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Valley County, the City of McCall, the City of Donnelly, the City of Cascade, St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center and the Cascade Medical Center have released new guidelines for travel within Valley County.

Valley County, in partnership with the City of Cascade, City of Donnelly, City of McCall, St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center and the Cascade Medical Center, are asking visitors to stay home and stay healthy. In an open letter to the Valley County community, Dr. Gregory Irvine, MD, Chief of Staff at St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center urges prospective visitors to stay home. “We are small, rural, critical-access hospitals, and have limited resources, especially as it pertains to intensive care,” says Irvine. “While our hospitals are prepared to care for the citizens of Valley County and surrounding areas, an influx of people from elsewhere risks overwhelming the limited resources at our hospitals.

Read the Valley County Press Release Read Dr. Irvine’s Full Letter City of McCall Travel Advisory

If you ARE in the McCall area, we ask that you respect the extremely difficult decisions our local business have had to make in an effort to keep their employees and our community healthy.

 

Things to consider before travel:

Is COVID-19 spreading where you live?

Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health conditions. These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.

Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?

People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel.

Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, in case you are told to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19?

If you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you’re considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.

Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?

If you get sick with COVID-19 upon your return from travel, your household contacts may be at risk of infection. Household contacts who are older adults or persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

 

While visiting the area:

Continue to support local businesses

Many area restaurants are offering take out and delivery options. Purchase gift cards at your favorite stores to use at a later date (call or visit websites to purchase) or shop online from any local retailers who offer that service. If retailers and businesses are open, use debit or credit cards for transactions (cash and coins carry a lot of germs), don’t stop in if you are sick and as always…thank the employees who are working hard to meet the needs of our community!

Purchase only the supplies that you need

When it comes to groceries and supplies, our small communities have a limited resource. While our amazing local grocers are working to restock as soon and as often as possible, we ask that everyone only purchase what you need, not stockpile supplies. Share the love and leave enough for everyone!

Recreate independently

Many resorts and popular recreation areas are currently closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get outside or participate in activities. The key is to maintain social distancing while you recreate. Snowshoe in the woods, catch a live-streamed yoga or meditation session, sled with the kids in your backyard or in a non-populated area, fish, snowmobile, Nordic ski on your own or take a walk and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Major Recreational Areas Currently Closed in Response to COVID-19:

 

All travelers are encouraged to exercise healthy travel habits, including:

 

Stay safe, stay healthy. Much love from McCall.