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Central Valley Health resumes some services

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Central Valley Health District is resuming more services while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are continuing to stress that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is still very real and encourage community members to practice safe social distance, washing hands and wearing a cloth face mask when out in public," said Shannon Kaiser, Central Valley Health director of health promotion. "Those of high risk and vulnerable populations are still advised to follow strict social distancing practices and limit contact with others."

Central Valley Health's offices are open by appointment only. Patients are required to wear a face mask when at the office and requested to be prompt to ensure proper sanitizing between patients. Kaiser said Central Valley will not be servicing those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms like fevers, coughing and shortness of breath.

"While the state has provided guidance to begin the reopening plan for North Dakota, we are continuing to be very vigilant of the current public health crisis of COVID-19," Kaiser said. "We have recently cut back on our live community briefings, but plan to bring them back if we need to bring important, current information to the community."

Kaiser said Central Valley Health and other community partners are continuing to meet as an emergency operations center to discuss local health and safety responses.


"We are being more vigilant about how our services are provided," Kaiser said. "We are limiting access to our office to reduce the number of people in the building at one time. It is very important for our scheduling that clients arrive on time and call ahead if they are not going to be able to make it to the appointment."

Prior planning helps Kim Lee, Central Valley Health director of nursing, ensure safety during examinations. Lee said the facility has been reimplementing nursing services strategically since the reopening of the office doors.

"This week we will be resuming more nursing services like foot cares," Lee said. "We have looked at all nursing services individually to see if it is safe to provide the service. After we resume foot cares this week, we will have utilized most nursing services that we provide to the public prior to the pandemic."

Lee said home visits and medication setups never stopped completely and seem to be the most needed and used service provided at this time. Lee said there are still several individuals who need help with medication management and some who are not able to come into the office. If that is the case Lee said the staff will provide the services in people's homes.

The office is not conducting COVID-19 testing but is offering a variety of services to patients. All family planning appointments are being held at the office by appointment only while all Women, Infant and Children program appointments are being provided over the phone. Kaiser said the facility will be providing sports physicals for high school and collegiate level athletes this summer.

While the facility is slowly reimplementing the services that were offered pre-pandemic, Kaiser and Lee said it is important for clients and Central Valley Health staff to recognize the reality of a post-pandemic society.

"It is still very important for people to be conscious of their health," Kaiser said. "We have had five new positive cases in our community in the past week (as of June 1), showing that the virus is still here. Social distancing, proper hand hygiene, and cloth face-covering use remain highly encouraged."

There were six new cases of COVID-19 reported in Stutsman County this week.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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