KARNES COUNTY – As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads throughout the world, citizens must remain aware of the importance of basic hygiene.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed multiple cases of novel coronavirus 2019 in people under federal quarantine at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio.
Karnes County EMS Assistant Director Casey Ebrom presented to the commissioners court precautionary measures taken by the EMS in light of COVID-19.
“It’s more of a precaution for us to stay safe,” Ebrom said.
“Dispatch will ask pre-screening questions to ensure EMS crews’ safety. They will ask if the patient is having flu-like symptoms and if they have traveled outside of the United States in the past 14 days. There are no known confirmed cases in the county.”
The important factor to keep in mind for citizens is to not become scared and begin purchasing essential items in bulk.
“It’s more of a panic endemic than anything,” Ebrom said.
“The community must continue washing their hands for 20 seconds and stay home if they feel sick, as recommended by the CDC.”
A Montgomery County resident with no out-of-state travel and no identified contact with another person with COVID-19 tested positive last week, according to the Texas Health and Human Services’ website. Montgomery County Public Health continues to investigate whether there is a connection to another case or whether this case is case of community spread.
KCEMS receives its information from the San Antonio Metro Health District and Southwest Regional Advisory Council, which overlooks a 22-county region including Karnes County.
“We can expect to take more precautionary measures to come in attempt to limit the spread of the virus,” Ebrom said.
Karnes County Judge Wade Hedtke added, “It’s affecting the elderly majority of the cases, and we need to be aware but not panic.”
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID‑19.
According to the THHS website, the best ways to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu;
• 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 available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.