Given the increased concerns about the coronavirus, we want to share with you the activities that have been going on to date in regards to preparedness for the COVID-19 virus at the state and local level and at Cullman Regional.
Although the virus has not yet surfaced in Alabama, anyone who has:
- Traveled outside of the United States or
- Had close contact with someone who recently traveled internationally and was sick, and who now has:
- Fever, Cough and Trouble Breathing
- Please call your healthcare provider immediately for instructions.
Here is general overview of what we’ve done:
- Our hospital and others across the state are coordinating with the Alabama Department of Public Health to stay abreast of the latest developments with the virus, and we will continue to work with our public health officials to stay as prepared as possible.
- Our hospital has taken every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff.
- We have developed processes to properly screen and isolate individuals who present to our hospital and who meet the CDC criteria for the virus.
- We urge the members of our community to practice good hygiene and to avoid coming to the hospital to visit patients if they’re sick. However, if they experience symptoms that correspond with the CDC criteria for coronavirus, they should call their health provider immediately or go to the emergency room if symptoms worsen. (Click here to view the CDC’s tips for the public)
- The goal with this virus, like any virus, is to minimize the spread. So, if you are in need of medical attention, if you can call first, then your providers can be prepared.
More specifically, at Cullman Regional, we have taken the following steps to prepare our facilities and our Medical Staff.
- Implemented triage/screening in the Emergency Department, Cullman Regional Urgent Care & Cullman Regional Medical Group clinics to identify patient travel history and symptoms.
- Developed and published a triage algorithm (for the aforementioned areas) to use with specific steps to ensure notification of appropriate personnel.
- We have distributed the CDC and ADPH Health Alert Network (HAN) alerts as well as interim guidance to all providers on our medical staff in order to make sure physician offices are aware of how to manage these patients.
- We have distributed, to all Cullman Regional Medical Staff providers, the CDC provider screening algorithm and provider checklist for management of patients.
While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
- It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking every day preventative actions to help stop the spread of germs and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
- Everyday preventative actions include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.