Grant Regional Health Center is encouraging the public to prepare, not panic - when it comes to emerging concerns regarding the Coronavirus. The best thing we can do as a community is to stay informed and take common-sense precautions to guard against this and other viruses.
We have joined hospitals nationwide in limiting all visitors effective Friday, March 20 in response to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to limiting visitors with the exception of end of life, OB and pediatric patients, Grant Regional will be temporarily closing other departments as well. This change is aimed to stop the spread of the virus and also meant to preserve vital medical supplies as medical facilities across the country face shortages.
Effective Monday, March 23, both Potosi-Tennyson Medical Clinic and Cassville Clinic will be closed until further notice. Grant Regional Community Clinic in Lancaster will remain open but patients who have appointments in Lancaster are to enter through the Rehab entrance at the south end of the hospital. These appointments will be limited to obstetric patients and well child visits only. Patients will be screened before each visit. Our clinic staff will be calling patients to confirm or reschedule routine appointments. We ask that no visitors or children accompany the patient at these appointments. If you feel you need to be seen, but it is not an emergency, patients can call 723-2131 and our clinic staff will direct your care.
Visitor Restrictions effective 3.20.20
To protect our patients, staff and community amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, WE ASK YOU TO FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES:
No visitors are allowed in patient or waiting areas of hospital.
OB patients are allowed one support person. Two parents are allowed for pediatric patients.
Please let staff know if you are experiencing any symptoms including fever or persistent cough or have traveled recently.
No visitors will not be permitted to wait in public areas of the hospital.
Visitors for emergent and end-of-life situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All restrictions are temporary and may change as Grant Regional Health Center monitors the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective Monday, March 23, patients who have appointments at Grant Regional Community Clinic in Lancaster are to enter through the Rehab entrance at the south end of the hospital. These appointments will be limited to obstetric patients, well adult or child visits only. Patients will be screened before each visit. Our clinic staff will be calling patients to confirm or reschedule routine appointments. We ask that no visitors or children accompany the patient at these appointments.
• Potosi and Cassville clinic appointments – postponed/rescheduled until further notice
• Rehab appointments – cancelled until further notice
• All specialty clinic appointments postponed
• All elective surgeries postponed (emergency surgery coverage is available)
• Routine lab draws will be postponed. (Hemoglobin, INR, hematocrit will be allowed)
Any routine fasting labs for annual check-ups will be postponed.
• The Perfect Blend Coffee Co. - temporarily closed to the public
• Grant Regional cafeteria - temporarily closed to the public
• Screening Mammograms are cancelled until further notice including Walk-In Wednesdays
• Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab – cancelled until further notice
• Senior Wellness/Phase III – cancelled until further notice
• Therapeutic Services appointments - cancelled until further notice
• Fuerste Eye Clinic appointments - cancelled until further notice
• Audiology & Speech Therapy appointments - cancelled until further notice
• Diabetes Support Group (monthly) – cancelled until further notice
• Community classes: Movin’ On and Physical Activity for Lifelong Success series – postponed
• Clinical training at Grant Regional TNCC, PALS, CPR - postponed
• Auxiliary Gift Shop – temporarily closed until further notice
• Volunteer services at hospital – temporarily on hold
• Auxiliary Book Fair, March 23 - postponed
• Diabetes Alert Day, Screenings, March 19, 24, 25 – cancelled
• Childbirth Education, April 4 – postponed
• Men’s Health Night, April 8 – postponed
• Al-Anon at Grant Regional – cancelled through April 16
• Weight Watchers at Grant Regional – cancelled through April 1
Regarding testing, we want to help the public better understand the necessary process and procedures that our hospital has put into place to give priority to patients experiencing symptoms and those at higher risk with chronic conditions.
- We will providing testing to patients who present with symptoms and meet certain criteria
- While we want to assure patients that their symptoms are not related, we need to be mindful of the state lab facilities and not overwhelm or inundate with tests that perhaps aren’t necessary due to no symptoms present
- It is our goal to test suspected cases so those positive for COVID-19 can be isolated and their close contacts quarantined.
