Mar 25, 2020 3:37 PM

Clara Barton Hospital: COVID-19 update (March 24)

Posted Mar 25, 2020 3:37 PM

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the staff at Clara Barton Hospital and Clinics have been working around the clock to ensure the safety of both our patients and our staff. At this time there are NO confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Barton County, but we are continually monitoring the guidelines set forth by the KDHE and CDC to ensure we are adequately prepared if a member of our community contracts the virus. We will continue to keep you informed of the latest updates and procedures being implemented at Clara Barton to better protect you, your family, patients, and Clara Barton Employees.

As of March 24, 2020, please be aware of the following:

- We are still limiting visitors to one visitor at a time per patient for the time being. Children under 12 will not be allowed to visit at this time. This is subject to change as the virus continues to spread throughout the state.

- If you feel as if you have symptoms of the coronavirus and plan to be seen at the clinic or in the ER, please call us before your arrival at 620-653-2386. Calling ahead allows us to take the proper precautions necessary in order to avoid the potential spread of the virus to other patients or staff members. When you call, your call will be triaged and you will be asked a few questions. They will then direct you to the appropriate area of the hospital or clinic.

- There is criteria that has been put into place in order to be tested for the coronavirus, but we do not set this criteria. Criteria is set by the KDHE and CDC, therefore you may or may not be tested for the virus depending upon your symptoms, travel history, and other conditions. If you develop symptoms, please contact your primary care provider for further direction.

- KDHE has released guidelines mandating anyone who has traveled internationally, has taken a cruise or river cruise, has traveled to California, Florida, New York, Washington State, on or after March 15th or has traveled to the following counties in Colorado: Summit, Pitkin, Gunnison, and Eagle Counties the week prior to March 15th or after, to self-quarantine in their homes for 14 days. If during those 14 days you develop symptoms of COVID-19, please call your primary care provider on further direction on how to continue your isolation and prevent others from contracting the virus.

- We encourage you to continue practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing to help prevent the spread of this virus. This includes social distancing in our lobby areas. Please ensure there are at least 2 chairs between you other patients and/or visitors sitting in the lobby.

- Patients/visitors arriving at both Clara Barton Hospital or any Clara Barton Medical Clinic will be met at the door by a Clara Barton staff member who will immediately take the patient/visitor’s temperature and ask a series of questions. These screening procedures will assist us in determining if the patient/visitor has symptoms of the coronavirus. The staff member may ask you to put on a mask. If you are asked to wear a mask, please do so in order to protect both yourself and other patients.

- The front door to Clara Barton Hospital will be unlocked from 6 AM – 6 PM. Upon arrival you will be screened by a CBH staff member. From 6 PM – 6 AM the hospital doors will remain locked. Patients and visitors are asked to ring the buzzer on the outside of the front door and screening questions will be asked via intercom before the patient/visitor can enter the building. Clinic doors will be unlocked at their usual time and staff will take their temperature and ask the series of questions as the patient/visitor enter the lobby.

- There will be no outreach clinic visits at any of our clinic locations through the end of April. Please contact your outreach provider if you have questions regarding your appointment.

- Clara’s Corner Café is available for carry-out only. Please call 620-653-5055 to place your order. Please call 620-653-5055 upon your arrival to the café door and orders will be delivered to your vehicle.

Continue Reading Great Bend Post
Mar 25, 2020 3:37 PM
UPDATE: What Kansans need to know about the COVID-19 coronavirus
Health officials say one way to stop the spread of the new coronavirus is to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Kansas News Service

Note: A Spanish-language version of this article can be found HERE.

The new coronavirus is spreading quickly around the world, including across Kansas, and setting off a range of responses.

The Kansas News Service is boiling down key developments in the state and updating the status regularly here. To read this information in Spanish, go here. This list was last updated at 4:10 p.m. April 7.

CASES AND DEATHS

900 cases (see map for counties) and 223 hospitalizations

27 deaths  (the state is no longer disclosing which counties are seeing deaths)

NOTE: These figures only include cases confirmed with lab tests and do not represent the real, unknown total. Community transmission is occurring in parts of Kansas. View additional charts showing the disease’s spread over time and other trends here.

Gov. Laura Kelly is instituting a statewide stay-at-home order as of 12:01 a.m. March 30. It will last until at least April 19. Stay-at-home orders allow people to take care of essential activities (such as grocery shopping or going to work) as well as exercise outside, but otherwise keep to themselves. 

The state’s stay-at-home order supersedes at least 13 county-by-county orders. Should the state’s order lift before a county’s is through, the county can choose to keep its own in effect.

SHOULD I SELF-QUARANTINE?

