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312 9th Street SW, Waverly, Iowa 50677

(319) 352-4120

COVID-19

Corrie Ramige | March 17th, 2020

5/22/20 Update:

Governor Kim Reynolds announced that anyone who would like to be tested for the COVID-19 virus can now be tested. This testing is available through TestIowa.com. Please go to that site to take the assessment and sign-up for a test. Local health care providers do not have increased supplies to test everyone, so hospitals and clinics continue to use the testing criteria from the State Hygienic Lab. TestIowa.com

4/30/2020 Update:

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty in the world, country, state and our community. Since March, we have been working closely with federal, state, and local agencies to ensure we know the latest recommendations and guidance for COVID-19.

To help slow the spread of the disease, many health care organizations stopped providing services that are considered elective or non-emergent. The Governor and public health officials have ended the restrictions on elective procedures and Waverly Health Center is ready to begin offering these services to our patients.

We are working on a phased approach to restart many of the services we scaled back or closed due to our COVID-19 response. Our plan will be subject to continual review based on our patient census, the incidence of positive cases, PPE and supply availability, guidance from local, state and federal agencies, and our ability to provide a safe environment for patients, staff and providers.

We feel it is important to help you understand what we are doing to protect your health and safety. Rest assured that your health is our top priority!

Screening patients and visitors
We’re taking many steps to create a safe work and care environment. Greeters have been set-up at our open entrances to screen patients and visitors. All patients and visitors are encouraged to wear their own cloth masks in our buildings. We will provide a mask for individuals who do not have their own. Patients who have symptoms of COVID-19 are isolated or hospitalized according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines.

Limiting visitors
We have limited access to our hospital and clinics to help reduce the potential for spreading the virus. Patients are allowed one visitor while they are in our buildings. In special circumstances, such as end of life or a critical injury, an additional visitor may be allowed. Visitors are asked to remain in the patient’s room. If a patient has been confirmed to have COVID-19, visitors are not allowed.

Cleaning facilities
A healthy environment is essential for the safety of our patients, visitors, providers and staff. We have strict cleaning procedures in place to disinfect our facilities and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additional cleaning schedules have been set-up for our public areas.

Ensuring staff safety
All of our staff wear masks in public areas and while caring for patients. In addition to the mask, staff will wear eye protection when they are providing direct patient care. Our staff have received additional training on how to use their personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure they don and doff it correctly to prevent spreading germs and viruses. In some instances, our staff will wear special N95 respirators.

Maintaining our inventory of critical supplies
We’ve been carefully managing our resources to ensure we have adequate access to PPE and medical supplies needed for the screening and treatment of patients. Because we now have adequate supplies, we are able to begin offering more services to patients.


4/7/20 Update:

WHC Now Accepting Donations of Cloth Face Coverings

We are currently seeking donations of homemade, cloth face masks. The donated masks would be used at the hospital for non-direct, patient care staff and patients who do not have respiratory illnesses. In addition, they would serve as an emergency resource if personal protective equipment is no longer available.
Information on how to make the masks and specifications for the materials to use is available at: https://bit.ly/3aQbdfK. These face coverings do not require the wire nose bridge as indicated in previous specifications.
You can also learn about wearing face masks in public settings at this same link. Please note that cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
  • young children under the age of two
  • anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
Please call (319) 483-4030 with questions or to arrange a time to drop off donated masks.
We thank you for your ongoing support during these challenging times.

3/30/20 Update:

Please note that due to COVID-19, our Center Pharmacy is currently not taking expired medications for disposal. We will inform you once we resume this service. Thank you!

 


3/25/20 Update:

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information from Iowa Department of Public Health 

2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new kind of coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected in many countries, including in the United States and in Iowa.

There are seven different coronaviruses known to infect humans, including four very common, more mild viruses that cause illness similar to the common cold. Healthcare providers test for these common coronaviruses routinely and no public health measures are needed to address these common coronaviruses. Three of the seven coronaviruses are rare and can cause more severe illness, including the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Symptoms:

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill and dying. Older patients and those with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness.

There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Testing:

More testing is becoming available each day through the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) and through private labs. Your health care provider will make the determination on whether you need a test, and can consult with public health if they have questions. Testing guidance is available here: http://shl.uiowa.edu/dcd/covid19.xml

Additional testing resources here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html

Spread:

The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (about 6 feet). Spread occurs from respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes that land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Prevention:

CDC has issued travel warnings for some affected countries, with warning levels varying based on the risk to travelers. The Iowa Department of Public Health recommends that Iowans who have returned from traveling outside the state for business or vacation in the last 14 days voluntarily self- isolate for 14 days following their return and monitor for fever and other symptoms.

Individuals who have cleared their 14 day self-isolation or public health monitoring are not at risk for spreading COVID-19.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. People can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses to others by covering their coughs and sneezes, cleaning their hands frequently, and staying home when ill. CDC does not recommend face masks for the general public.

Contact information:

Iowa Department of Public Health, call 211 for general questions

 


3/20/20 Update:

Walk-In Clinic – To help stop the spread of COVID-19, the exterior Walk-In Clinic entrance is closed. Patients need to use the Green Entrance at the hospital to go to the clinic. Patients will be screened at the entrance and directed to the Walk-In Clinic.

Center Pharmacy – The lobby of the Center Pharmacy is closed. Please use the drive-up window or ask to have your prescriptions mailed to you. Call (319) 483-4100 to request a refill or to speak with a pharmacist.

Service Updates:

  • Outpatient Surgery – We are only doing urgent or emergent outpatient surgeries at this time.
  • Outpatient Medical Services – On Friday (3/20/20), we will begin serving outpatient medical patients in outpatient surgery.
  • Newborn screenings and lactation consulting – On Monday (3/23/20), we will begin providing newborn assessment services in outpatient surgery.
  • Radiology – We are limiting elective radiology services for the next four weeks.
  • Dining Room – Closed to the public.

Updated Testing Criteria – The State Hygienic Laboratory updated the testing criteria this afternoon. The new guidance allows providers to perform COVID-19 testing if the patient meets one of the following criteria (these criteria may broaden as the pandemic expands and additional testing resources become available):

  • All hospitalized patients with fever and respiratory failure and no alternate diagnosis.
  • Older adults (>60 years of age) with fever and respiratory symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing) and chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, or chronic kidney disease).
  • Persons with fever or respiratory illness who live in a congregate setting (i.e., long-term care facilities, dormitories, residential facilities, correctional facilities, treatment facilities).
  • Essential services personnel with fever or respiratory illness (i.e., healthcare providers, fire and EMS, law enforcement, residential facility staff).

3/19/20 Update:

Starting today, all patients, visitors, staff, providers and vendors will be screened before entering Waverly Health Center. Entrance to the main campus building will be allowed at the Green, Red and Emergency Department entrances only.

Entrance Hours:

  • Red Entrance:  Monday – Friday, 7 a.m.to 5 p.m.
  • Green Entrance:  Daily – 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • ED Entrance:  Daily – 24 hours a day

The screening will consist of several questions and a temperature check. Non-patients with a fever will not be allowed to enter the facility. Patients with a fever will need to wear a mask and go directly to their place of service. Anyone with respiratory issues, but no fever will need to wear a mask.

The process is very important to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


3/18/20 Update:

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever (body temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

 Who can be tested for COVID-19? The following criteria are used to determine if someone should be tested:

  • All hospitalized patients with fever and respiratory failure and no alternate diagnosis.
  • Older adults (>60 years of age) with fever and respiratory symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing) and chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, or chronic kidney disease).
  • Persons with fever or respiratory illness who live in congregate setting (i.e., long-term care facilities, dormitories, residential facilities, correctional facilities, treatment facilities).
  • Essential services personnel with fever or respiratory illness (i.e., healthcare providers, fire and EMS, law enforcement, residential facility staff).

