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Coronavirus Questions and Answers

What exactly is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a newly identified airborne virus in the corona viral family, but it is more severe and spreads easily. Diagnosis is difficult because it shares several symptoms with influenza.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?

COVID-19 is thought to spread similarly to influenza. That is, it spreads person to person through respiratory droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. These droplets can land on surfaces within about 6 feet and can spread to other people after they contact these infected surfaces with their hands and subsequently touch their face.

Can I catch COVID-19 from contact with an object rather than a person?

Yes, you can catch COVID-19 from an object if the surface of that object has live virus on it. How long the virus can live outside an organism is unknown. Expert estimates range from a few hours to up to nine days, depending on the type of surface, surrounding temperature and environment.

Can a person have COVID-19 without having symptoms?

Yes.

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Yes.


If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. As FRHS is a healthcare organization, everyone is required to wear a mask when in the facility. If you haven't been vaccinated yet, schedule an appointment today at 605.745.8928.

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your local health care provider or hospital, and ask how best to be evaluated. Do not go to your health care provider or hospital without calling first.

Is Fall River Health Services prepared to handle these COVID-19 cases?

Yes, Fall River Health Services is prepared to treat patients with COVID-19. That said, know that Fall River Health Services will treat patients as part of a community wide plan in coordination with public health authorities and the South Dakota Department of Health.

How is a patient treated for COVID-19?

The basic premise of preventing disease transmission is to identify patients who show symptoms, isolate those patients from others for appropriate assessment, and inform appropriate staff and authorities for further response. If people appear with symptoms, they will be asked to wear a mask and answer a series of questions about their health and travel. Based on their answers and vital signs, they will be isolated from other patients while COVID-19 test results can be verified. This may take several days.

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 are isolated and treated. Currently, there is no antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Specific interventions are taken in more severe cases, or with patients with compromised immune systems or complex illnesses.

What can I do to avoid COVID-19?

To avoid COVID-19, you should:

Keep your hands clean.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Cover your cough and sneezes to keep germs from spreading to others.
Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces routinely.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.

Should I wear a face mask?

How will I know if there are cases of COVID-19 in my community?

Local departments of public health and the CDC are responsible for publicly reporting COVID-19 cases.

Fall River Health Services is committed to the privacy of its patients and complies with all applicable laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. As always, Fall River Health Services does not share patient-specific information with the media without prior authorization. Also, Fall River Health Services collaborates with public health authorities, including the CDC and local public health authorities, as appropriate. These authorities are best positioned to provide public health information.

About this Q&A:

Many of these answers reference statements and standards already communicated by the CDC, the definitive source for prevention and procedure for infectious diseases in the U.S.

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Fall River Health Services is a non-profit corporation of professional team members committed to excellent, quality and patient focused healthcare for the whole person. We provide for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the individual, family, and significant others. We are committed to our patients, employees and our public.