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is now mandating home quarantine for 14 days if you've traveled to the places listed below. If you come down with symptoms (such as a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, coughing or shortness of breath) during those 14 days, contact your health care provider and explain your potential COVID-19 exposure.  

  1. Connecticut on or after April 6.
  2. Louisiana or anywhere in Colorado on or after March 27.
  3. States with known widespread community transmission (California, Florida, New York and Washington) on or after March 15.
  4. Illinois or New Jersey on or after March 23.
  5. Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties in Colorado (if your visit was March 8th or later).
  6. Cruise ships or river cruises on or after March 15. Anyone previously told to quarantine because of their cruise ship travel should also finish out their quarantine.
  7. International destinations on or after March 15. Anyone previously told to quarantine because of their international travel should also finish out their quarantine.

Some doctors recommend patients with COVID-19 symptoms stay home even if they test negative for the disease, because of concerns that current testing approaches may be producing a significant number of false negatives.

TESTING AVAILABILITY

Several hospitals across the state now offer drive-through testing, but patients must get doctor approval in advance or else will be turned away. Many Kansans can’t be tested unless they’re sick enough to be hospitalized, and results may take up to a week. 

That’s because testing supplies remain limited and private labs helping many clinics and hospitals have large backlogs of samples. Hospitals trying to buy equipment for in-house testing say vendors are backlogged, too. The state will soon have several portable machines that can conduct 5- to 15-minute tests, and plans to lend them out to facilities most in need.

Some Kansas hospitals have succeeded in getting the testing materials and can give patients their results within a day. The state health department lab in Topeka can handle several hundred samples per day — a fraction of the demand.

Under a new federal law, you should not have to pay for your coronavirus test, regardless of insurance status (but patients could still see related bills). Separately, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, the state’s largest private insurer, says some patients won’t have to pay for coronavirus treatment.

HOW ARE UNIVERSITIES RESPONDING?

Public and private universities and community colleges in the state will finish this semester via online classes. Spring sports have been canceled. Most staff travel has been suspended. Graduations at KU, K-State and Wichita State are postponed or rescheduled.

The University of Kansas and Wichita State also plan to hold summer classes online. KU and K-State announced hiring freezes in early April. 

HOW ABOUT K-12 SCHOOLS?

In mid-March, Kansas became the first state in the U.S. to shut down school buildings for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. A state task force then issued guidance for distance learning, for which students aren’t expected to spend more than a few hours a day. 

Some districts that make high schoolers earn more credits than required by the state will graduate them this year based on the state’s lower bar. 

Districts across the state are still providing free meals to eligible children, but some have stopped because of concerns about the coronavirus spreading at meal pickup sites.

WHAT IN DAY-TO-DAY LIFE IS AFFECTED? 

  1. Church gatherings and funerals: Effective April 8, the governor has prohibited services of more than 10 people. That doesn’t count people performing the rituals or funeral workers, but they must stay six feet apart from each other.
  2. State tax deadline: Extended until July 15, in line with a delay for filing federal tax forms.
  3. Evictions: Business and residential evictions are banned until May 1 if a tenant is unable to pay because of the coronavirus.
  4. Mortgage foreclosures: Foreclosures are banned until May 1.
  5. Small businesses: May be eligible for emergency federal loans. Find information here.
  6. Hospitality businesses: Kansas created an emergency loan program, which quickly ran out of funds, but businesses can still apply to help the state assess the need for more assistance.
  7. Utilities: Evergy, which serves 950,000 customers in Kansas, will not disconnect residential or business services for an unspecified amount of time. 
  8. Gatherings: Restricted to fewer than 10 people throughout the state.
  9. State of emergency: Kansas’ declaration is good through May (and can be extended). It gives the government more power to marshal resources and Kelly the ability to make certain decisions when lawmakers aren’t in session.
  10. State workers: Access to the Statehouse is limited to official business only through April 19. Most state workers are doing their jobs remotely.
  11. Prisons and jails: The Kansas Department of Corrections ended visitation at all state facilities, and will “re-evaluate on an ongoing basis.” It urges families to talk to inmates through email, phone calls and video visits. County jails largely have ended visitations as well. 

HOW BAD IS THE VIRUS? 

COVID-19 usually causes mild to moderate symptoms, like a fever or cough. Most people with mild symptoms recover in two weeks. More severe cases, found in older adults and people with health issues, can have up to six weeks’ recovery time or can lead to death.

HOW CAN YOU AVOID IT?

  1. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Frequently.
  2. Cover your coughs.
  3. The CDC now recommends wearing a cloth mask in situations where social distancing isn’t possible; instructions for sewn and non-sewn versions are here.
  4. If you’re an older Kansan or medically fragile, limit your trips to the grocery store or any public space.
  5. Stay home if you are sick — this goes for all ages.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COVID-19

Kansas Department of Health and Environment: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.