Boone Memorial Hospital has taken the threat of the Coronavirus and COVID-19 very seriously.
“Our approach has been that of aggressive preparedness, not panic,” explains hospital Chief Executive Officer, Virgil Underwood. “While we understand the need for on-going education to our patients, staff and visitors, we realize there is an abundance of information surfacing. Therefore, in order to alleviate some confusion, we at Boone Memorial Hospital want to be transparent in what one can expect when visiting our facility in relation to COVID-19.”
WHAT TO EXPECT (SCREENING):
Upon arrival to Boone Memorial Hospital or one of its clinics, a soft screening of all staff, visitors and those presenting for care will be completed. A soft screening consists of a few simple questions to assess possible symptoms or things which may put one at high risk such as travel history, possible exposure to COVID-19, etc. In addition, temperatures will be taken for all staff, visitors and those presenting for care.
For precautionary measures, Boone Memorial Hospital has erected tents and walls to allow for additional triage stations to quickly identify those presenting with COVID-19 symptoms via the screening measures mentioned above. Those in which symptoms are present will be segregated and directed accordingly by hospital staff to undergo further evaluation.
(CLARIFICATION & CRITERIA):
“We currently have an adequate supply of kits to collect specimens to be sent to either a commercial reference laboratory or the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) for testing,” said Underwood. Results are returned within 3-5 days.”
Current Criteria to receive testing consists of the following
(Per CDC Guidelines)
1) Seriously ill or high risk individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) who do not have another identified cause for their illness (i.e., flu or other respiratory illnesses). This includes those who are hospitalized or near hospitalization or persons over the age of 65, those with serious underlying chronic diseases or those living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. No history of potential exposure is needed, however, a doctor/provider order is REQUIRED to authorize a COVID-19 test.
2) Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) who have a history of likely exposure to COVID-19 within 14 days and do not have another identified cause for their illness (i.e., flu or other respiratory illnesses). This includes those with close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19 or those who have traveled from or live in an area with widespread community transmission. A doctor/provider order is REQUIRED to authorize a COVID-19 test.
“Boone Memorial will continue taking a proactive approach to dealing with COVID-19,” said Underwood. “While this nationwide outbreak has forced us to focus on preventing, protecting, diagnosing and ultimately treating COVID-19, our staff, administration, board of directors and medical staff remains diligent in providing compassionate, confidential healthcare, even during this pandemic.”
Boone Memorial Hospital will continue to offer tips and resources, most of which can be found on its website at www.bmh.org/coronavirus