Williamson Medical Center released a new statement Thursday night relating to the coronavirus, including the announcement it will convert one of the hospital’s wings into an isolation unit for new COVID-19 cases.
Here is the full statement:
Williamson Medical Center continues to stay up-to-date on the most current COVID-19 guidelines from the Tennessee Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and World Health Organization. We are taking the necessary precautions to protect our patients and staff while continuing to serve the healthcare needs of our community, and are deploying strategies that work best in our facilities in response to the changing situation.
In light of the additional confirmed cases in Middle Tennessee, and in expectation of new COVID-19 cases, we have converted a wing of the hospital into an isolation unit for the potential treatment of COVID-19 patients. We are assessing other locations within the hospital that may also be converted to additional isolation units if necessary. We have also implemented a screening and intake process in our Emergency Room.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and respiratory symptoms, please call your healthcare provider first and they will direct you on what you need to do. It is important to consider your symptoms before calling or coming to the hospital or your healthcare provider:
- Those who are not exhibiting symptoms will not be evaluated or tested for COVID-19.
- If you would not normally seek medical care for your present symptoms, you do not need evaluation and testing.
- Those with mild symptoms, regardless of the source, will most likely be sent home to self-isolate and restrict contact with others to reduce the likelihood of spread.
As a precautionary measure to further protect our patients and staff, we also continue to enforce a no-visitor policy with limited exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Decisions will be made in consideration of the physical and emotional needs of patients and their families.
- We are allowing one significant other to be present with expectant mothers, and parents will be allowed to accompany their child.
- We are allowing one immediate caregiver to be with patients who need physical assistance.
While COVID-19 is new, preparing for responses to a potential crisis is not new to hospitals. Emergency preparedness training is a year-round activity with regular exercises to test these plans. Your health is always our priority, and Williamson Medical Center is fully prepared and confident in the measures we have taken and protocols we have in place to treat patients who have the virus, while protecting our staff and other patients.
COVID-19 is a virus that should be taken seriously with a levelheaded, fact-based approach. Working together as a community in exercising precautionary measures will help us curtail the spread of this virus and protect those among us who are elderly or with underlying health conditions who are always most vulnerable to sickness of any kind.
As a reminder, personal protective measures that we all should follow include:
- Stay home when sick.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
- Do not share personal items such as water bottles.
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
To stay informed about COVID-19 visit www.CDC.gov or call the Tennessee Department of Health patient hotline: 877-857-2945 with questions.