Protect yourself by obtaining a vaccination against COVID-19 and the Delta strain if you are 12 years or older; seek urgent care if needed The world, the country and our area continue to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with the highly contagious Delta SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. The Renown Health team continues to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illnesses, including those at risk for COVID-19. Renown continues to use current local and national data, analytics, and public data sets for predictive modeling in service to our community. Renown Health ensures constant readiness by working closely with the Washoe County Health District, the Governor’s office, and is informed by updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When there is heightened concern around an illness, we implement enhanced infection prevention strategies to ensure we are ready with the appropriate supplies and alternate plans should the need arise. Renown Health providers are educated and prepared to quickly and safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. Vaccination is the best protection against Delta. “The most important action you can take to protect yourself from the Delta strain and the COVID-19 virus is to get fully vaccinated,” says Brion Hill, MD who practices at the Renown Urgent Care - Los Altos location. “The COVID 19 virus and Delta strain is preventable and controllable through safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, which are free and now widely available in our area. The CDC recommends all people 12 years and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. Recent data show that nearly all COVID-19 deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” A list of providers in our area offering vaccines is available at vaccines.gov.” Protecting Yourself, Friends and Family Dr. Hill adds, “You can protect yourself the same way you would protect against other viruses with a few common-sense practices.” Wear a cloth mask or medical procedure mask when in a public setting. For situations when you are in close contact with people who do not live with you, you may want to consider a mask option that provides a higher level of protection (improved fit and/or improved filtration). Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails. Use alcohol-based sanitizers when soap and water are not available. Use disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing; dispose of carefully and promptly. If tissues are not available, direct your cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm/sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms. Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill. Disinfect shared surfaces. Practice social distancing, 6 feet or more. Stay home when you are sick. If you have fever, cough, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms please call your medical provider and explain your symptoms before coming in to their offices. If you do not have a health care provider, and have medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, visit a Renown Urgent Care physician or healthcare provider. Virtual Urgent Care is available for people for COVID-19 symptoms and Virtual Urgent Care visits are available through MyChart. MyChart is a free, secure online patient portal that allows you to access your Renown Health medical record and manage your health care information. There are 11 conveniently located Renown Urgent Care offices with providers ready to see you 7 days a week. You have the option to book ahead and schedule an appointment at 11 locations near you. How to Get Accurate and Reliable Information: We continue to advise our community regarding the importance of accurate sources of information, and to provide regular updates. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at renown.org. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, the region’s only children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improving the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.