Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreak and following the procedures outlined by federal, state, and local public health agencies.
The spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) internationally and within the United States has prompted concern about the risk of transmission in the Northeast Connecticut community. DKH has been following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CT Department of Public Health (DPH) and is ready to respond to any cases in the area.
“Our primary concern is the health and safety of our patients, families, and staff,” said John Graham, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Quality and Medical Affairs, Day Kimball Healthcare. “With cases of coronavirus now confirmed in our state, we are preparing for and responding to the risk of the disease spreading into our community. We are employing proactive measures to slow and contain transmissions of COVID-19, to keep our patients, visitors, and staff safe.”
DKH is screening all patients with upcoming appointments with basic questions about travel and symptoms. Symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
DKH urges individuals to call their healthcare provider before going to the office if they believe they may have coronavirus, or if they have been in close contact with a person known to have coronavirus, especially if they are experiencing moderate-to-severe respiratory symptoms and have traveled recently.
DKH requests that individuals not come to Day Kimball Hospital Emergency Department, Day Kimball Medical Group outpatient clinics, the Day Kimball Walk-In Clinic in Plainfield, or other medical clinics in the community to have those particular symptoms evaluated, unless they are experiencing a medical emergency, or have been instructed to do so by a doctor.
“DKH is not currently treating any patients with confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus. However, we have seen an exceptionally high number of patients with influenza this winter. Each patient presenting with flu-like symptoms is evaluated thoroughly to prescribe a care plan. If you have traveled in an area with widespread community COVID-19 during the past month and are now ill with a possibly respiratory tract infection, please call your doctor, or the clinic, first before proceeding there so you can be cared for in a safe manner,” advised Dr. Graham.
Assessment of these potential patients is first being performed over the phone. Potential patients are being evaluated remotely or outside of DKH’s facilities in protected areas to ensure that staff can provide instructions to help keep patients and others safe from possible exposure.
“Potential patients who require hospitalization will be directed to enter the Hospital through the decontamination entrance at the Emergency Department. They will be placed in a negative pressure isolation room and treated by healthcare professionals wearing a higher level of protective equipment. Doctors will evaluate and examine the patient and possibly refer the individual to DPH, which will determine whether to administer a test for coronavirus,” said Dr. Graham.
DKH recommends that everyone follow safe hygiene practices to stay healthy and prevent illness including: frequent hand washing; refraining from touching the eyes, nose and mouth; coughing and sneezing into the elbow; and staying home if sick.
As with any new infection, information and recommendations are changing frequently. For the latest information, read more on the CDC website, www.cdc.gov, and the CT DPH website, www.ct.gov/coronavirus.
Learn more about measures Day Kimball Healthcare is taking to address the spread of coronavirus at www.daykimball.org/coronavirus or call 2-1-1, the CT State Hotline for information.