Mohave County health director responds to coronavirus questions
Editors’ note: Mohave County Health Director Denise Burley issued a news release on Thursday, March 19, responding to questions received from the media and public about coronavirus and the potential for an outbreak in the county. An excerpt is below. The name of the man making the Facebook posts and the business where his family member is employed has been removed.
KINGMAN – This is a list of most of the recently asked, most important questions regarding the coronavirus, COVID-19. They have been asked by media outlets or concerned residents yesterday (Wednesday) and Thursday. They are answered below by our Mohave County Health Director, Denise Burley.
Q: Is an employee of a business in Kingman a positive?
A: There are no presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mohave County.
Q: Where can I get help with groceries if I can’t leave home?
A: Residents can go to: https://211arizona.org/mohave/ for information on assistance.
Q: How long after self-quarantine can I go back to work?
A: After 14 days, if there are no symptoms, you may return to work.
Q: Was the test done at KRMC a presumptive positive or just inconclusive?
A: Due to patient privacy, we are unable to answer that question.
Q: When will testing be available and can we all get it?
A: At the time there are no plans for testing the general public. Labs are working on creating additional tests kits and rapid tests. Until those are tested and released, only hospitals and health care providers can collect specimens to be sent for testing.
Q: We already know that the coronavirus is in most of the communities in the U.S. But the CDC still insists on foreign exposure as a condition to get tested.
A. The Arizona Department of Health Services matrix used by the Mohave county Health Department states that a person who has not traveled, or been exposed to someone who has, can still be tested if they meet other criteria (fever, shortness of breath, and cough). Healthcare providers will evaluate symptoms and determine if testing is warranted.
Q: Who would be the person/agency to make a decision on mass testing in our community? Can a decision like that be made on a local level?
A: Decisions regarding mass testing can be made at a local level.
Q: What is your reaction to the claims made in Facebook posts about a coronavirus case in Kingman?
A: Due to a patient’s privacy, we are unable to answer that question.
Q: Is any of that information inaccurate? If so what and how?
A: To protect patient privacy, we are unable to comment on the details of what was mentioned on the posts.
Q: Is this a presumptive positive case?
A: After consulting with KRMC staff, this is currently not considered a presumptive positive or confirmed positive case.
Q: If true, why did the health department ask the man posting on Facebook to keep quiet about their tests results?
A: To protect patient privacy, we are unable to answer that question.
Q: Do you see any potential ill effects from the advice not to post being disregarded?
A: People need to be aware of the heightened concern in our community, and especially among our elderly. When experiences or opinions are posted on social media, it can cause unnecessary fear and concern.
Q: When do you expect confirmation of their test results to be returned?
A: Approximately 3-5 days.
Q: The video also alleges that the other family members are starting to show symptoms. Have they been tested, or are there plans to test them? If so, what where their results or when do you expect them?
A: We are unable to share information pertaining to an individual’s health or that of his family.
Q: Has the county discussed the possibility of prohibiting any travel, inside or outside of the county, should the situation get to a severe level?
A: The County Emergency Declaration does provide the Chair of the Board of Supervisors with additional authorities to address the spread of COVID-19; however, prohibiting any travel, inside or outside of the county has not been contemplated. If conditions in our county worsen, the Board could decide to enact additional measures to protect public health and safety.
For accurate, up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the federal Centers for Disease Control at CDC.gov, the Arizona Department of Health Services at AZDHS.gov, or the Mohave County Department of Public Health at https://bit.ly/2x95T8a.
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