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2 COVID-19 cases reported at AWARE in Anaconda

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Posted at 9:52 AM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 11:52:05-04

ANACONDA — According to a press release, two cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed among AWARE employees.

Here's the release:

No clients are diagnosed at this time. AWARE’s services are essential to continue caring for the people we serve.

AWARE is taking responsible actions to protect clients, staff and the community.

AWARE responded immediately to this news by implementing its COVID-19 action plan. The plan was developed months ago in preparation for this type of situation.

“The arrival of COVID-19 in Montana has necessitated rapid and definitive action by those caring for vulnerable populations. Our AWARE team has done a phenomenal job of coordinating among direct care staff, community-based leadership, and on up to the CEO, to be sure our clients and staff are safe and ready for whatever comes next,” AWARE Medical Director Dr. John Tupper said.

Currently, AWARE is working closely with Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Public Health Department, the Community Hospital of Anaconda, and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services as experts for guidance on COVID-19.

“We are very impressed with AWARE’s prior planning and emergency measures to protect clients, staff and community at large,” Director of Public Health Leigh Ann Holmes said. “AWARE’s response was swift and thorough.”

AWARE quarantined many of its homes in Anaconda, including several as a precautionary measure. In addition, staff work schedules have been adjusted to accommodate the quarantine in efforts to protect the community by slowing the spread of the virus. All guardians, state and local officials have been notified of the quarantine status of each home.

Client and staff receive frequent health screenings and temperatures are taken multiple times a day. This information is then reported to the public health department along with any other concerns, needs or symptomology during a daily morning phone call.

AWARE continues to be vigilant with proper hygiene and sanitization of work environments per CDC guidelines. Anyone identified as a close contact to a confirmed case has been contacted by the health department. People experiencing any symptoms should call either the county health department at 406.563.7863 or their primary care provider. “

We are very grateful to have the support of the Anaconda community. We consider ourselves fortunate to be surrounded by such a compassionate and caring group of individuals and local businesses that have offered their help,” AWARE CEO Matt Bugni said.

Please send questions to jpeterson@Aware-inc.org or call 406.563.8117 for more information.