GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — On Friday, Holzer Health System issued a response to the unfolding coronavirus disease COVID-19 outbreak.
“Currently, Holzer Health System does not have any confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 at our facilities,” a press release from Holzer stated. “Our system has formed a multi-disciplinary task force to ensure that our patients, communities, and employees are provided with safe care. Staff are utilizing educational materials provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce risks. In addition, our caregivers are utilizing algorithms for identifying and treating symptoms, safety precautions for patients, visitors, and staff, and streamlining the process for individuals who may present to our locations in need of COVID-19 screening.”
Holzer further stated in an email:
– Holzer has set up a process for receiving and treating individuals who require COVID-19 screenings. Gallipolis and Jackson are utilizing mobile units outside of the Emergency Departments for collection. Meigs Emergency Department has a separate outside entrance near the rear of the building that will be utilized for this situation. Directional signage is in place.
– We are following CDC and Ohio Department of Health protocols on how to properly screen individuals who meet COVID-19 screening qualifications. Patients are referred to our collection sites by their local health departments or their provider.
– We are restricting visitors to our nursing home facilities, which includes Holzer Senior Care Center and Holzer Assisted Living in Gallipolis and Jackson. Our residents health and wellness is of the utmost importance to our system and we are taking every precaution to ensure their safety.
Also, in regards to the testing for COVID-19, Holzer stated: “COVID-19 lab testing is very specialized and handled by commercial laboratory locations. Holzer does not offer testing at our locations. Collections are sent off for results.”
The press release from Holzer Health System continued with the following information:
We encourage all members of our communities to continue to protect yourself from infectious diseases by using the following precautions provided by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH):
– Stay home when you are sick.
– Avoid contact with people who are sick.
– Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals.
– Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer).
– Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands.
– Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces.
– Clean and disinfect high touch (counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, and tablets) surfaces often.
– Call before visiting your doctor.
– Practice good hygiene habits.
ODH Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, recommends that families and individuals take the following actions:
– Families should have an action plan that identifies individual needs that must be met if a 14-day isolation period is required. This includes appropriate food, prescription medications, non-prescription medications like cold and flu aids, and any other items family members may need for physical or emotional support while ill. If you are caring for grandparents or older adults, keep an eye out for symptoms like difficulty breathing, confusion, or pressure in their chest.
– Families should know the plans for organizations (schools, work, etc.) in your community, and have back-up childcare plans if childcare centers or schools are closed for extended amounts of time. Families should also identify a room in their house that can be used for isolation if a family member becomes ill.
– Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation from public health officials and other credible sources like the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or the ODH website at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
– If you suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19 because you have traveled to an area that has sustained/ongoing transmission of COVID-19 or have been exposed and/or are exhibiting symptoms of cough, fever, and shortness of breath, contact your healthcare provider and let them know you may have been exposed to COVID-19 before visiting the healthcare facility. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take precautionary steps to keep other people from being exposed.
“Holzer Health System is working closely with our state and local health department agencies for any needs that may arise in our communities in response to COVID-19,” the press release continued. “Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Dr. Acton have convened a group of health advisors from the Ohio Hospital Association, which includes Holzer’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Canady, MD, MBA. For up to date information about COVID-19 and resources, visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.”
Information submitted by Holzer Health System.