Letter to the Editor
In this extraordinary time, as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout our county and across the nation, for Kern Valley Hospital there is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our patients, workers and community. We are ready to face this challenge, and we will do it together, with you, and for you.
- Kern Valley Hospital has been actively preparing for a possible coronavirus disease outbreak for several weeks. We have well-trained staff, who continue to receive updated education in order to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. We collaborate with our sheriff, fire, public health, schools and ambulance services in emergency preparations and drills.
- We are coordinating daily with our county, state and federal public health officials, following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the California Department of Public Health, and the Kern County Public Health Department.
- We will continue to work closely with our local and regional emergency preparedness infrastructure, and are in frequent communication with public health officials as suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 are identified.
- We have been actively working to set up our surge plan in preparation of an influx of patients in the event that would happen. You might notice we have set up our emergency preparedness tents in front of the hospital and outside our Emergency Department.
We know and understand many people are alarmed and concerned. That is because this situation is rapidly evolving, and information changes daily, and in some cases hourly. In order to protect our community, care at Kern Valley Hospital will look a little different, as we have implemented the following safeguards.
- Emergency room care: Our emergency room will be transformed to accommodate increased demand, longer wait times, additional screenings, and deployment of our Mobile Care Clinic.
- If you suspect you may have COVID-19 and you will be coming into our emergency room, we ask that you call ahead to (760) 379-2681 extension 223. Once you arrive, we ask that you remain in your car and call our emergency room and let them know you are in the parking lot. A staff member will come to you.
- For those patients seeking emergency services, please know we are taking every effort to keep you safe while you are in our care. Every effort will be made to isolate suspected COVID-19 patients with the necessary isolation precautions.
- Hospital policies: We have currently curtailed visitation to our acute patients and Skilled Nursing Residents. Our patients have access to an I-pad that they can FaceTime with their loved ones. Exceptions to this policy may be approved through Administration on a case-by-case basis for patient or resident care needs.
- All elective surgeries and GI procedures have been postponed until we have passed this crisis.
We want you to know that we are prepared to care for the residents of our community, be it here in the hospital, our Mountain View Health Center, or in our Mountain Mesa Clinical Pharmacy. We want you to be safe, so please continue to practice social distancing, hand washing, and surface sanitizing. We will get through this together.
Tim McGlew, CEO