Q&A: Community leaders and business owners talk COVID-19 and what you can do
Haakon School District 27-1
• What are the current restrictions in place with school?
School is closed for the week of March 16-20. We currently have a few employees in the building for the day to day operations and answer the phone. Staff still has access to the building if they need to work or pick something up.
• How often can the public expect updates?
If we receive any new information, relating to school, that would need to go out to the public we would send it out via campus messenger. Most other information coming from the Governor’s office or the South Dakota Department of Health is released through press releases.
• Do you foresee closure for an additional week?
It is too early to know, anything I would say is just opinion not fact. We are hoping that if something is decided by the state that they make it soon so we can plan for a longer closure.
•Will the school be deep cleaned this week?
We will have additional staff on Tuesday to clean and Wednesday if needed.
• What can students do this week to stay on top of learning?
More information will be coming on this topic. We have the option of doing some e-learning, but that may not work for everyone. Part of it is that we do not know the length of the closure.
• What do you want the public to know other than school is closed?
This is new and unprecedented territory that we are in, this is history being made. We are taking this very seriously and working through all the information and rumors that are out there. Best way to help us, is to follow the guidelines for travel and group gatherings.
• How far out are school events cancelled or postponed? Is prom postponed (I saw it on Facebook, jsut want to confirm)?
We are kind of taking that on a week to week basis. We do not have much on our calendar for the next couple of weeks but anything this week has been either cancelled or postponed. Yes, prom has been postponed. That decision was made this morning knowing that several things had to be ordered this week (flowers, food etc). We felt it was best to postpone it, NO date has been selected I am sure we will have to wait to see how the current closure plays out.
Lori Quinn, Manager
•What is the role of Haakon County Emergency Management? Is it specifically for times like these?
As Emergency Manager my role is to help the county to plan for, respond to, rebuild from, and lessen the effects of a disaster. Yes, pandemics can pose a potential disaster for our community.
•Is an “outbreak” like this something the department has trained our emergency services and local hospital/emergency staff for?
We have trained for situations similar to these. The hospital, nursing home, assisted living, and the ambulance all have plans in place to guide procedures for events such as this, and we are also taking guidance from the SD Dept of Health and the Center for Disease Control specific to this outbreak.
•How are you preparing for a possible emergency medical situation?
We are working on public education and trying to keep the public updated on the current information. Reminding everyone to not trust everything you see on the internet and social media, only forward or go to web sites that are trusted sources of information. Such as www.covid.sd. gov, www.CDC.gov or www.who. int. Unfortunately, these are the times when the hackers and scammers prey on the unsuspecting.
We are also encouraging people to have a home emergency plan. Do they have enough food and water if they are quarantined for several days, do they have enough prescription medications etc.? www.bready.sd.gov has excellent disaster preparedness guides.
We are also making preparations to open our county Emergency Operations Center (EOC), if that should be necessary.
•I don’t know if you’re the proper person to ask, but if an “outbreak” occurs, could our local emergency facilities handle it? If not, what are the steps taken if the hospital would be at capacity?
This is a question that would be better answered by the hospital and nursing home. I will say from the Ambulance Director perspective, if an outbreak occurred, it would very easily overwhelm the resources of our ambulance service.
•What can Haakon County expect to happen at the local level over the next week or two as far as changes, if any?
I really do not know what to expect over the next few days and weeks. This is a constantly changing and evolving event.
•Will there be further restrictions for self-isolation or is this common sense and up to citizens?
I do not foresee any further restrictions for self-isolation, but I really don’t know what will happen in the days and weeks to come. At this time, it is a common sense issue. Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, keep your hands away from your face, eyes, nose and mouth. And most importantly, If you do not feel well STAY HOME.
•If Haakon County begins to see positive cases, what can the public expect to see change? Will there be local quarantine quarters? For instance, if one member is ill, would they be quarantined in their homes with healthy members?
If Haakon County does see positive cases I don’t expect much will change. However, as I said before, this is a rapidly changing event. We are looking to the SD Dept of Health and the CDC for guidance. As of Right now, the South Dakota Dept of Health and the CDC are advising self-quarantine, this includes as best as possible to keep the sick person away from the healthy family members and pets. Isolating to one room and bathroom of the house if possible. Or at the very least limiting the contact with others in the household. This is not to say that if anyone is exhibiting symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, you should do nothing, please call your physician or doctor’s office or if you feel you need emergency care please call 911.
Ignite Wellness Studio
Tricia Burns, Owner
•How can members boost their immune system and possibly get ahead of the curve?
