Pondera Medical Center: Stay Diligent in Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Montana continues to see a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, including an increase in counties bordering Pondera County. As states across the country have eased coronavirus restrictions, some have made it a requirement for people to wear masks when out and about in public. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice to sing or shout. Droplets can then travel and land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. A significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

Regarding the use of masks, PMC Administration shares: “We have all direct-care employees in surgical masks and all non-clinical are required to wear cloth masks at all times. We do auditing and education to make sure our departments are wearing masks effectively and also properly putting them on and removing them. The idea is to keep each other’s respiratory particles from being inhaled in some way by someone else. It’s just so important that this virus does not get into our facility. PMC is going to take every precaution we can to protect the ones who are putting their trust in us. We have nearly 50 residents who live here, and whose families depend on us to do our best for their loved one, and that’s exactly what we are going to do.”

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC and other organizations, including PMC, recommend that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. “Some places you go, it’s hard to social distance, and that’s where a mask can be beneficial to a community. Some essential workers are in constant contact with people which really puts them at risk. We can support them by wearing masks in their place of work. If you need a mask, call us.” This recommendation is called source control and is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove masks or face coverings correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used face mask. When using a washing machine, place is on the hottest water temp setting and then air dry or use your dryer. Cloth masks are most effective when paired with hand hygiene, cleaning high touch surfaces and social distancing.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, do not visit public areas. Stay home except to get medical care. As much as possible stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. We are not done with this fight! We provide Best of Care, Close to Home when we do it together. PMC thanks you for your cooperation and helping to stop the spread!

“We don’t know how long this goes on or what the future holds. We have no control over that. But what we do have control over is how we respond. And it is our promise to this community that we will continue to hold our heads high and bring our best efforts forward everyday for each and every one of our patients and residents, and our fellow employees. We are nothing without each other; and that’s who we are working so hard to protect.”

Use the Face Covering to Protect Others

  • Wear a face covering to help protect others in case you’re infected but don’t have symptoms

  • Wear the covering in public settings when around people, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain

  • Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead

  • Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands

Wear your Face Covering Correctly

  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask

  • Put it over your nose and mouth

  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face while still being able to breathe

Take Off Your Cloth Face Covering Carefully

  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops

  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties

  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

Help Stop the Spread

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick

  • Wash your hands often, with soap & water, for at least 20 seconds each time

  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available