Regional Medical Center officials say they’re preparing to provide appropriate care for coronavirus patients.
Meanwhile, residents are being urged to follow the typical precautions to prevent illness.
“We are aware of an escalated level of concern and anxiety among members of our community,” said Dr. John Samies, RMC’s chief of medical staff.
“To reduce the risk of its spread, people should use the same protections as they would to fend the common cold or flu. Social distancing and appropriate handwashing is essential,” he said.
Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties have not yet had any reported cases of coronavirus.
A special task force led by Samies meets daily to review recent developments regarding the coronavirus, monitor the spread of the virus and discuss how it could potentially affect the area and operations.
RMC says it has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for staff and patients on hand.
Precautions and preparations underway at RMC include:
• All essential RMC staff, nurses and physicians have received additional education and training about symptoms, collection of specimens, isolation protocol and personal protective equipment. This includes all outpatient primary care offices and the Bamberg Barnwell Emergency Medical Center.
• RMC is following CDC guidelines regarding strategies to optimize supplies especially given the national shortage of medical supplies needed to treat COVID-19 patients.
• Educational information has been posted throughout the hospital and its off-site practices/locations.
• All patients presenting with respiratory symptoms will be masked as soon as possible.
• RMC’s Infection Control department, in partnership with the local DHEC office, will identify patients that require testing for the coronavirus.
• Following CDC guidelines, RMC has identified negative pressure rooms that would house potential coronavirus patients while the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control runs diagnostic tests to determine whether the patient has the virus and what level of quarantine would be appropriate for those patients who display coronavirus symptoms.
RMC says it has appropriate quarantine procedures in place to reduce the chance of contamination.
RMC is asking anyone who recently traveled outside the United States or had close contract with someone who has or is experiencing flu-like symptoms, to contact their health care provider immediately and not visit hospitalized patients.
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