U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton had a message Tuesday for state and federal emergency planners: Coronavirus could reach the countryside, and rural health care is the first line of defense.
The Republican congressman from Cortez sent letters to Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Gov. Jared Polis asking them to keep these communities and their resources in mind.
“My office has been reaching out to dozens of healthcare clinics and hospitals across the 3rd District to ensure they are in communication with state and federal agencies coordinating the response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)," Tipton said in a statement.
"The feedback we have received regarding communication and coordination has on the whole been positive. Most signs indicate that generally our rural and smaller health systems are coordinating and preparing for a potential worst-case scenario regarding Coronavirus should it occur. They are for the most part in regular communication with each other and with the appropriate state and federal agencies."
He called coordination and communication critically important to ensuring rural and smaller health care systems are equipped "to prevent, detect, and treat any potential outbreak" and reassure the public with accurate information.
"Several providers have said that their general medical supplies are running low due to shipping delays from China, and a number of smaller providers have indicated that they do not have enough masks or respirators for their staffs and typically have a hard time getting them from the state," Tipton stated. "This is something that needs to be addressed quickly."
Read the letter to Polis by clicking here.