“This person returned home and went into self-quarantine,” Jennifer Burcham, the hospital’s site manager for public relations said in a March 17 statement indicating proper steps were taken to protect staff from exposure.
“The patient is recovering at home.”
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On Friday, the hospital president said a respiratory surge unit had been opened “for multiple levels of care, including high-risk respiratory patients. We will continue to adjust capabilities as the situation evolves.”
Patients are screened outside the emergency room through a”split-flow-process” for patients with symptoms of upper respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms from others.
“With the incredible speed at which things are changing around us, Atrium is continually adapting its plans to provide both clinically excellent care to our patients and the highest level of support to our employees,” Bricking added in a response to questions from this newspaper.
The hospital is following Center for Disease Control guidelines “to identify and isolate patients who might be contagious, and to prevent unnecessary exposure so that patients affected by COVID-19 will be able to get the care they need while protecting staff,” Bricking said.
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In addition, the hospital has equipment and facilities “for patients with COVID-19, but also for other patients.”
“We are conserving supplies, and none of them are at critically low levels. Steps proactively taken, such as postponing elective surgeries, have helped conserve resources such as blood, ventilators, and personal protective equipment for providers,” the Atrium president said.
Bricking directed those wanting to donate “personal protective equipment” to email HelpingHands@premierhealth.com or visit the hospital’s web site. He also expressed thanks for support from local and state officials and recognized hospital staffers.
“Atrium’s outstanding physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and support staff on the front lines of this ongoing battle are truly community heroes. Every day they are demonstrating bravery, patience and compassion to make a profound difference during this extremely difficult time,” Bricking said.