Community leaders and health professionals have warned us for the past week that it was only a matter of time before the novel Coronavirus would land in Gothenburg.
In a news release March 22, Gothenburg Health confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in the community.
The case is a travel-related case and the individual is currently self-isolating.
The release stated that out of an abundance of caution, Gothenburg Health is quarantining all exposed staff for the full 14 days since exposure in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Further, Gothenburg Health is actively working to cancel all non-essential visits to the facility and has created a workflow to protect suspect patients from healthy patients.
While there is still a moderate risk, there is no indication that we are experiencing community spread at this point.
Community spread simply means that there are people who have become infected with the virus in an area and they are not sure how or where they became infected.
In an address following the Gothenburg Health confirmation, Mayor Joyce Hudson had a message to the residents of Gothenburg.
“We are all in this together. As a community, let’s act as one to show we can face this pandemic responsibly and with a sense of purpose,” Hudson said.
Residents are urged to follow CDC guidelines to do their part to slow the spread of the virus.
According to the CDC, the virus is mostly spread through people who are in close contact with one another or through respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes.
Become hypervigilant in washing your hands and refrain from touching your face at all times.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow, and throw used tissues away in a trash can, then immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
Additionally, residents are encouraged to continue social distancing and maintain at least six feet of space between themselves and other people.
Keeping group interaction to 10 people or less, eliminating discretionary social visits and working from home, if you are able, are additional steps that should be taken.
Businesses that continue to operate should reduce or eliminate human to human interaction.
High-risk individuals, which include older persons or those with underlying medical conditions should stay home and isolate.
Anyone who is experiencing a cough, sore throat, fever or shortness of breath should stay home and isolate. Community members experiencing any of those symptoms should contact Gothenburg Health at 308-537-3661.
Residents should work stay educated on the current situation. Testing is more prevalent now, so do not be alarmed if you see a rise in confirmed cases.
Residents are encouraged to participate in virtual town halls where community leaders will keep you up to date, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have them.
Also important is mental health. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and those around you.
Reach out to five friends a day to ensure that they are in a good place and enjoy the additional time with your children.
And don’t forget about those who are in isolation in our senior community. They need to be in contact with someone, somehow. Send a letter, make a video call or go sit outside a window and give them a smile.
As a community, we are all in this together, and there is no doubt Gothenburg will get through with the help of one another.