As confirmed cases of Covid19 rise across the country, local healthcare providers are preparing to respond.
Doctor Moore Connelly, chief medical officer with Southern Illinois Healthcare, said the organization is having regular meeting with public health departments, other healthcare systems, and community partners to stay up to date.
"Different screen recommendations, how to ramp up capacity if we need to do that, PPE, so face masks and gowns and supplies," Connelly said, speaking about what types of issues are being discussed.
No cases of coronavirus have been reported in the region so far, though Connelly said southern Illinois is still seeing high rates of the flu, which has similar symptoms to Covid19.
Anyone who has symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing or fever should first call their healthcare provider for screening, rather than heading straight to the doctor's office or urgent care.
"If the patient does need to get tested, then they'll be given instructions on where to get that testing done, that's the safest place for everyone," Connelly said.
Connelly also reminded people that good hygiene practices, like washing your hands after being out in public, can help prevent the spread of coronavirus.