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Not here, but it is coming

Kahrie Stegman
The Pratt County Health Department on south main in Pratt is the hub of updated information regarding coronavirus concerns in the area. PRMC is also a place of high importance as cases of infection increase in the state. There are no confirmed cases in Pratt County as of Thursday, March 19, 2020.

As residents of Pratt County work to adjust to guidelines of sheltering in place because of coronavirus spread concern, Pratt County Health Department administrator and RN, Darcie Van Der Vyver, continues to provide updated information.

"There are no confirmed cases of the disease in Pratt County," Van Der Vyver said on Thursday, March 19. "But I encourage the community of Pratt to still take this very seriously. If it’s not here yet, it’s coming."

Van Der Vyver said the most important action everyone can take is to practice self-distancing when possible.

“Everyone is at risk,” Van Der Vyver said. "All age groups need to be careful."

The most at-risk group is the elderly, but anyone can carry the virus, Van Der Vyver said. Some people can be carriers without even knowing it.

"Not everyone will experience extreme symptoms, but if passed on to the wrong person, the virus could become dangerous to another’s health," she said.

The Pratt County Health Department, Pratt Regional Medical Center, and Pratt Family Practice are communicating to assure patients get the best care they can during this time of crisis.

“We’re communicating, we’re going over plans,” Van Der Vyver said.

The virus is changing very fast, so everyone should do everything they can to stay informed from a reliable source.

“Don't feed into the fear, don’t feed into the panic,” Van Der Vyver said. "Just be mindful of those around you and continue to wash hands, wash hands, wash hands."

Andie Dean, Comunity Relations Manager and Public Information Officer at Pratt Regional Medical Center released the following statements about the coronavirus and the hospitals preparation for spread.

1) The general population is a low risk from the coronavirus according to the latest CDC update.

2) We are prepared for patients with symptoms and travel history constant with concern for this virus.

3) We have evaluated our supply chain and facility, we are prepared to care for patients should coronavirus become a concern.

4) We encourage the community to have good hand hygiene, cover their cough, and avoid unnecessary exposure to persons who are sick.