The staff at Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) is working with area primary care and specialty physicians as well as the Garrett County Health Department to ensure local response to the Coronavirus follows Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and recommended protocols.
Kendra Thayer, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer at GRMC, says the local hospital is apprised of and prepared to follow CDC recommendations for addressing the new viral infection crossing the globe.
“We are working with area providers and our local Health Department in the event that we begin to see Coronavirus patients in our service area,” Ms. Thayer says. “We’re closely monitoring CDC guidelines and updates about the virus, including having the correct processes and procedures in place to care for patients if needed. We want to assure our community that we are as prepared as possible, and we urge the public to follow CDC guidelines to prevent infection and stay healthy.”
According to the CDC, Coronavirus spreads from person-to-person via respiratory droplets. Recommendations for avoiding contamination are the same basic precautions people should take to avoid the seasonal flu: wash your hands often using soap and water; avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, mouth, or nose; avoid people who are sick; cover your sneeze or cough with your elbow or a tissue; and if you do get sick stay home.
“If you start to exhibit flu-like symptoms and are concerned, call your primary care provider,” says Ms. Thayer. “They can advise you as to whether or not you should visit their office for testing. Many people who develop symptoms will be able to remain at home during the course of the illness. Those who have chronic conditions or weakened immune systems are more at risk, and should be sure to see their primary care provider for advice and monitoring. Call your doctor before heading to the office to avoid exposing others to the virus.”
Those who think they may have contracted the virus should NOT head to the Emergency Room; the patient’s primary care provider or the physicians working at the urgent care are best positioned to determine whether or not a patient needs to seek care at the hospital.
“We will update the community as needed throughout this period of uncertainty,” Ms. Thayer concludes. “In the meantime, we want to emphasize the importance of staying healthy. We also want the people we serve to be reassured that GRMC’s excellent clinical staff is prepared to care for them if needed.”
Garrett Regional Medical Center is asking the public to please limit visits to patients in the hospital at this time. Anyone experiencing any signs of illness, such a fever or respiratory symptoms, is asked to please refrain from visitation. Also, please do not bring children to visit patients, if possible. This is a cautionary action, taken to ensure that GRMC’s patients are not exposed to unnecessary illnesses.