COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Information

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Information

March 13, 2020

While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in Montana, Glendive Medical Center continues to take steps to prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 in our community.

Our primary focus remains on protecting the health and safety of our community. We have activated Incident Command and are actively monitoring the situation. We continue to work closely with public health partners like the Dawson County Public Health Department and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to obtain the most current informational updates and screening and prevention guidance.

Precautionary measures in effect

Screening protocols are in place to identify and treat patients who are considered at-risk for the virus. Visitor restrictions remain in place at the Eastern Montana Veteran’s Home, Extended Care, and the Heritage to help limit the spread of illness.

To help protect our patients and caregivers, we have instituted a series of precautionary measures effective immediately, including:

· Cancelling all events, classes and gatherings hosted inside a GMC facility until further notice

· Limiting the number of vendors and consultants from outside the organization in patient care areas to only those who are essential to clinical or business operations

Seeking care

If you plan on visiting GMC or Gabert Clinic and have a fever of 100.4 or higher and new cough or worsening shortness of breath and you plan to seek care, please call your provider ahead of your visit. By calling ahead, the provider can discuss your symptoms and next steps. It is important to call ahead to help prevent the spread of illness in our community and at our facilities. If you do come to GMC to receive care and have flu-like symptoms, please request a mask from the registration desk immediately.

Protecting yourself and the community

Everyone in our community can take an active role in limiting the spread of any infection! The CDC recommends taking these steps:

Hand washing

· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

· If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick

· Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Stay home if you’re sick

· Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

Cover coughs and sneezes

· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

· Throw used tissues in the trash.

· Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

· If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.

· If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

· Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

· If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection