As you are well aware, the COVID-19 Virus is the latest to hit the World. To learn more about the virus, click on novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new COVID-19, have made the jump to humans. The animal source of the latest outbreak in China has not yet been identified, but the original host is thought to be bats. Bats were not sold at the Wuhan market but may have infected live chickens or other animals sold there.
Just as we have in the past with the bird flu, swine flu, Ebola, zika, or regular influenza; we will follow our Pandemic Plans if we experience an outbreak. The State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Department of Health (DOH) assist counties in maintaining a Pandemic Response Plan in the event of an outbreak. This plan is tested yearly, most notably at the Point of Distribution (POD).
State Officials have had regular discussions on the current status of the outbreak in the United States and Worldwide. The South Dakota Healthcare Coalition is monitoring supplies at each hospital in the state. They have caches of supplies in place throughout the state, with one of the regional caches in Mitchell. Locally, Avera’s infectious disease team is strictly following CDC guidelines and meeting regularly with DOH and CDC to follow best practices as described by the CDC. Local Officials are meeting weekly to discuss the current situation of cases in and around Davison County.
Davison County is a member of the 211 Helpline Center, which is assisting in the response to COVID-19 issue in our state. Residents can call 211 or go to helpcenter.org.
The number of cases and countries with infections worldwide is increasing and can be found on the World Health Organization (WHO) website @ WHO website. There have been several confirmed cases in many countries, to include the United States and Canada; as well as several deaths worldwide. At this point it is considered a pandemic. The Department of Health is your best resource for knowing what is happening in South Dakota. An update of cases in South Dakota can be found @ COVID-19 website, which will show a breakdown of current cases, by county. Mitigation strategies can be found @ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf
If you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or if you have not travelled from one of those areas or have not been in close contact with someone who has and is feeling unwell, your chances of getting it are currently low. To protect yourself, limit human-to-human transmission including reducing secondary infections among close contacts and health care workers. Proper washing of hands, use of an alcohol based hand rub, and wearing a mask in large gathering areas will reduce the chances of contracting any disease. Elderly and those with underlying health conditions should take additional precautions. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) is not just fighting to contain a virus and save lives. They are also in a fight to contain the social and economic damage of a global pandemic.
There currently is no vaccine for the Coronavirus. In the event of a major outbreak in Davison County, those affected would be quarantined. The State Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Department of Health (DOH), Davison County Emergency Management and other local officials would work with Avera to determine the extent of exposure to healthcare workers, emergency responders, and the general public. The Governor has the authority to declare a state of emergency and the State Secretary of Health shall enforce all rules, regulations, and orders of the State Board of Health. The President declared a National Emergency on March 13, 2020. The Governor also declared a state of emergency on March 13, 2020.
Locally, the following apply:
- County Commissioners may declare a state of emergency within the county when, in the judgment of the Commission, extraordinary measures are necessary to protect public peace, safety, and welfare. Under a declaration of an emergency, the Commission may impose curfews, close any or all private businesses, close any or all public buildings and places including streets, alleys, schools, parks, beaches, and amusement areas, and proclaim any such orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property. In an effort to limit person to person contact, Davison County Commissioners declared an emergency on March 14, 2020; requesting Department Supervisors/Elected Officials develop a staffing plan to allow all non-essential employees to work from home.
- Mayors-each political subdivision is authorized to exercise emergency functions. Cities throughout the Region may have explicit emergency powers and authorities in their municipal codes. Mayors and City Councils may declare a state of emergency within the city when, in the judgment of the Mayor and/or Councils, extraordinary measures are necessary to protect public peace, safety, and welfare. Under a declaration of emergency, the Mayor may impose curfews, close any or all business establishments, close any or all public buildings and places including streets, alleys, schools, parks, beaches, and amusement areas, direct the use of all public and private health, medical, and convalescent facilities and equipment to provide emergency health and medical care for injured persons, and proclaim any such orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property. The City of Mitchell declared an emergency on March 13, 2020; closing or limiting buildings/programs in the city. A complete list can be found @ cityofmitchell.org. Mt. Vernon and Ethan have not restricted services.
Your chance of contracting influenza is much higher in South Dakota at this time. The 2019–20 influenza season began early and influenza activity remains elevated in most parts of the country; to include South Dakota. Each of you should subscribe to the Epi listserv for more on influenza & other public health issues. You will receive a weekly surveillance summaries of flu activity in South Dakota, and the national trends. The 2019-2020 confirmed cases are higher than any of the previous ten years; with several confirmed deaths. Successful flu vaccines are reducing doctor’s visits for flu illness by 45% overall and 55% in children. Nationally, the CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 38 million flu illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths from flu; which can be found @ https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm. This compares to 400 deaths from coronavirus. An updated count can be found @ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
We will continue to post updates.
Other important links/websites are below:
Presidential Statement COVID19
FactSheet COVID19 Response
Mass Gatherings Guidance
CDC CONVID-19 website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
Sitreps page: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
Johns Hopkins (case counts and deaths changing rapidly): https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
Link to Biological Incident Annex: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1511178017324-92a7a7f808b3f03e5fa2f8495bdfe335/BIA_Annex_Final_1-23-17_(508_Compliant_6-28-17).pdf
COVID-19 Outbreak Tracker. Kaiser Family Foundation: https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/coronavirus-tracker/
EU European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. COVID-19 site: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china
UK Government COVID-19 Publications: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control
US DHHS PHE GOV: https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/COVID19/Pages/default.aspx
US DHHS CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
US DHHS CDC NIOSH: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/emres/2019_ncov.html
US Department of Labor OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
USA GOV International Traveler Issues for Americans: https://www.usa.gov/americans-abroad#item-214568
WHO on-line course: https://openwho.org/courses/introduction-to-ncov
Community Mitigation Guidance for COVID-19 Response in the United States: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/preparing-individuals-communities.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
World Health Organization (WHO) – Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19): https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak Resources: https://www.osac.gov/Content/Announcement/fee23fa6-8c30-44ae-985f-180e3ce9635e
DHS CISA – Corona Virus landing page: https://www.cisa.gov/coronavirus