LINCOLN COUNTY CREATES COVID-19 TASK FORCE
Lincoln County has come together to develop a COVID-19 task force with multiple key organizations. Participating members currently include Libby, Troy and Eureka public schools; Cabinet Peaks Medical Center and Clinics; Northwest CHC; local emergency services; Eureka Health; Libby Clinic; Libby Care Center; Lincoln County Sheriff's Office; and Emergency Management Agency. The COVID-19 Task Force is meeting regularly and working together to enhance community readiness and develop regular public information regarding COVID-19.
At this time most people in the United States have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. COVID-19 is not currently spreading widely in the US; however, this is a rapidly evolving situation. There are currently no known cases in Montana.
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus is also thought to be spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
It is suspected that people are most contagious when they are the most symptomatic. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Symptoms may appear 2 - 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
If you have traveled to a country with an outbreak of COVID-19, stay home (away from work and school) for 14 days avoiding contact with other people, monitor your health by taking your temperature with a thermometer two times per day, and watch for other symptoms such as shortness of breath and cough. If you develop symptoms, first call your doctor or the health department before seeking medical attention. Countries with widespread, ongoing transmission include China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
To lower your risk of contracting COVID-19, or any respiratory illness, 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 are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19.
Please call the health department, 406-283-2465, if have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 and you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing. The Task Force is closely monitoring the situation and will update the community as things change.