond as the situation develops. As the number of positive cases increases in northeast Colorado, contact investigations NCHD is performing may begin to reveal common community exposures. It is important that if you have been advised by your doctor to self-isolate or self-quarantine that you follow their directions. Everyone can help slow

the spread of COVID-19 by abiding by the stay-at-home public health order issued last week."

If you have been exposed, self-quarantine for 14 days, the NCHD recommends. If you develop any of the cold or flu-like symptoms, self-isolate and contact your primary care provider. Call ahead so they can make appropriate accommodations.

You can help slow the spread of COVID-19, influenza and other viruses by:

• Staying home if you are sick; keeping your children home if they are sick;

• Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw them in the trash;

• Avoiding close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms;

• Practicing good hygiene. Thoroughly and frequently wash your hands with soap and water, in the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol;

• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces;

• Increasing distance between people to six feet;

• Avoiding unnecessary travel;

• Observing the State public health order to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people.

"Now is the time to stay calm, practice social distancing and take measures to avoid getting sick," McClain said. "We understand that people may be anxious and frustrated by the limits on gatherings, but we are encouraging people to continue practicing social distancing - it is up to each of us to protect our most vulnerable populations by not giving this virus a chance to spread."

Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing and the public health response adjusts as we learn more about this virus. Reliable, up-to-date information is available at or by calling CO HELP at (303) 389-1687.


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