Do We Have Enough Coronavirus Tests?

03/18/2020
BREAKING NEWS
All Coloradans should wear non-medical masks when outside their home, colorado.gov
If you have COVID-19 signs, complete the anonymous survey for the tracker, sjbpublichealth.org
Colorado stay-at-home order extended to April 26, colorado.gov
Southwest Colorado confirmed COVID-19 cases by county: La Plata (37), Archuleta (6), Montezuma (8), Dolores (0), San Juan (0). 1 death in Montezuma, sjbpublichealth.org, montezumacounty.org
April 9th - Colorado COVID-19 totals (as of 4/7, 4 pm): 5,655 cases, 193 deaths (first person in their 20s), 1,162 hospitalized, 29,199 tested, 44 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities, colorado.gov

Until the federal government distributes more coronavirus tests, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is strictly limiting who can be tested.

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AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RAMPS UP PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CORONA VIRUS TESTS NATIONWIDE, TESTING SUPPLIES IN SOUTHWEST COLORADO REMAIN IN SHORT SUPPLY. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. IN A NEWS RELEASE ON MONDAY, MARCH 16TH, SAN JUAN BASIN PUBLIC HEALTH ANNOUNCED THAT COVID-19 TESTS GENERALLY WOULD BE RESTRICTED TO CRITICALLY ILL, HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS. RESIDENTS WHO HAVE SYMPTOMS OF FEVER, COUGH, AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH SHOULD ASSUME THAT THEY HAVE COVID-19 AND DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM OTHERS. IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS, DO NOT SHOW UP AT YOUR DOCTOR'S OFFICE, URGENT CARE CENTER OR EMERGENCY ROOM. CALL YOUR DOCTOR FIRST FOR A TREATMENT PLAN. DOCTOR JENNIFER RUPP, INFECTIOUS DISEASE PHYSICIAN WITH MERCY'S FOUR CORNERS INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND INTERNAL MEDICINE CLINIC, SAID THAT MERCY REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER IS LIMITING COVID-19 TESTS ONLY FOR THOSE PATIENTS WHO QUALIFY FOR ADMISSION. TESTS RESULTS TAKE THREE TO FOUR DAYS TO PROCESS. PATIENTS SHOULD NOT BE RELUCTANT TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IF INSTRUCTED BY THEIR PHYSICIANS.  TESTING CURRENTLY IS COVERED BY A GRANT FROM THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT, AND UNINSURED PATIENTS WILL NOT BE BILLED. WHEN GOVERNOR POLIS DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY, INSURANCE COMPANIES WERE INSTRUCTED TO WAIVE PATIENT CO-PAYS AND DEDUCTIBLES FOR COVID-19 TESTING AND TREATMENT. RUPP SAID THAT MERCY HAS DEPLOYED ITS COVID COMMAND TEAM THAT MEETS DAILY TO RESPOND TO CHANGING GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING PATIENTS AND FOR COORDINATING EFFORTS WITH STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS, EMERGENCY RESPONDERS, FLIGHT FOR LIFE AND PRIMARY CARE OFFICES IN DURANGO. MERCY HAS TEN INTENSIVE CARE UNIT BEDS BUT CAN EXPAND BEDS AS NEEDED IN OTHER ROOMS.  IT HAS A TOTAL OF 20 VENTILATORS AVAILABLE TO TREAT RESPIRATORY COMPLICATIONS. IN ADDITION, IT IS WORKING CLOSELY WITH ALL HOSPITALS IN THE CENTURA SYSTEM FOR ADDITIONAL SUPPORT. WHILE NO VACCINES HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED TO PREVENT THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS – OR COVID-19 – SAN JUAN BASIN PUBLIC HEALTH  ENCOURAGES YOU TO PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE. WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN WITH SOAP AND WATER FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS, ESPECIALLY AFTER GOING TO THE BATHROOM, BEFORE EATING AND AFTER BLOWING YOUR NOSE, COUGHING OR SNEEZING. IF SOAP AND WATER AREN'T READILY AVAILABLE, USE A HAND SANITIZER WITH AT LEAST 60 PERCENT ALCOHOL. AVOID CLOSE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK. AVOID TOUCHING YOUR EYES, NOSE AND MOUTH WITH UNWASHED HANDS. STAY HOME IF YOU'RE SICK AND KEEP YOUR CHILDREN HOME IF THEY'RE SICK. COVER YOUR COUGH OR SNEEZE WITH A TISSUE, AND THROW THE TISSUE AWAY. CLEAN AND DISINFECT FREQUENTLY TOUCHED SURFACES AND OBJECT USING A REGULAR HOUSEHOLD CLEANING SPRAY OR WIPE.  SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 INCLUDE FEVER, COUGH AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH. ILLNESS CAN BE SEVERE AND REQUIRE HOSPITALIZATION, BUT MOST INDIVIDUALS RECOVER BY RESTING, DRINKING PLENTY OF FLUIDS, AND TAKING PAIN AND FEVER-REDUCING MEDICATIONS. PEOPLE AT RISK FOR COMPLICATIONS INCLUDE THE VERY YOUNG, THE ELDERLY OR THOSE WITH UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU'VE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS, CALL YOUR DOCTOR TO ASSESS WHETHER YOU SHOUD BE TESTED AND FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTION. DO NOT SHOW UP AT THE EMERGENCY ROOM, AN URGENT CARE CENTER OR YOUR DOCTOR'S OFFICE TO AVOID THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS TO OTHERS. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A DOCTOR, CALL SAN JUAN BASIN PUBLIC HEALTH AT 9 7 0 – 2 4 7 – 5 7 0 2. IF YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW MORE OR TO FIND ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, VISIT SAN JUAN BASIN PUBLIC HEALTH'S WEB SITE AT S J B PUBLIC HEALTH DOT ORG SLASH CORONAVIRUS.

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