Greene County Public Health Works with Greene County Medical Center and County Agencies In Preparation for COVID-19

Greene County Public Health and their community response partners including Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Law Enforcement, Emergency Management Agency (EMA) along with the Greene County Medical Center, continue ramping up response plan strategies to serve those who may require more than home self-care. The following are plans and strategies put in place through Greene County Public Health, Greene County Medical Center and our partners.

- Greene County Emergency Operation Center is operational through virtual meetings twice a week; both Public Health and Greene County Medical Center participate
- Greene County Medical Center initiated Incident Command Center March 17, 2020, via daily virtual meetings with leaders, providers and department leaders

Partial deployment of personal protective equipment (PPE) was received from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Thursday, March 26, and distributed to local EMS, law enforcement, EMA/Medical Examiner, Greene County Medical Center, and Public Health. Weekly requests are submitted through the local EMA, who will forward requests to the State.

Donations for masks and other PPE are being accepted at the Medical Center and at Public Health. For more information about Medical Center donations, please contact Dannelle.mcdowell@gcmchealth.com. Please contact Public Health for their PPE donations. The Medical Center is implementing accepting homemade masks from community members this week beginning March 31. These masks will be for our non-clinical staff to protect themselves and help with the shortage of PPE. Mask donations will be shared within the Medical Center, Public Health and other agencies.

Medical professionals offering to volunteer are directed to the State I-Serv (https://www.iaserv.org). As of Friday, March 27, four volunteers are pending for Greene County Medical Reserve Corp (MRC).

Through joint efforts of Public Health and Greene County Medical Center, as we see community spread of COVID-19, important messaging continues to remind residents:
- If you develop fever, cough, shortness of breath, assume you may have COVID-19 and STAY HOME until all three of these are met:
o Free of fever for 72 hours (without use of fever-reducing medication like Tylenol) AND
o Other symptoms are improving (cough, shortness of breath, etc.) AND
o Seven days have passed since onset of your first symptom

Also, through joint efforts, we continue to encourage all Greene County residents to, “Stay Home, Stay Safe.” Eighty percent of those infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms (like influenza). Suggested self-home care tips include:
o Take Tylenol for discomfort and fever
o Decongestants and cough syrup can be taken for cough/congestion
o Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
o Rest, rest, and rest at home
o Avoid other household members to prevent spread
o Due to exposure, household members must remain at home (self-isolation) for 14 days after ill person became symptomatic
o Continue to wipe down household surfaces (and cell phones) several times per day

Raccoon Valley Radio, the Jefferson Herald, Scranton Journal, and Greene County News Online have been instrumental in helping provide accurate and up-to-date information to the public. Weekly roundtable interviews are held each Wednesday with Raccoon Valley Radio to update the public on the latest guidelines and news. Greene County Public Health and the Medical Center continue to provide social media posts several times per week, directing residents to resources such as the Medical Center’s website, IDPH and CDC.

Guidelines at the Medical Center were further restricted March 24. Visitors are not allowed unless a designated caregiver and one of four categories are met:
o Patient imminently dying
o Infant or child patient
o Confused or delirious patient
o Mother in active labor
- Visitor must:
- Be 18 or older
-  Be free of illness symptoms
-  Be screened before entry to Medical Center
-  Remain in patient room
-  Follow hand hygiene before entering and exiting the patient room Your help is greatly appreciated in order to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 to the residents of Greene County. For more COVID-19 information visit gcmchealth.com, IDPH.iowa.gov/ or coronavirus.iowa.gov.