The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Blaine County Medical Professionals Provide a COVID-19 Report


April 8, 2020

As conditions continue to evolve and shelter-in-place mandates grow more intense, Blaine County residents are feeling the pinch of inconvenience, economic strain, and escalating stress. Several entities shared reports on the pandemic and how we might all remain committed to coping.

According to officials at the Sweet Medical Center, social distancing should not keep a person from enjoying the beauty Montana has to offer. Their Facebook page announced that National Take a Walk in the Park Day, which is celebrated on March 30 each year, encourages us to stretch our legs on our favorite trail or at a neighborhood park. Taking a walk in the sunshine and fresh air not only provides therapeutic escape from the stresses of the day but enables the walker to re-energize and to improve health at the same time.

They also advise that the most important thing we can do for our health is to wash our hands. If we learn nothing else from the COVID-19 crisis, perhaps we will remember the important practices for handwashing and for the cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces that will help us prevent disease in the future.

Finally, for live updates about coronavirus and the most accurate and up to date information, interested individuals should visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) websites:

• https:/…/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Live hyperlinks for these websites are located on the Sweet Medical Center’s Facebook page.

Similarly, the Indian Health Service (IHS) continues to work closely with its tribal partners, as well as with state and local public health officials to coordinate a comprehensive public health response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, IHS reported that the complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, older people and those individuals with severe chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

IHS stresses that during this rapidly evolving situation, more cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the coming days. With the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 as very high, IHS medical professionals remain vigilant in their efforts to slow the spread of infections among their patients and within the communities they serve.

The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as with public health partners, to respond to this public health threat. Following guidance established by the CDC, clinicians at IHS collect samples with swabs and access testing through laboratories in their jurisdictions. This is the standard testing procedure across the country and is not unique to the IHS. The IHS will provide updated information as it becomes available and is verified in this rapidly evolving situation.


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