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Sanders County reports first positive COVID-19 case

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
Hagadone News Network | July 6, 2020 4:53 PM

Sanders County health officials have reported the county’s first case of COVID-19.

According to posts on the Clark Fork Valley Hospital website and social media and shared on Sanders County Covid-19, the hospital had its first positive COVID-19 test result.

According to information in the post, the result is preliminary and hospital officials are awaiting confirmation from the Montana State Lab.

“The county health department is aware and will proceed with its procedures for contact tracing,” wrote Hospital President/CEO Gregory S. Hanson, MD.

“This is not unexpected as we have seen an increase in the number of cases in Montana since advancing to stage 2 reopening. Having said that, it is a good time to remind everyone of the measures that have worked to stifle the spread of disease in Montana,” Hanson wrote. “We all need to be diligent about washing hands, social distancing, and wearing of masks. These practices can continue to limit the pace that the disease spreads, and help us protect the most vulnerable of our families, friends, and neighbors.

“It remains true that for many who contract Covid-19 there is minimal effect, but for some it is devastating. We can all do our part by following guidelines given to protect those least able to tolerate the infection. It would seem that the little inconvenience on some of us is worth the potential reward for those at risk of serious problems,” Hanson wrote.

According to a social media post from the hospital, it had submitted 241 tests as of July 3. Eighteen were pending while 221 were negative.

Hanson asked county residents to visit the CFVH COVID-19 Resource Page for Respiratory Illness Clinic and Covid-19 Nurse Hotline information: https://www.cfvh.org/patients-and-visitors/covid-19-resource-page/

According to information on the Sanders County website, COVID-19 has killed nearly 123,000 people in the United States. Worldwide, the virus has killed over 534,000.

The county offers the following measures to protect against the deadly pathogen:

— Social distance. Maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and others. If you are in a situation where you cannot do so, please wear a non-medical/non-surgical mask. (Social distancing is a strategy to lower the pace and spread of COVID-19 and reduce the acute impact on our health care system).

This article and animation explain the concept of social distancing. https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/03/13/what-is-social-distancing/

— Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

— Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Do this each time you use the restroom, and before you eat. Use of hand sanitizers is encouraged during times when soap and running water for hand washing isn’t available. However, it’s been advised not to use products manufactured by the company Eskbiochem. For more, please read here:

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-advises-consumers-not-use-hand-sanitizer-products-manufactured-eskbiochem

— Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

— Cover your cough and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue.

— Avoid contact with sick people when possible.

— Stay home if you’re sick. If you are having symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please CALL your healthcare provider.

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