Who decides who gets a test? Providers, using the criteria above and guidance from CDC and public health, will make those determinations and prioritize patients. See above.

What if I have been exposed to someone who is being tested for COVID-19 or has been laboratory confirmed to have COVID-19? Stay at home and isolate yourself from others in the home in the following situations:

I have symptoms similar to COVID-19, should I get tested? The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other seasonal illnesses like the flu or a cold, so just having symptoms doesn’t mean you have the disease. If you are not feeling well, you should monitor your symptoms, stay home and self-isolate. If your symptoms worsen, call your health care provider for further guidance. If your symptoms are severe, seek care at an emergency department.

What should I do if I’m sick? Stay home and isolate from others in the house until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)

       AND

  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)

       AND

  • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

How does testing work? Testing is like getting a test for the flu. Health providers use the same supplies (nasal swab that gets put in liquid for viruses) as for flu to collect a specimen, then it is sent off to an approved lab for testing. Labs need special testing kits to conduct the tests. More and more labs are developing this. It’s critical that individuals who are experiencing symptoms call ahead to their health care provider’s office. Positive test results are communicated back to health care providers and IDPH. This is a mandatory order that’s the same as for other reportable diseases.

How long does it take to get a test result? If testing takes place, results will not be available until at least 24 to 48 hours from when the outside lab receives the specimen.

How do I get a doctor’s note to be cleared to go back to work? Providers will not be giving return to work documentation stating patients do not have COVID-19 or other illnesses. Talk with your employer about other options for returning to work.


3/17/20 Update:

Starting Wednesday, March 18, we are limiting visitors to one support person per patient to help reduce the risk of spreading germs and viruses.

Services closed until further notice:

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • The Spa
  • Tendrils Rooftop Garden
  • Community Education Classes

Listen to the Press Conference including Waverly Health CenterBremer County Emergency ManagementBartels Lutheran Retirement Community and The Bremer County Health Department, regarding the latest on COVID-19. http://bit.ly/2UisyH6


3/16/20 Update:

Per COVID-19 guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding mass gatherings, WHC is cancelling the following events:

• Tuesday, March 17: “Anterior Hip Replacements” with Dr. Jeff Clark
• Saturday, March 21: Prenatal Class
• Tuesday, March 24: “Is Surgical Weight Loss Right for Me?” with Dr. J. Matthew Glascock
• Thursday, April 2: Breastfeeding Support Group
• Thursday, April 2: Heartsaver CPR & AED Class
• Monday, April 6: Healthy You Surgical Weight Loss Support Group
• Tuesday, April 7: Alzheimer’s Support Group
• Saturday, April 11: Parkinson’s Support Group
• Tuesday, April 28: Welcome to Medicare

All walk-in wellness health screens in our lab are cancelled through May 10.

To learn more about mass gathering guidance, go to: http://bit.ly/3aYe5H8


3/11/20 Update:

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the United States. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers, or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread at Geographic Transmission.

Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?

Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 is available from the CDC – United States and IDPH – Iowa.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also 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 possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at this link.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

What are severe complications from this virus?

Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases death.

How can I help protect myself?

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What is Waverly Health Center doing to prepare for COVID-19?

The health center is participating in public health status updates and webinars and closely watching the rapidly changing situation. All patients are being asked travel and symptom-related questions as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health at registration. At this time, Waverly Health Center is not limiting or restricting visitors, but as always, visitors are expected to not visit if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms or illnesses. There are no current shortages of supplies or equipment that are affecting patient care or hospital operations.

What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19?

If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be restrictions on your movements for up to 2 weeks. If you develop symptoms during that period (fever, cough, trouble breathing), seek medical advice. Call the office of your health care provider before you go, and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.

Is there a treatment?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.

For more information: www.cdc.gov/COVID19

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