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sets specific criteria for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and that has been evolving. Grant Regional Health Center is following a specific procedure with criteria to determine whether there is a need for a patient to be tested for COVID-19. Testing is not currently recommended for those who do not have symptoms.
I might have been exposed. What should I do?
If you have had close contact (within 6 ft.) with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 and have symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing), call your doctor first before going to the clinic or hospital.
The CDC advises people who have no symptoms but believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after their last potential exposure.
If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms
What should I do if I think I (or someone in my family) have COVID-19 symptoms?
- If you have mild symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing), call your physician before going to the clinic or hospital. Review your signs, symptoms and travel history thoroughly with them.
- If you have severe symptoms, or you have underlying conditions, such as a weakened immune system or chronic respiratory disease, call your family physician or ER for guidance on how to seek care without exposing others.
- Call ahead before you visit any care center and let them know that you think you may have COVID-19.
- Stay home when possible; separate yourself from other people and animals at home. Although there have not been reports of animals becoming sick with COVID-19, the CDC still recommends people with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
- Be vigilant about practicing virus prevention, including proper hand hygiene and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. See "Prevention Steps" below.
- Wear a surgical mask, when possible, during close contact with others; close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone else. For those who are sick, a mask can reduce the number of droplets coughed into the air.
How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19 infection?
The best way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay informed and to use the same common-sense precautions you take to guard against other illnesses such as the flu.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when handwashing isn’t an option.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve (the crook of your elbow), shirt or a tissue, not into your hands, and encourage kids to do the same.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and encourage those around you to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home if you’re sick and do not return to work, school or social activities until you have been fever-free for at least 48 hours without medication.
- Clean commonly touched surfacesin your home and workplace with bleach, ammonia or alcohol-based disinfectants. Wipe down and disinfect things like doorknobs, light switches, refrigerator handle(s), TV or stereo remote controls, computer keyboards, your home telephone, cellphones and other touchscreen devices, etc.
- If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for instructions on how to seek care without exposing others.
While there are no EPA-registered disinfectants specifically listed as having the ability to kill COVID-19, related viruses with similar physical and biochemical properties can be killed with bleach, ammonia or alcohol, or cleaning agents containing any of these disinfectants.
How does COVID-19 spread?
Current understanding about HOW COVID-19 SPREADS is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease, and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes and to what extent it may spread in the United States.
Person-to-person spread: The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects: It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
There is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging, because of poor survivability of other coronaviruses on surfaces. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, but there is still a lot that is unknown about how the newly emerged COVID-19 spreads.
Grant Regional Health Center is accepting PPE donations to help keep staff, community safe
With the growing concerns about COVID-19 entering our region, Grant Regional would like to take a proactive approach and avoid a potential shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). We currently have adequate amounts of PPE, but feel it is important prepare for a potential surge in patients. We appreciate donations of new, unused supplies including:
- Face shields
- Digital thermometers
- Eye protection such as safety glasses and goggles
- Hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol
- Sanitizing wipes
- Masks including both N95 and surgical masks (any level)
- Handmade cloth masks
Our amazing communities have reached out to see how they can help us. Many talented individuals have started making and dropping off handmade cloth masks. For a pattern that we suggest, click on https://bit.ly/3dwDgmd.
We will be accepting donations Monday – Friday from 10 – 11 AM at our Rehab entrance at the South side of our hospital. If you cannot drop off donations at this time, we can arrange for you to drop items when someone can meet you at a designated entrance to accept the donation. If you have questions, you can call Brandi Riechers at (608) 723-3358 or email her at email@example.com.
Monetary donations for purchasing equipment and supporting our preparedness efforts are also being accepted. You can click on the donate now button on our home page at www.grantregional.com.
Thank you for your generous support to help keep our staff, patients and community as safe as possible during this unprecedented time.
What to do if you are sick
If you are sick or have symptoms, follow the CDC's recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Uncertain if you have COVID-19 symptoms? Use the CDC Self-Checker in the bottom right corner of the CDC website.
The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do
Important Steps to Stop the Spread
As this situation unfolds, we will continue to closely monitor CDC and public health official’s guidance. We urge all Americans, especially those at higher risk, to take all reasonable precautions to protect their health.