Middle Park Health preps for COVID-19
Middle Park Health, Grand County’s only hospital, is preparing for the potential spread of novel coronavirus through special policies and leaning on local partnerships, but is currently not able to test for the disease.
According to Kayla Ray, the director of quality, risk & infection prevention for the hospital, tests for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, are in limited supply and not available to Middle Park Health yet.
“Currently we do not have the ability to collect this test, however, given recent access to resources it is on the horizons that we will be able to do so,” Ray wrote in an emailed response. “Testing will not be appropriate for everyone, and it is at the discretion of the clinician as well as following CDC and state guidelines to determine who needs testing and who does not.”
However, if a Grand County resident is showing symptoms of coronavirus, the hospital is asking patients to call the clinic or provider they plan to visit before showing up at the hospital so that proper precautions can be taken.
“It is critical that we minimize exposure, particularly to our healthcare workforce,” Ray said. “We please ask that first the patient contacts the facility in which they would like to be seen and be triaged over the phone by a medical professional. We cannot guarantee that although they are suspicious they have the virus, it will be necessary they are evaluated.”
Should a patient be confirmed to have COVID-19, Ray said treatment would be determined on an individual basis.
“Level of isolation as well as location of isolation would be determined on a case by case basis,” she said. “However, when discussing mild cases of the novel coronavirus, it is recommended the patient home isolates and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as Grand County Public Health, would follow up with the patient during their 14 day isolation procedure to monitor their symptoms and provide guidance as appropriate.”
Hospital employees have been provided with the personal protection equipment necessary, as well as receiving continuous education and updates on COVID-19. The hospital has planned for a potential outbreak with its emergency operations plan that is inclusive of infectious disease.
Middle Park Health is also coordinating plans with community stakeholders to address the disease from a united front.
“Coinciding with our key stakeholders is crucial in maintaining a team approach to this outbreak and utilizing the resources we have to protect our staff and community is a top priority if we face a pandemic,” Ray said.
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COVID-19 deaths in Grand County have reached double digits with three more in the last seven days.