Covid-19: Community Updates
SAFE CARE. ALWAYS.
At Grant Regional, we’re looking forward to helping our patients get back to better health. We’re committed to safely welcoming back patients for care and surgeries that were postponed due to Covid-19. We’re taking extra precautions to keep you safe. It’s our Safe Care Promise. And you’ll find that promise true at all of our locations. Below outlines our commitment to you. Please don’t delay important healthcare. Our hospital and clinics are safe, clean and ready to care for you. You'll notice changes in the way we provide care by placing an added focus on safety measures.
Everyone entering the hospital will be required to wear a face mask, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms. Cloth masks are acceptable, and we will provide masks if you do not have your own.
All patients and employees are being screened for symptoms, including fever, upon entrance to our hospital and clinic.
Appointments are staggered to minimize the number of people in an area, and chairs in waiting areas are spaced to allow for social distancing. Grant Regional has many safeguards in place to keep patients safe and protect from exposure to COVID.
Our staff and medical providers are committed to providing a safe and secure environment and great care is taken to prevent the potential spread of infection. We are taking extra precautions to protect our patients and each other when caring for patients. We have continued to increase our infection control standards in all departments. This includes increased sanitization of commonly touched surfaces, door handles and countertops.
Due to COVID-19 Community Spread status, our hospital and clinic is limiting visitors in the facility with a few exceptions including end of life, OB and pediatric patients. Click on Visitor Restrictions tab below to learn more.
Video Health Visits
While we are reopening some services, we continue to encourage patients who need to be seen by a medical provider to consider a video health visit in place of physically come to the clinic. This allows us to treat patients conveniently from their home for everyone’s health and safety. Video visits can be scheduled Monday through Friday 7 AM – 5 PM by calling 608.723.2131.
Visitor Restrictions effective 8/24/20
UPDATE TO VISITOR POLICY: (effective 8/24/20)
All individuals (patients, support persons, visitors, or vendors) will be screened at entry and will be required to wear a mask during the duration of the time in the facility.
If you see someone (patient, visitor or staff) without a mask, or not wearing the mask appropriately, please be sure to approach them immediately and assist them to put on their mask correctly or get a mask for them. We are all responsible for the safety and care of our patients and staff member.
Visitor Hours are 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (exceptions for end of life, pediatric patient, OB)
GRHC continues to limit visitors in the facility with the following exceptions:
- UPDATE TO POLICY (effective 8/24/20): No visitors under the age of 18 will be permitted.
- Med/Surgical patients are allowed (1) one visitor at a time and visitor will be issued a nametag when entering the building. Nursing and Registration staff will monitor.
- OB Patient – (1) one support person and/or doula allowed.
- All patients arriving for appointments or testing (including all Clinics, Outpatients, Lab, Radiology, Rehab, and Surgery) are allowed (1) one support person, who may accompany patient to the appointment if appropriate or wait in the waiting room using proper social distancing guidance
- Pediatric Patient – (2) two support people allowed (ER, Outpatients, Lab, Radiology, Med Surg)
Pediatric Patients – (1) one support person per visit at Clinic Visits at all locations
- Visitors for end-of-life situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Med/Surg & ER will communicate with Safe Care Navigator and/or Main/ER Registration staff to alert when patients are end of life so that visitor entry and conversations can be understanding, compassionate and respectful.
- ER Patient – (1) one support person allowed in exam room for adult patients and (2) two support people allowed for pediatric patients.
- The Perfect Blend Coffee Shop continues to offer phone orders and curbside pick-up for public. Inside sales/pick-up are available with customers being screened and required to mask while in the hospital.
- Hospitality Café remains closed to the public for inside dining, but guest trays are available for inpatient visitors.
Note: Additional visitors may be approved at the discretion of the provider only.
Expanded testing for COVID-19 is needed to turn the dial and re-open Wisconsin. We want to help the public better understand the necessary process and procedures that our hospital has put into place to provide testing for patients experiencing symptoms and those at higher risk with chronic conditions.
Should I get tested?
- The Badger Bounce Back Plan calls for testing everyone who has symptoms of COVID-19. People who have been exposed to COVID-19 should also get tested. In general, those not showing symptoms are not being tested at this time.
- Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their doctor and ask to be tested.
- You can also be tested at a community testing site. Testing will be provided at no cost. Some locations may require a doctor’s note or appointment to receive a test.
- Questions about whether or not you should get tested? Contact your doctor or complete an online health screening assessment, and a licensed health practitioner will contact you.
While awaiting COVID-19 test results, you should follow recommendations to self-isolate and self-monitor in order to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19.
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.
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.
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.
Services to reopen slowy
- GRCC increases to regular clinic volume, all patient types except respiratory-continue telehealth
- Potosi and Cassville clinics to reopen
- Med/Surg visitor policy changes to 1 visitor per patient per day for maximum time of 2 hours for non-isolation patients.
- All other visitor restrictions remain for OB, OR and GRCC.
- Rehab increases # of visits
- Cardiopulmonary Rehab reopens with one patient per hour
- Audiology reopens
- Therapeutic Services reopen
- Inpatient surgeries resume on a limited basis
- Specialty Clinic: Dr. Chubb returned May 22
5.11.20 This week Grant Regional started taking steps to carefully and slowly reopen select services and schedule patients for needed care. The reopening of these services will be a slow, measured effort to restart access to important healthcare services while maintaining a continued and heightened focus on safety for patients and staff.
“This week we are prioritizing patients and scheduling ambulatory surgeries and appointments that were postponed and those with pressing health needs, explains Dave Smith, Grant Regional Health Center President/CEO. “We will be slowly increasing in-person clinic visits to see primary care well visits/immunizations, rehab, specialty care including orthopedics, urology, gynecology, general surgery, and other emergent diagnostic appointments. As a courtesy, we are contacting patients and communicating important changes to them prior to their appointment. We understand patients may have questions about what care will be like in this new, ever changing situation, and it’s important to know we have implemented extensive safeguards to ensure the safest care possible. As always, the safety of our patients and team members is our top priority.”
Nearly 8 weeks ago, Grant Regional made the thoughtful and important decision to protect our patients, providers and staff as the COVID-19 crisis began by pausing non-urgent procedures, and shift our care delivery focus from face-to-face, in person patient appointments to virtual telehealth visits. As more services reopen, requirements will stay in place, including visitor restrictions, symptom screening at the entrances, masking, and social distancing while in our facility.
While COVID-19 is new, our commitment to a safe and clean environment is not new. We have long had processes and procedures in place for infection prevention and preventing the spread of illnesses. Our Safe Care promise includes taking extra precautions and measures to protect our patients and staff during this time.
As we begin to welcome patients back, we will maintain our process to screen all patients by taking their temperature prior to coming to the hospital/clinic. All patients should expect to be briefly screened at the hospital main entrance and will be required to wear a mask. If a patient does not have a mask, a cloth mask will be provided for them to use and take with them.
Safety of our patients and staff will be a high priority. In keeping with the requirements of social distancing, we will be staggering appointment times and adding precautionary measures to our registration and waiting areas to make accommodations. We have added safety measures to help communicate the necessity of staying 6' apart from others when in the hospital, distancing and limiting waiting room chairs, and putting floor signage in place to show patients where to safely wait in line. We are also continuing visitor restrictions with a few exceptions. This would include clinic or diagnostic appointments. Patient escorts or drivers will be asked to wait in their car for the duration of the appointment.
Video Health Visits:
We will continue to encourage those with minor illnesses including colds, fever, or sore throat to utilize our video health appointments to set up a virtual visit with one of our clinic providers until we are able to reopen more normal clinic operations. To schedule a video visit appointment, contact (608) 723-2131.
A slow restart to improve access to important healthcare services is a positive step forward, and we hope to resume even more services soon with the safety of our patients and team members as our primary focus. We are carefully working with and following CMS, CDC and state and local health department guidance. We will continue to keep our communities informed as we move forward.
Safe Care Promise
Delaying important medical care can have serious consequences. Grant Regional Health Center wants to reassure our patients that it’s safe to get the care they need, which can help prevent medical conditions from becoming more severe and leading to an emergency visit or negative long-term impacts. Our Safe Care Promise is our way of placing an important focus on enhanced safety protocols designed to help protect and reassure patients our hospital is a safe place to receive care.
In alignment with CDC guidelines, our hospital and clinic services have largely resumed normal operations. Our staff is reaching out to reschedule patients whose appointments were postponed due to Covid-19. If you need medical care, please call your provider to be rescheduled for the care you need.
Here at Grant Regional Health Center, we’re taking extra precautions to keep you safe. It’s our Safe Care Promise. And you’ll find that promise true at all of our locations. When you call to make an appointment we’ll ask you questions about your health and any symptoms you may be experiencing. When you arrive at our hospital, you’ll be greeted by a safe care navigator who will take your temperature, screen you for Covid-19 symptoms, provide you with hand sanitizer and if you don’t already have a face covering, we’ll give you a mask to wear during your visit. All patients, visitors and staff are required to wear face covering in all our locations.
When you arrive inside, you’ll notice that we’ve arranged our waiting areas and registration areas with social distancing in mind to allow for adequate space between patients. We’ve also added extra protection by installing plexi-glass shields at registration bays and hand sanitizer is readily available. We have always followed stringent cleaning protocols for added safety. Our lobbies including high touch surfaces and high traffic areas are disinfected and cleaned frequently throughout the day for your safety. In addition, we are scheduled patients with staggered appointments at all our locations to allow for enhanced cleaning in between patients.
From Grant Regional Health Center and our area clinics, this is our Safe Care Promise to you – our patients.