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NIHD Statement on Coronavirus Preparations_03.09.2020

As the COVID-19 situation evolves across the world and in the U.S., Northern Inyo Healthcare District is prepared to safely screen, diagnose, and care for patients with respiratory illness, including Coronavirus – COVID-19. In the event a COVID-19 case presents at any care location across our District, NIHD has coordinated care plans in place. These plans are established in collaboration with Inyo County Public Health, and are based on the most current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Preparations at NIHD:

Is NIHD ready for a COVID-19 case? Yes. NIHD is prepared to safely screen, diagnose, and care for patients with respiratory illness, including Coronavirus – COVID-19. In the event a COVID-19 case presents at any care location across the District, NIHD has coordinated care plans in place, established in collaboration with Inyo County Health Department, based on the most current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

What is NIHD doing about the COVID-19 Outbreak? With continued issues and concerns associated with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), NIHD is doing everything we can to protect employees, patients, visitors, and the community to minimize the risk of disruption to patient care. NIHD remains fully functional for patient care as of this time.

How does NIHD prepare for infectious disease? When a heightened concern arises around an infectious illness, NIHD monitors the situation and implements enhanced infection prevention strategies, working closely with county and state health officials and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Who monitors the COVID-19 situation at NIHD? The organization-wide Leadership Team carefully monitors the rapidly evolving situation with a particular focus on the issues presented by the virus, including employee health and safety, patient and visitor health and safety, and international travel and operational issues.

NIHD is putting visitor and employee family member restrictions in place. To help protect our employees and our patients against flu and other respiratory illness, NIHD put visitor and employee family member restrictions in place. Please avoid visiting hospital patients if you have a cough, fever (100.4), sore throat, body aches, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Also, until further notice, employees may not bring family members to the workplace unless they are seeking medical treatment.

NIHD is asking volunteers to stay home. We are informing our treasured volunteers that for their health and safety, they are released from their volunteer service at all NIHD locations until further notice.

NIHD is suspending the following non-critical activities until further notice based on CDC recommendations to avoid large crowds:

  • Community Meetings
  • Community Education Classes
  • Healthy Lifestyle Talks
  • Travel to approved conferences & seminars
  • Project vendors coming on site

What is NIHD doing to keep employees and physicians healthy? 

  • Employees may not come to work if they are ill with a cough, fever (100.4), or shortness of breath. If employees are suspected to be ill, their leader will send them home to recuperate.
  • NIHD strongly encourages employees to follow travel recommendations from the CDC. Those choosing to travel should understand that they may be asked by the Inyo County Health Department to quarantine based on CDC recommendations.

What can I do to be safe? 

Please do your part to keep each other and our communities safe by following guidelines from the CDC about prevention: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe while at home. At work, use approved cleaning agents per manufacturer’s instructions.

Transmission Prevention at NIHD:

When concern around an illness increases, NIHD implements enhanced infection prevention strategies, ensuring staff is ready with supplies and plans should the need arise. These plans include:

  • Continuing to follow the CDC recommended standard infection prevention measures, including hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Working on updating and training staff about CDC transmission prevention guidelines specific to COVID-19.
  • Following CDC recommendations for isolation based on the site of care, for hospital patients this is airborne isolation.
  • Routinely practicing and rehearsing for the potential of infectious disease outbreak in our community, in collaboration with the Inyo County Health Department, to ensure preparedness. Where particular public health risks are identified, NIHD monitors the situation to ensure prevention and preparation strategies are the most contemporary, based on the most current clinical standards. 
  • Assessing NIHD’s supply inventories and continuously monitoring current supplies on a routine basis. NIHD is working with its supply chain vendors to replenish supplies. NIHD is implementing strategies for optimizing the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and utilizing alternative supplies when possible.
  • Putting visitor and employee family member restrictions in place as of March 9, 2020. Please avoid visiting patients at NIHD if you have a cough, fever, sore throat, body aches, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Also, until further notice, employees may not bring family members to the workplace unless they are seeking medical treatment.

 

Links of interest:

https://www.cdc.gov/