Community Medical Centers, which includes Clovis Community, are on high alert.
“This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The risk may change daily. But as home to the valley’s only Level 1 trauma center, our staff and physicians are highly trained and routinely prepare for situations like these,” Community Medical Centers said on its website.
Clovis Community Medical Center is allowing only one visitor per patient. The hospital advises people with cold or flu-like symptoms to not visit family or friends who are in the hospital.
The hospital is also canceling its HealthQuest series.
Similar to the cold or flu, the virus spreads from person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Older people and individuals who suffer from chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are at the greatest risk of dying from the disease.
COVID-19 symptoms are similar to mild to severe respiratory illnesses, such as the cold or flu. Common signs include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. In severe cases, COVID-19 can turn into pneumonia.
The Eye Medical Center of Fresno reports the disease can also cause conjunctivitis, the condition known as Pink Eye.
If you exhibit symptoms that are not severe, Community Medical Centers advise to stay home and refrain from interacting with others rather than visiting the doctor’s office and risk spreading the disease to others who are vulnerable. If you believe you should see a doctor, call to make an appointment and report your symptoms, recent travels, and possible exposures, the hospital said.
“We are prepared with procedures in place to treat patients with coronavirus symptoms and to help protect our other patients and staff from the spread of the virus. We are also closely monitoring our supplies and coordinating with local, state and national public health agencies and healthcare providers to help ensure we’re doing everything possible to meet the needs of our patients and our community,” Community Medical Centers said.
People who have symptoms should also refrain from going to work or traveling, the hospital said.
As far as protecting yourself from the virus, a representative from the Fresno County Department of Public Health said people should prepare the way they normally would to protect against the flu.
That includes taking precautions such as washing your hands, avoiding close contact with those that are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, cell phones and keyboards.
“At the Department of Public Health, we are looking at this as a version of the super flu,” the representative said. “The best way to be prepared for a super flu is to be super prepared for the regular flu. That means doing all the things that we already know how to do to prevent the regular flu.”
The Medical Centers also advises the general public to not panic, though that is not stopping residents from stockpiling necessities such as water, toilet paper and canned goods.