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Coronavirus: Davis Health Releases Current Steps

March 17, 2020

ELKINS, WV - “As a community health system, our primary concern is the health and safety of our healthcare professionals, patients and communities.  We are working with state and local public health authorities and we are following current recommended guidance from the CDC.  By closely monitoring developments on COVID-19, we are creating plans and making complex decisions daily,” said Davis Health System Chief Medical Officer Catherine “Mindy” Chua, D.O.

“We strongly urge people to follow instructions for social distancing, proper hand hygiene, staying home when mildly sick and staying away from others, and, calling ahead before visiting your doctor’s office,” said Chua. “By working together, we can respond more effectively to the needs of our community.  Be assured that Davis Health System stands ready to provide important healthcare services and support to our patients through this health crisis.”

“We are implementing precautionary measures at our clinics and hospitals, and our goal is to keep everyone connected to important information and changes that affect how healthcare is delivered in this fluid situation.”

Steps We’re Taking

Visitation – Effective immediately, visitation at Davis Medical Center is limited to one healthy visitor per patient.  People who are even mildly ill or experiencing any kind of symptoms should not visit patients in the hospital until they are no longer sick. Vendors are prohibited at this time.

Children  - To avoid unnecessary risk of exposure, children will not be permitted to accompany parents or family members during visits to our clinics or hospital.  Patients, who do not have childcare, will be asked to reschedule. This policy allows us to keep young children safe and further prevent the spread of infectious disease.

Diagnostic Services – Lab and radiology services are in normal operation at Davis Medical Center and Broaddus Hospital.  Patients receiving these services must wear a mask if they present with a cough.  There will be no exceptions to this guideline in order to protect our healthcare providers.

Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) – DHS activated our HICS in response to the COVID-19 ongoing event.  In the United States, HICS is an incident command system designed for hospitals and intended for use in both emergency and non-emergency situations. It provides hospitals of all sizes with tools needed to advance their emergency preparedness and response capability—both individually and as members of the broader healthcare environment.

COVID-19 Testing – State governments and the CDC are working to make rapid COVID-19 testing more available.  Until that time, pre-screening of potential patients helps determine if the cause of illness is due to influenza; which we are still experiencing in our local communities.  The CDC has established screening guidelines that all DHS organizations are following.

Personal Protective Equipment PPE – Davis Health System health professionals are taking precautionary measures to keep themselves, and our patients safe from the spread of COVID-19.  Use of masks, eye protection, gloves and gowns are standard protocol for health care workers when interacting with patients who present with symptoms of COVID-19.

Mildly ill patients – Mildly ill patients are encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance about clinical management. 

Emergency Department care – Emergency Departments are for those who need the most critical care.  Discretion should be used in utilizing emergency departments for non-life threatening illness or injury.

Patients with severe symptoms – Patients with severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately.  Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their physician early in the course of even mild illness.