This article was provided to SUU News via email at approximately 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020. For developing news and information about Cedar City and the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit http://www.CedarCity.org.
Sorry in advance for the long email but I wanted to help get some accurate information out to all of our residents. I am trying to keep everyone informed and educated. Additionally, I want to let you know how much I care about our amazing community and the work that is taking place to keep people safe.
I have received a number of questions related to the processes and procedures in place for our medical facilities here in Cedar city and in the event that someone needs to receive a coronavirus test. Below you will find some resources and hopefully some answers to questions you may have. As always if you have medical concerns contact your provider about any specific questions.
1-New, strict visitor restrictions are in place.
If you are coming to the clinic, you can bring one person with you. We realize this presents a challenge for a young parent without available child care. Please do all you can to make arrangements for your other children to be watched while you or your sick child comes to the clinics for care.
For the hospital, no visitors are allowed, except for these exceptions:
- Obstetric patients — one partner, one birth support person
- Well-Baby patients — may have both parents present
- End-of-life patients
One visitor allowed only for:
- Minors under age 18 — one visitor or guardian per day
- Patients with disruptive behaviors or altered mental status (where caregiver provides safety/information)
- Patients undergoing surgery or procedures — one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as reasonable after the procedure
- Patients who have an appointment at a hospital-based clinic, laboratory or radiology department, or visiting the Emergency Department
- Patients at admission and discharge
2- You need to check in with the greeters at each entrance to the hospital. They will ask you questions like if you have been or are sick, have traveled, and/or if you have an appointment. Then they will insist you put on hand sanitizer. Please be supportive and kind to these greeters and also, put on the hand sanitizer. They are doing an important job, and while it may be a little different process entering the hospital than what you’re used to, the greeters are trying to best limit germ spread. Vigilant hand hygiene, as well as preventing non-essential visitors from entering the hospital, absolutely stops the spread of harmful germs. You may also be asked to wear a mask depending on your illness and circumstances.
3- Any visitor with a respiratory illness will not be allowed to visit patients. This applies to visitors ONLY, not to patients or those seeking care.
4- Cedar City Hospital has not been, nor are we, overwhelmed or overrun with patients. The hospital is providing care to every single person that comes to the hospital in need and will continue to do so.
5- Any possible patient who may end up testing positive for COVID-19 will be announced by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, working with the Utah Department of Health. The health department is the correct source and lead agency on announcements regarding COVID-19.
6- The process to get tested for COVID-19 is this: You visit with your own medical provider (or Intermountain ConnectCare on your phone if you want to stay home). If they determine you need to be tested for COVID-19, the provider will take a sample. Those visiting a provider on ConnectCare will go to the local InstaCare on Sage Dr., and the nurse will come get a sample while you’re in your car, so you don’t have to go inside the building. You can also call the COVID-19 Hotline at 844-442-5224 if you have mild to moderate symptoms, available 24/7. A healthcare professional will assess your risk for COVID-19. If testing is needed, a medical order will be provided and you’ll be directed to a testing site.
The sample process is the exact same one as testing for the flu. They will use the long stick with a cotton swab on the end, and simply swab the back of your nasal cavity. That sample is then sent to a testing center in Salt Lake, and determining results can take some time, even a few days depending on how many samples are coming in.
7- Please view and treat your response and prevention to COVID-19 like you would the flu (influenza). This is not a time for fear and panic in any way. It’s a time to stay focused on the truth and the truth is, the measures our entire nation is taking to slow the spread, is a positive and important coming together to help protect our most vulnerable to COVID-19, which are the elderly and immunocompromised. These actions, while disruptive, are to help prevent the overwhelming of healthcare resources with too many getting COVID-19 at the same time. The bold social distancing and robust hand hygiene should correctly be viewed as highly protective and proactive measures.
Thank you for the wonderful coming together in our community to help slow the spread and flatten the curve of COVID-19.
Maile L. Wilson-Edwards
Cedar City Corporation