Background information about coronavirus in the U.S. and Platte County
The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was announced on Jan. 21, 2020 in the state of Washington while the first case in Platte County was identified on March 21. The initial efforts by the Platte County Health Department (PCHD) were on travel-related cases and included laboratory testing and contact tracing. Since then, Platte County has experienced community transmission. This means that the virus is being transmitted from person to person within the county.
What we are trying to do
The overarching goal of this public health response is to minimize the adverse health impacts of exposure to COVID-19 in Platte County. PCHD has activated the public health incident command system (ICS) framework to more efficiently coordinate this public health response.
More specific response goals are:
- To understand region-specific characteristics of COVID-19, including the percentage of the population impacted, as well as specific subpopulations that are at higher risk.
- To use data to make informed decisions and implement feasible public health interventions. This includes tracking the impacts of the interventions on our population.
- To provide current information to our residents on how to protect themselves from being infected and how to assist in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in Platte County.
- To ensure that the healthcare capacities are not overwhelmed.
Platte County has taken steps to educate the public on how to protect themselves – regular hand washing, staying home when sick, etc. Other measures that tap into society's collective sense of responsibility (i.e., school closings, stay-at-home orders, and other physical distancing measures) have been implemented.
Time is needed to give these proven measures a chance to work. These measures have been very disruptive to the normal way of life, but this short-term discomfort will provide long-term benefits.
Why we need testing
Testing provides data that gives more information about the prevalence of the virus in the county, including levels of spread in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. It also helps to identify people that are infected so contact tracing activities can be implemented. Along with information about hospital capacities, testing helps measure the effectiveness of the interventions and provides data to assist in deciding when to ease restrictions.
Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay Home
- People do not need to wait to be tested before following the physical/social distancing guidelines.
- Stay at home if you’re sick.
- Follow CDC's travel guidelines and self-quarantine if you’re exposed to a person known to be infectious.