Custer Health Reminds Residents to Make Decisions Based on Facts, Not Fear as Morton County Identifies First COVID-19 Case

 [Mandan, ND – March 18, 2020] – Custer Health is encouraging residents to make decisions based on facts and not fear following the announcement of the first positive COVID-19 case in Morton County.

This announcement follows the North Dakota Department of Health announcements about four positive COVID-19 cases on March 17. Presently there are two Burleigh County cases, two Ward County cases, as well as a case in Cass County.

Morton County’s first COVID-19 case is a female in her 30s. The individual did not have a history of travel and no contact with a person who has been confirmed to have COVID-19. The individual is not hospitalized and is self-isolating at home. 

 “As a community, state and nation, we are all doing our part to stop the transmission of this disease,” said Custer Health Administrator Erin Ourada. “But we need everyone to be doing their part at home. Community transmission is something we knew would happen and we are prepared to address the situation moving forward.”

Now more than ever, it is critical to take preventative action for your health, and the health of the community:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap. In the absence of soap, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your T-Zone (eyes, nose and mouth).
  • Practice social distancing. Avoid social gatherings and groups of more than 10 people. Avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants and food courts. Use drive-through, pickup or delivery options.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Call your healthcare provider if you develop fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. In the absence of a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay away from individuals who are sick. Limit close contact (about six feet) with others as much as possible.

“We also want to remind everyone to purchase the food and supplies you need, but please refrain from unrealistic stockpiling,” said Ourada. “Remember we are only as strong as our collective community. Social distancing needs to be exercised as much as possible and we as health officials cannot stress that enough. Please continue to follow guidance by Governor Doug Burgum, the North Dakota Department of Health and the CDC.”

For ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Dakota Department of Health has established a COVID-19 Hotline to help answer questions. You can call (866) 207-2880 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Individuals who need medical advice should contact their health care provider.