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Hospital issues updated Response Plan

March 30_ CVRMC- Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center (CVRMC) has moved to the next level of precaution in their “COVID-19 Response Plan.”

NOTE: Update item #6  as of March 31

There are currently two entry points at the hospital, the Main Entrance and the Emergency Entrance. The following is the new protocol for everyone entering the hospital facility or CVRMC clinics:

  • All Patients, Visitors, and Employees will be screened (temperature tested) at all entry points – hospital and clinics.
  • If it is determined that a Visitor or Employee has a temperature, they will not be allowed to enter the hospital or clinic.
  • If it is determined that a Patient has a temperature, the patient will be provided the correct PPE upon entry.  If you are a patient coming in for services, please be proactive and cover your mouth and nose before you reach the entrance.
  • At all entry points – hospital or clinic, Visitors and Patients will be given a “Screening Form” that will be checked off by Entry Staff.  All Visitors and Patients MUST have this “Screening Form” visible to staff at the hospital.
  • If you are in the hospital or clinic without a “Screening Form,” you will be asked to go through the screen process at the entry points or you may choose to leave.
    • Patients are currently allowed one “Designated Visitor.” The nursing staff will obtain the name of this “Designated Visitor” and the “Designated Visitor” name will be accessible at the entry points. The “Designated Visitor” will use the Main Entrance of the hospital during business hours, 6:30AM – 8:00PM. After 8:00PM, the “Designated Visitor” will check in at the Emergency Entrance.  (This item was updated 24 hours later with this new protocol.) 

Key members of CVRMC continue to have several daily meetings regarding COVID-19.  Daily discussion includes supplies, equipment, bed count, and personal protective equipment (PPE).  Reports are given daily regarding current supplies, equipment, staffing, and PPE availability.

CVRMC has 4 licensed ICU beds, but in emergent situations, the hospital is equipped to surge up to 14 ICU beds and 36 in-patient beds for a total of 50 beds. Information on bed capacity is reported on a daily basis, the status of current patients, and plans are in constant evaluation should a surge occur.

PPE protects healthcare workers as well as patients and visitors from viral and bacterial infections that can enter through the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth.  PPE includes facemasks, gloves, face shields, gowns, and goggles, to name a few items.

Currently, all healthcare facilities, including emergency responders, are in need of PPE.  Not only facemasks, but gowns, gloves, and goggles, too. CVRMC is tracking the inventory and utilization rates of these items on a daily basis and is in constant contact with suppliers for availability.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the authority in guiding healthcare facilities in the best practices for controlling and preventing the spread of disease. The appropriate use of PPE is a major part of the regulations put forth by the CDC and outlines “Strategies for Optimizing the Use of Facemasks.” 

These strategies are broken down into Conventional, Contingency, and Crisis capacities. As hospitals across the nation are experiencing a crisis in their PPE, a last resort is to use homemade masks, even though the CDC and CVRMC do not acknowledge it as confirmed, tested PPE. Many hospitals are referring to these masks as “comfort masks” and will be used in non-clinical areas of the hospital.

CVRMC has requested homemade masks from members of our community in preparation for a “Crisis Capacity” situation. Lee Ann Powers took the lead on this effort and has mobilized many amazing community members to cut and sew the “Olson Mask,” a pattern that is being used by many other hospital facilities who are in short supply.  CVRMC leaders in Infection Control and Nursing will determine the best utilization and distribution of these homemade masks.

Other efforts include the making of several “face shields” through the use of a 3-D printer by Copper Rim, third-grade teacher, Jeff Battese.  Mr. Battese has made several for the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation as well as CVRMC.  In being proactive, CVRMC is also reaching out to mining companies, construction companies, and other organizations that may have excess PPE – N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, goggles, etc.

Again, the surge capacity of the hospital is 50 beds (14 ICU).  If this disease should spread quickly, the number of needed beds may surpass the number of beds available.  This is why social distancing, limiting personal contact, covering your cough and sneeze, washing your hands, and staying at home unless it is an emergent situation are critical actions. These behaviors help to slow down the spread of the disease to people at high risk who may need hospitalization.  Patients who are hospitalized for other medical conditions need to be considered in this bed count, also.

If you can help with PPE, please contact Evelyn Vargas at 928-812-9267. Also, www.CVRMC.org has the latest hospital updates. Valuable sources of information are the Gila County Health Department, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the CDC websites.

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