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20 Harvey County organizations team up to help reduce COVID-19 spread

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:55 PM CST
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NEWTON, Kan. (KWCH) - As the holidays near and cases of COVID-19 spike throughout Harvey County, twenty local frontline organizations including healthcare providers, government agencies, schools, and first responders have joined forces to help spread the word about making wise choices for community health safety.

Harvey County currently has more than 336 active coronavirus cases, and 1,200 people are under investigation.

Headed by Newton Medical Center and the Harvey County Health Department, the group officially launched its campaign Your Choices Matter. Choose Wisely.

“Choose to make good habits to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Newton Medical Center’s President and CEO Val Gleason.

Gleason said as holidays approach, it’s a crucial time for the community to do their part.

“Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years’, which are key times in our communities, in our families for traditional gatherings and parties,” said Gleason.

Printed flyers and social media efforts will run through the next three holidays, reminding people to follow health guidelines.

" We do not want to close schools, “said Harvey County’s Health Department Director, Lynnette Redington. “We don’t want family members, loved ones, neighbors to get sick. We don’t want to go back to a stay-at-home order.”

The campaign urges the public to wear a mask when you’re around other people, that includes when you have people over at your home, washing your hands, social distance, avoid large gatherings, frequently clean and disinfect surfaces, and stay at home when you’re sick.

Gleason said between 40 and 50 percent of the patients at Newton Medical Center have COVID-19, which is why now is the time to act.

“We have converted an entire unit specifically for the care of Covid patients,” said Gleason. “Our ICU beds are at a premium.”

Leaders hope this collaboration will help the community do their part.

“Let’s set a trend for other communities and counties around us,” said Redington.

If you live in Harvey County and are in need of COVID-19 testing you are encouraged to call 211 or contact your medical provider.

COLLABORATION PARTNERS INCLUDE:

· Asbury Park

· Bethel College

· Bluestem Communities

· Cardiovascular Care

· City of Hesston

· City of Newton

· City of North Newton

· Cottonwood Pediatrics

· Halstead USD 440

· Harvey County Commission

· Harvey County Health Department

· Harvey County Medical Society

· Health Ministries Clinic

· Hesston College

· Hesston Fire/EMS

· Mirror Inc.

· Newton Fire/EMS

· Newton Medical Center

· Newton Police Department

· Newton USD 373

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