KXLG

Vital organizations in Codington County met to unify procedures in preparation for community members to test positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Codington County.  COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. People with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

Collaboration for Safety

A collaborated effort between organizations improves safety preparedness. Representatives from county, city, school, and healthcare organizations were present, including: Brown Clinic, City of Watertown, Codington County Emergency Management, Codington County Sheriff’s Office, Codington County Commissioners, Lake Area Technical Institute, Prairie Lakes Healthcare System, Quick Care, Sanford Health – Watertown, Watertown City Council, Watertown Fire Rescue, Watertown Police Department, and Watertown School District.

The unified organizations recommend all community members to take appropriate measures in preparation of COVID-19 to protect those most at risk: people with chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, underlying heart and lung diseases, or other immune compromising conditions, adults ages 65 and older, and children. Social distancing, as described later, is especially important for people with chronic conditions and adults ages 80 and older as they are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19.

Recommended Measures

Community members should prepare by learning about COVID-19 through reliable resources provided by the CDC and staying calm. These recommendations and other updates will be posted as available on the newly created Facebook page “2020 Watertown Covid-19”. Follow the Facebook Page to receive the latest information.

The CDC and South Dakota Department of Health (SD DOH) always recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • 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.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together until they are dry.
    • For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Social Distancing
    • Avoid close contact with others.
      • Limit physical contact, including handshakes.
      • Limit in-person meetings.
      • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough into the crook of your arm. Remember to wash your hands.
  • Regular household cleaning spray or wipes can be used to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Facemasks:
    • CDC and SD DOH do not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever to help prevent the spread of disease.

COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Those with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever.

If you develop symptoms:

  1. Stay home from work and activities.
  2. Avoid contact with other people and sharing personal items.
  3. Monitor your symptoms.
  4. If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider.
  5. Call your primary care physician via phone and tell them about any recent travel or exposure.
  6. Contact your healthcare provider via phone before going to a clinic or hospital helps prevent spread in the community.
  7. Follow the directions of your provider and public health officials.