Physicians ask community to help stop surge of COVID-19

| October 14, 2020 1:00 AM

We write to talk with you about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our county.

More COVID cases means more people are sick or hospitalized, putting stress on our health care system. More kids are missing school, parents are missing work, and our local businesses are trying to survive. The surge of COVID cases creates a domino effect that all of us feel, physically and emotionally.

We want our community’s schools to stay open so our children can learn and play. We want our local economy and businesses to thrive. We want to bend the curve so our hospitals and clinics are not overwhelmed. Most importantly, we want our community to be healthy, mentally and physically.

The decisions we make every day have the power to make a difference in this pandemic.

There are steps we can take:

• Protect others from infection. If you are sick, stay at home. If your children are sick keep them home from school. Call the Kalispell Regional Healthcare 24-hour hotline at 406-890-7272 with any questions or guidance on testing sites.

• Follow the guidelines provided by public health officials and your school districts.

• Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

• Wear face coverings and change it daily.

• Give each other 6 feet of personal space and reconsider attending or hosting large gatherings.

Early on, our community actively practiced these public health measures, and we flattened the curve in the Flathead Valley. We can do it again. Let’s change the course of this pandemic, and protect our most vulnerable citizens. Together, we can stop the surge in Flathead County.

The Kalispell Regional Healthcare Physician Leadership Team includes Stan Makman, MD;Thomas Origitano, MD, PhD, FACS; Courtney Paterson, MD; Tim Obermiller, MD; Melissa Kaptanian, MD, FACS; Cory Short, DO; Adam Smith, DO; and Randy Zuckerman, MD, FACS.