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Hermann Hospital and Clinics COVID-19 Information

March 20, 2020

Hermann Hospital and Clinics COVID-19 Information

Hermann Area District Hospital is a critical care hospital in rural Missouri. Like most critical care hospitals we have 24 beds and admit patients to acute care (typically 96 hours) or skilled nursing care for longer durations.

The 24 bed and 96 hour criteria may be subject to change with the COVID 19 pandemic.  The hospital and clinic staffs had multiple meetings in the last week to prepare for the COVID 19 threat. 

I care for patients in the inpatient area, nursing home as well as those that admitted to hospital service from the Emergency Room.  Staff, patients, families and community members asked many questions.  I will include as many questions and answers as I can on a daily basis as we receive updates and changes to practice frequently as we work together to overcome this challenge.

If I am sick with a respiratory illness what should I do?

First, call your doctor’s office and discuss the plan.  Do not just walk into your doctor’s office as you might infect other patients and staff.  If you have already reached the office you can stay in your vehicle and call the office.

It is not recommended to go in for a routine visit while you have respiratory symptoms.

In the next few days Hermann Hospital and the clinics will set up a dedicated line for these calls and an off-site COVID-19 testing center.  We will share the number with everyone.

If I or a loved one has a severe respiratory illness or difficulty breathing or is in unstable health, what do I do?

Call 911 or go to the ER without delay as you would normally but be prepared that there may in the future be signs directing an other-than-normal door to enter.

Have there been any COVID positive cases in Gasconade County? 

None so far that we’re aware but other areas discovered previously-unknown cases when testing expanded.

Should I wear a mask?

The use of masks by people in the community has not been recommended as a preventive measure because widespread purchases of protective masks can limit supplies to critical medical personnel.

If someone has respiratory symptoms such as a cough or is sneezing they should wear a mask when going inside the clinic or hospital.  If you are caring for someone with respiratory symptoms then a mask is recommended

Does washing hands and alcohol based sanitizer actually help?

Yes, it really does! The Coronavirus has a lipid or fatty coat that dissolves and disintegrates with soap or alcohol. So just imagine each time you wash your hands or use hand sanitizers you actually reduce numbers of virus. Hand washing is more effective than hand sanitizer but don’t forget your thumbs and under the fingernails.  Wet your hands thoroughly before you apply soap and spend at least twenty seconds washing your hands.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss social distancing and how “flattening the curve” avoids disaster.