Kiowa County Memorial Hospital staff is ready and waiting
Covid-19 has started to affect the day-to-day lives of Kiowa County residents, including how they are able to use the Kiowa County Memorial Hospital (KCMH). Due to the march of the coronavirus disease across the state, entry to KCMH is now being limited to two locations (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Outside of those times, the only entrance open is the emergency room doors.
To slow the spread of the virus, visitors and patients alike have to have their temperature taken and complete a questionnaire. Those in the swing bed can only be visited by two immediate family members or a significant other.
“Exceptions can be made by provider order in special cases, such as end of life circumstances,” said Mary Sweet, KCMH Administrator.
Sweet also said appointments at the clinic are being scheduled at different times for patients with respiratory symptoms and those without. Along with other precautions, all of the KCMH staff members have their temperatures taken at the beginning of each shift, and are very aware of the symptoms the virus carries with it.
“The information that we are receiving from KDHE and CDC indicates that the spread of this virus is imminent. With a mobile population and the access given by Highway 54, we have to be vigilant to help with the spread of this illness. We cannot assume we will be immune. If asked two weeks ago, my answer might have been different, but having seen what a difference each day is making, I don’t think we can expect to be immune from this virus or its spread. Taking precautions in our private lives and healthcare environments, is how we can help to flatten the curve that we are being told to expect in the progression of this disease,” said Sweet.
Sweet said she wanted to encourage people not to panic during this uncertain time. She understands that people are being asked to curtail their way of life, but it is not forever. This is a challenging thing to overcome, but it is certainly not the first challenge the residents of Kiowa County have overcome. This virus is deadly and contagious, but a few easy steps can be taken to do one’s part in slowing the spread: Washing hands, limiting travel, and limiting exposure in groups of people.
“My staff has been amazing through this challenging time. At a time when we are being encouraged to stay home and protect ourselves, they are coming to work every day, knowing that we will be seeing and treating those who might have the virus. [The KCMH] Staff are making sure that we continue to provide quality, medical care to those who need it for other medical conditions. They constantly are working with me, to make sure that we have a safe environment to continue to offer healthcare to our community. KCMH Staff are people just like everyone else. They are worried about their elderly loved ones and families, concerned about how to care for children out of school, concerned about keeping home supplies, concerned about carrying on when everything is so changed. In short, they are amazing and will be here to continue to care for you,” said Sweet.
Other accommodations are being made at Kiowa County Memorial Hospital in way of the pharmacy. There are three ways to receive prescriptions: curbside pickup, delivery, or mail. All of these options are free. The pharmacy may be contacted with any questions regarding this new system.
KCMH’s managers are meeting every weekday to discuss and modify emergency plans and preparations as needed.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s website has up-to-date information on COVID-19.