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Local healthcare organizations form coalition to keep residents safe amid COVID-19


A new coalition made up of leaders from healthcare organizations throughout Tulare and Kings Counties are working together to protect area residents and as more businesses reopen, it is recommending the community to adopt safe practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Tulare-Kings COVID-19 Coalition was formed in partnership with the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, Kings County Department of Public Health, area hospitals including Kaweah Delta Medical Center, Sierra View Medical Center and Adventist Health in the Central Valley, along with healthcare clinics and partners. The newly formed coalition coordinates area COVID-19 response, services, and resources. This includes: sharing of best practices; unification of data and reporting information; advocating for rural communities; and implementing the latest Public Health recommendations. “During these unprecedented times, we felt that it was extremely important for our health care community to come together to protect and inform the citizens of Tulare County,” said Annette Burgos, Tulare County Public Health Emergency Manager, who co-chairs the Tulare-Kings COVID-19 Coalition, along with Dr. Ryan Gates, Vice President of Population Health Management at Kaweah Delta. “We would like to continue to urge the public to continue practicing social distancing, and we strongly encourage you to wear a face mask while in public.”

Dr. Gates agrees. “Hospitals are getting busier and we expect that will continue as people begin to re-engage in normal activities. This is a great time to encourage everyone to put into place those practices that we know are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

The coalition advises that by following the public health guidance and safety recommendations, Tulare and Kings County residents can all help prevent further spread of COVID-19, and help our local hospitals maintain capacity to care for the community. To do this, the Coalition urges everyone to practice the following precautions:

  • Social Distancing: Continue to maintain space of at least 6 feet or greater between persons; avoid gatherings of any kind; practice physical distancing.
  • Cloth Face Coverings: When outside the home, wearing cloth face coverings (masks) is strongly encouraged to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 if someone is asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Avoid touching your face and eyes.
  • Hand Washing: Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Disinfecting Surfaces: Regularly disinfect high-traffic surfaces to prevent transmission from droplets that may have settled on surfaces or have transferred to commonly used surfaces through touch.
  • Stay Home If Sick or You Are Instructed to Isolate/Quarantine by a Medical or Public Health Professional: If you are sick or have been instructed to stay home by a medical professional, stay home. If possible, ask others to deliver needed supplies instead of going to the store. If you live with others, follow Centers for Disease Control guidance for caring for someone who is sick at home.