BB School Board Hears from Local Doctor Regarding COVID-19

BB School Board Hears from Local Doctor Regarding COVID-19
Source: CDC, Drew Harris Credit: Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR Flattening A Pandemic's Curve: Why Staying Home Now Can Save Lives

BROKEN BOW—In light of the recent school closing for Broken Bow regarding COVID-19, the school board welcomed Dr. Julie Lindstrom to the March 16 public meeting. Dr. Julie Lindstrom is a family physician at Central Nebraska Medical Clinic (CNMC) in Broken Bow and shared her perspective as a medical professional and advice to the Broken Bow School Board.

“This is serious. This is going to be going on for a while. What the government is trying to do is basically so we don’t get a peak where we can’t handle it from the physicians’, hospital perspective. We only have so many respirators. We’re talking about intubation for lung machines so what we’re trying to do is we know there’s going to be a lot more cases and there’s going to be people that may not do well,” Dr. Lindstrom said.

Click below to hear some of the audio from Dr. Julie Lindstrom.

As many have already heard, Dr. Lindstrom echoed that the current strain of the coronavirus seems to be manageable for people under age 30. She said there is more risk for people over 50 or 60 or for those who have health issues including diabetes and hypertension.

“Is this going away? It’s not. You have to know that going in. What the government is trying to do is stop it from peaking so quickly that we can’t, you know, we get overwhelmed. Hospital beds–we only have so many beds, that’s just the way it is,” Dr. Lindstrom said.

Common surgical procedures will be slowing down in the next few weeks according to Dr. Lindstrom who added that the staff at CNMC meets daily to reevaluate plans. She said the staff supports the decision to close schools for at least two weeks and to see what comes next. She encourages schools to deep clean and said a hiatus in people touching surfaces or coughing around surfaces will help. Most viruses will not live longer than two weeks, she added.

“There’s a lot of things we don’t know. We know it’s in the urine, we know it’s in the saliva, we know it’s in the stool. But we don’t know that it transfers that way,” she said.

As posted on CNMC’s Facebook page, “The staff at CNMC are now screening patients with temperatures and screening questions upon arrival to facility.” Dr. Lindstrom said on Monday night. “We’re waiting. We’re waiting on the tests, there are only a few” as they continue to work with Loup Basin Public Health Department. Nurses are taking phone calls with any questions or concerns at 308-872-2486.

When asked about comparing COVID-19 to other influenza cases, Dr. Lindstrom said this is a big deal and that if the Spanish flu had been controlled better in the 1910s, we might not have the flu every year.

“We’re trying to control it so it does not become something we deal with for the rest of our lives every winter, spring. That’s what happened with the flu. Granted, in 1912 they didn’t have the ability,” Dr. Lindstrom said. “We can’t say that it’s more deadly, it hasn’t got going enough. It’s really more about what control we can do because we don’t have anything to combat it.”

As the nation faces economic impacts in order to prevent large numbers of coronavirus cases, Dr. Lindstrom said the United States is trying to prepare for the spread of the contagious COVID-19 and knows that many beds are going to be needed based off of other countries’ experiences.

“It’s better if we don’t have a peak, if we have a mound because then we can handle it better,” Dr. Lindstrom added.

She encourages people to self-quarantine, call medical professionals if you have a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and to follow recommendations of gathering with 10 or fewer people. She added to keep your kids at home as much as possible for the next two weeks while Broken Bow Public Schools are closed, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, and keep your distance.

Stay tuned for more on the March 16 school board meeting.