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PSA from St. John's Health and Teton County Health Department: Community Readiness: Coronavirus

PSA from St. John's Health and Teton County Health Department: Community Readiness: Coronavirus

In light of growing international public health concerns, St. John’s Health and the Teton County Health Department are actively instituting health and safety measures to prevent and respond to the potential for Coronavirus exposure in our community.

The novel Coronavirus was recently identified, first in Wuhan City, China. Additional cases have been confirmed in Thailand, Korea, Japan, and the United States.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people; numerous other coronaviruses circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve, infect people, and then spread between people such has been seen with Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. There are still many unknowns about the new strain. National and international health authorities are working diligently to gain additional information.

Local and state efforts to ensure public safety are being developed with information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Updates from the CDC are being monitored daily. For additional information for the public, the CDC has created a website dedicated to this novel virus. Visit https:/

At St. John's Health, all patients presenting with signs of respiratory illness are being provided with masks and asked to perform hand hygiene. For patients presenting with fever, cough, or respiratory illness, staff is asking questions about the patient's travel history. If staff were to become concerned about a patient's potential exposure to coronavirus, the CDC guidelines for preventing spread of illness would be followed.

St. John's Health and the Teton County Health Department will update the public, as necessary, as this situation evolves.

A reminder that this is cold and flu season. Remember to practice the following basic preventive actions: hand washing, avoiding contact with ill people, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick.


Media contacts: Karen Connelly, St. John’s Health, 307.739.7380,

Jodie Pond, Teton County Health Department, 307.732.8461,