The CDC has now published that the COVID-19 virus is not heat resistant, so our infrared saunas will kill this virus as well as many others. Our saunas also increase your internal core temperature, mimicking a fever to naturally fight off illness and boost your immune system.
We also have an Ion Foot Detox sessions available too help your body rid its self of toxins to stay strong.
•What products does the gym carry that could help?
We have an immunity booster supplement that can be added to any of our drinks or shakes. We also have supplements to ensure you get your daily amount of greens, keeping your body healthy and fighting disease.
•What are you doing to ensure the cleanliness of your facility and equipment?
We pride ourselves on our cleanliness, not only are we sticking to our current protocol we have added all CDC recommendations and will continue to makes changes as more information is released. We also have professional grade sanitizing wipes available for our members to use on equipment after they have completed their workout.
•According to the CDC, no more than 50 people are recommended to gather, if this number becomes more restrictive, how will this affect the gym?
We are very fortunate that our facility is spread out and we have time after our rush periods to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect.
•What are your plans in order to keep Ignite open for members/ community members while ensuring your safety, employee safety and family safety?
As of now we are continuing with out normal business hours. We are asking that any members or staff that are feeling under the weather or running a fever please stay home. We are also highly recommending 3 - 20 minute sauna sessions per week for our employees and members to stay healthy! The great thing about our business is we work daily to improve health/wellness and daily exercise promotes a healthy mind and strong immune system!
•Will you be doing live classes (in addition to the ones this week) in the event the community needs to quarantine/the gym is closed?
Ralph will be in every day this week to broadcast live workouts at 12:00 or 12:30. We are working on a private FB page for our members which will include a multitude of workouts (core, legs, upper body, strength, & cardio) that they can access from anywhere should they be quarantined or we are forced to close! That Facebook page is projected to be available by the end of this week.
You can also add that we are open 14 hours a day so there is plenty of time for people to come in and workout when the facility is not full of people.
We encourage our members to call ahead if they are worried about the facility being too busy for their comfort level and we have been delivering shakes curb side so they don’t have to come in!
Dakota Country Pharmacy
Courtney Kjerstad, Owner
•How can locals stock up on prescription medication(s)?
Insurance companies only allow 30-day refills and some will allow a max of 90 days. If you are a cash paying customer, we can refill your medication for up to the quantity left on the prescription.
•What are your recommendations in regards to what each household should stock up on (over-the-counter medications)?
As with any virus, it is our recommendation to treat the symptoms. For COVID-19, the symptoms are mainly cough, sore throat, fever, and shortness of breath. Tylenol or Motrin can be used to treat your fever. We have cough syrups, drops, and lozenges to help with cough and sore throat.
Another couple important aspect to avoid spread is to cover your mouth when coughing and WASH YOUR HANDS. Wash them for an adequate amount of time and scrub for at least 20 seconds. An easy way to check if you washed them long enough is to sing the ABC’s while washing.
•Are you adequately stocked to provide those medications?
Our primary vendor is experiencing some shortages on certain OTC medications with the increased panic spread throughout the country. We still have normal supplies on our shelves, and our wholesaler makes deliveries Monday through Friday. We have built inventory at our store for some of our most popular items and will do everything in our power to keep all pharmacy necessities available.
•If an “outbreak” occurs, will the pharmacy close?
Part of Dakota Country Pharmacy’s mission is to always be available for our patients and provide them with the medications they need when they need them. We do not intend to close if an outbreak occurs because as a healthcare facility, we are at the front line to help treat patients to make them feel better. We are making all precautionary measures to accomplish this the best way we can.
•Have you found people are stocking up these last few days/currently for the next couple weeks?
Fortunately, we haven’t seen many people stock piling OTCs yet. Coronavirus is not a new virus. It has been around, but it hasn’t been tested for because we have not seen the massive media coverage and panic regarding it before. We want everyone to know we are doing our part to help stop this pandemic. One of the most important things is to continue washing your hands and try to avoid being around mass crowds as much as possible. If you are around many people, it is best to avoid being around the elderly and immunocompromised (those already sick and with decreased immune systems) as much as possible.
•Have you shortened your staff or have a plan in place if things worsen?
We have not shortened our staff as they are all here to aid in helping get this pandemic controlled. Dakota Country Pharmacy has hand sanitizer placed at the door for customers to sanitize on their way in and way out. We go through a lot of sanitizer on a normal day but are increasing our use during this pandemic. It is normal for us to Lysol the counters, door handles, signature pads, and everywhere else. We also have the ability to mail out any prescriptions if needed. If patients have additional questions or concerns regarding over-the-counter or prescription pickup during this heightened concern, feel free to call Dakota Country Pharmacy at 859-2833.