Munsn Healthcare is restricting visiting access to its long-term care facilities and changing visitor policies at hospitals in light of the current COVID-19 concerns.
Munson Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Christine Nefcy, M.D., said the changes are necessary to ensure the safety of patients and staff as the virus causing the disease continues to become more prevalent in the nation and potential cases are identified in the state.
“COVID-19 continues to cause a public health threat and as a health care provider we have an obligation to meet the needs of the communities we serve and protect those most at risk which include the elderly and people with underlying health conditions,” she said.
New rules on visitation include:
Munson Healthcare continues to work closely with local health departments and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to follow World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control guidelines to confront the disease.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. At this time there is no treatment for COVID-19. Anyone who suspects they have the disease should quarantine themselves and be treated with supportive measures such as fluids, rest, and avoiding contact with others. Because of the number of test kits available in the state of Michigan, at this time testing is being limited to those patients who meet CDC and health department criteria only.
People should not go to the Emergency Department, Urgent Care, or Primary Care office just for coronavirus testing. This could potentially expose others to the virus, and it could direct resources away from others who have emergent or life-threatening needs.
Instead, people who think they may have the disease should stay home from work or school, drink plenty of fluids, rest, and isolate themselves. People who suspect they have COVID-19 and need to be evaluated should contact their primary care provider or the local hospital for further instructions. The appropriate time to seek emergency care is when there is an urgent need, such as difficulty breathing, or another life-threatening illness.
Also, people at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 should stay home as much as possible. Those at higher risk include older patients, older adults, and people with serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. To help prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state, Nefcy recommends using the same standard precautions for the flu:
More information on the virus is available at who.int and CDC.gov.
To learn more about Munson Healthcare preparations, go to munsonhealthcare.org.