- Are you currently treating patients who are positive for COVID-19?
Yes, we are treating patients who are positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at our hospital.
- Where are these patients located within the hospital?
Currently, all patients who have tested positive, or those who are presumptive positive, and require hospitalization, are placed in an isolated unit dedicated to COVID-19 cases, within our hospital. Should this unit become full, our emergency plan includes the establishment of other secure and safe COVID-19 patient areas within the hospital, or in some cases, outside of the hospital, and away from patients who may be hospitalized for non-COVID-19 reasons.
- Who is caring for COVID-19 patients?
Dedicated teams of nurses and physicians in our COVID-19 unit and ER are caring for positive and presumptive positive COVID-19 patients. Negative-pressure air units are in place to ensure that the airflow from these areas of the hospital remains separate from our other patient, visitor and staff areas.
- What is an N95 mask and who should wear one?
An N95 is a type of respirator mask that can remove particles from the air that is breathed through it. N95 are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including bacteria and viruses. An N95 is recommended only for use by healthcare personnel who need protection from both airborne and fluid hazards (e.g., splashes, sprays). These respirators are not used or needed outside of healthcare settings. In times of shortage, only healthcare personnel who are working in a sterile field or who may be exposed to high velocity splashes, sprays, or splatters of blood or body fluids should wear these masks. N95 masks may be reused, unless soiled or wet. (Source: CDC.gov)
- What is a facemask and who should wear one?
The role of facemasks, or surgical masks, is for patient source control, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes. Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. As of April 1, all patients, staff, and visitors will be asked to wear a mask at all times. (Source: CDC.gov)
- Should I wear a mask everywhere I go?
It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. The CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. (Source: CDC.gov)
- How are you managing PPE? Do you have enough PPE?
While we currently have enough PPE available for our staff, we are following CDC guidance for the reuse and conservation of PPE where appropriate. The safety of our team members is always of the utmost importance to us, and we work within strict parameters for the use of medical-grade PPE for the protection of our frontline caregivers. SVH materials management team tracks daily usage and identifies areas of higher than expected use. This information is then used to implement additional conservation strategies tailored to specific patient care areas such as hospital units or outpatient facilities. Inventory tracking within our hospital also assists in confirming PPE deliveries and optimizing distribution of PPE supplies across all of our facilities.