Stillwater Medical Center announced Thursday evening that the hospital is caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, and has created some added restrictions for visitors.
"Stillwater Medical received a positive test of COVID-19 for a patient currently in the care of their facility. The results were received earlier today and the proper precautions have been made to keep our healthcare workers and other patients as safe as possible," SMC spokesperson Shyla Eggers wrote. "Infection Control teams at Stillwater Medical are using best practices and tracking technology to help ensure that COVID-19 does not spread to other patients, healthcare employees or the community. This includes having protective barriers and isolation areas to protect staff and others from exposures."
According to CEO Denise Weber SMC is working with a team of leaders, physicians and infection prevention specialists for planning and protocol. Visitors are restricted from the third floor and ICU with a few exceptions until they are sure the COVID-19 is no longer transmittable.
"This is a difficult decision to make, but it is critically important that we do all we can to keep our patients and healthcare workers safe during this outbreak,” Webber said.
SMC listed the following exceptions:
* Patients who are at the end-of-life or other extenuating circumstances may be allowed visitors
* Minors under age 18 may have one parent or guardian.
* Those who have been granted exceptions must leave the hospital as soon as they leave the patient’s room and may be asked to wear a mask while in the facility.
"Infection control is always paramount in the protection of our patients, visitors and staff," Webber said. "The best way to protect yourself from transmission of the virus is to practice social distancing and by washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with others, staying home if sick, covering coughs and sneezes and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.”
SMC posted earlier in the day that it can only test people who meet a strict criteria due to a state shortage of testing supplies. The criteria are fever and respiratory symptoms, those already hospitalized, people who have chronic symptoms, the immunocompromised, or "any person, including healthcare personnel, who had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient."