HOLBROOK — Director Steve Hooke and the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center wish to provide the community with information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as federal and state health officials continue to monitor the spread of the virus domestically and internationally.
HRECC telecommunicators (dispatchers) are following all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health official guidance related to the assessment of a potential patient. They are asking all callers who report a medical emergency if the patient has a fever, trouble breathing or a cough.
The purpose of asking viral illness screening questions early during a call is to provide additional situational awareness for first responders.
As a reminder, the HRECC urges people to call 911 to report immediate threats to their life or property, but to contact their local healthcare provider if they show general symptoms of coronavirus.
The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and new information and guidelines are being posted by the CDC on a regular basis. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads.
If anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not go to work or school and are advised to contact their primary care physician. According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) recommends that residents continue with good hygiene practices including:
- Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.