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Rockwall County Health Authority addresses COVID-19

Last updated on March 23, 2020

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Via City of Rockwall:

UPDATE 6:10pm 3/20/2020

Please be advised, as of 12 p.m. Friday, March 20, there have been ZERO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Rockwall County under public health monitoring. The Rockwall County Health Authority has spoken to physicians seeing patients all over the county for suspected COVID-19 infections. Each of the physicians contacted feels they are already seeing patients with mild COVID-19 infections. The physicians have instructed patients to isolate at home without testing. At this point, it is safe to assume that there is some level of community spread in Rockwall County. Everyone must do their part in protecting themselves, their families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, community, and healthcare system by following CDC guidance on self-care at home if experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms worsen and you begin to develop shortness of breath, contact your healthcare provider before going to their office or an emergency room. Please understand that testing capabilities remain very limited across the country.

Gary A. Bonacquisti MD, FACHE, Rockwall County Health Authority, State of Texas

5:00pm 3/20/2020

I know we are all living in a very different reality in the midst of a global pandemic. There are things we all need to be doing to get thru this together and limit the spread and damage of this novel virus on the back end. 

* Mitigation and social distancing – The best way we can prevent this virus is avoiding contact. Do not leave your house unless you absolutely have to. If you must leave, such as shopping, practice social distancing. That means keeping at least 6 feet away from other individuals. Wash hands frequently and do not touch your mouth or face unless you recently washed your hands well.

* Avoid gathering together – Do not eat in restaurants/bars. Order take out or home delivery. Avoid gyms, dance classes, movie theatres, etc. There should not be any grouping of more than 10 people in any one room and these individuals should be socially distanced.

* If you are sick stay home – Most Covid19 infections are mild in 80 percent of individuals infected. Treat with rest, fluids and Tylenol for fever. Avoid anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Naprosyn, Aleve, etc. These can make infections worse. If others in your house are not sick, socially isolate in your house. I.e.. The sick individual should use one bathroom and stay away from others in house. Testing capabilities are still very limited across the country. The hospitals, at this time, are only testing individuals that are at a hospital level of illness. This means people having respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath or chest pain. We must avoid overwhelming our health care system. If you have mild illness, stay at home. If you worsen and begin to develop shortness of breath contact your provider before going to their office or an emergency room.  We must protect our healthcare workers so that they stay well and are there to treat those more seriously ill. There is no current treatment for coronavirus. If you go to an emergency room or physician’s office for mild symptoms you are exposing more individuals in the community and healthcare workers unnecessarily.

* We must Flatten the Curve – #flattenthecurve. The curve refers to the current level of infection. If it rises above what our healthcare system can handle people will die needlessly. We will run out of our ability to treat those with more severe corona virus infections, as well as normal illnesses we treat every day, such as heart attacks, strokes, or even normal everyday pneumonia.  What is YOUR role in this and how do we Flatten the Curve.  STAY at HOME!!!!!!

* Lastly and if you are not already aware – This is the NOT the flu. It is much more transmissible with a much higher mortality and morbidity. The young are being infected and multiple individuals in their 20’s, without any previous medical conditions, are on ventilators across the United States. I tell you this, not to frighten you, but to inform you so that we all can make wise decisions for our families and our community.  

* Please visit CDC site below for care of self at home and precautions for worsening illness: In your service. Gary A. Bonacquisti MD, FACHE, Rockwall County Health Authority, State of Texas.

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