BISBEE — As concerns mount due to the COVID-19 virus, the Copper Queen Community Hospital (CQCH) is reassuring clients and patients of its vigilance in protecting public health.

“I want to assure you that emergency preparedness is not new to hospitals and that Copper Queen Community Hospital and Rural Health Clinics are prepared,” said Edward Miller, chief medical officer, in a press release. “In fact, we have a team updating daily as the situation changes frequently.”

CQCH is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and Cochise County Health Department, added Jessica Ogiba, chief public relations officer.

There is no vaccine available to protect against the new virus and there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for infection. People infected with the disease should receive treatment guidance from their healthcare provider, including supportive care to help relieve symptoms, Ogiba said.

She recommended people seek information about the virus from credible sources such as the CDC, the Arizona Department of Health Services or the Cochise Health and Social Services to stay abreast of the latest information.

The virus spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with one another, within about six feet, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, she said.

“It is also possible that a person can get COVID–19 by touching an object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

Testing for COVID–19 is available, but limited, and, therefore has specific criteria for providers to follow, Ogiba noted.

“If you are coming to the hospital or office for respiratory symptoms, call before you leave home so we can be prepared to care for you when you arrive,” she emphasized.

Miller said the guidance could be updated as the situation develops.

“Over time, this advice may change. Rest assured that Copper Queen Community Hospital will stay up–to–the–minute on guidelines and disease progress,” he said. “We appreciate your trust and confidence.”

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