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MHCC Public Brief for COVID-19, March 25th, 2020

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Contact: Karl Hertz

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Is COVID-19 In Converse County?

There has been ample concern expressed this morning about the presence of COVID-19 in our county. Memorial Hospital of Converse county uses the same testing criteria as the rest of the state. Patients are only tested for COVID-19 when they meet the criteria in place by the CDC and Wyoming Department of Health.

While two patients tested positive for COVID-19 through Memorial Hospital of Converse County’s Respiratory Illness Clinic, they both live and work in Natrona County. The Wyoming Department of Health is classifying these cases as Natrona County. Converse County DOES NOT have any confirmed cases of residents with COVID-19 at the present time.

We all should still prepare for the very real possibility of COVID-19 being present in our community. The Surgeon General has advised the following, “Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now. So, test or no test, we need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else. Or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home.”

Please take responsibility for your actions and health. Remember to maintain social distancing if you must go out, cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often, and pay attention to important updates. It is up to each of us to slow the spread and to flatten the curve.

COVID-19 Testing - Concerns of Costs To Patients

We have received questions from our community regarding the costs associated with COVID-19 testing. On March 18th, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Act into law. This act helps alleviate financial worries the public may have with the costs of testing for COVID-19.

Memorial Hospital of Converse County uses a pre-screening process on our COVID-19 hotline (307-358-7399) and at our Respiratory Clinic to help our staff determine the need for Respiratory Illness or COVID-19 testing. Patients will be asked a series of questions in this pre-screening process to determine if they meet the prerequisites for COVID-19 testing. The services provided as a part of determining COVID-19 testing are covered by the Families First Act and are provided to patients at no charge.

If a patient has received a bill concerning COVID-19 please contact the Billing Office at (307) 358-2122. As well if you or someone you know has concerns about exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 including: fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, please call our COVID-19 hotline at: (307) 358-7399.

New Location For Respiratory Clinic and Updated Screening Process

The Respiratory Illness Clinic at Memorial Hospital of Converse County will move to 222 S. 5th Street in Douglas, effective Friday, March 27th. In addition to this change, we will institute a slight edit to our screening process, effective immediately. (Please see the attached questionnaire for further details.)

Further Updates To Changes In Operations (those bolded and italicized are updates):

COVID-19 spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. In order to keep our patients and staff safe, Memorial Hospital has enacted the following measures.

  • The Memorial Hospital of Converse County Respiratory Illness Clinic will move to 222 S. 5th Street in Douglas.
  • The Respiratory Illness Clinic is open daily from 7 AM to 6:30 PM, and 9 AM to 3 PM on the weekends.
  • MHCC Primary Care Clinics remain open. Every patient will be asked the screening questions prior to entry into any building. This includes our Oregon Trail Rural Health Clinic in Glenrock and the Register Cliff Rural Health Clinic in Guernsey.
  • Outlying Specialty Clinics are Closed and patients are being contacted via phone.
  • Elective surgeries beginning 3/23 are cancelled and will be rescheduled following this time of National Emergency.
  • Emergent and urgent surgeries and procedures will continue as needed.
  • Primary Care Providers will be cancelling or rescheduling non-urgent appointments.
  • MHCC has restricted access to all visitors and guests.
  • The Hospital Main Entrance will be open and monitored Monday thru Friday from 7 AM to 5 PM
  • All interior doors will remain closed.
  • All hospital exterior doors will remain locked after hours.
  • The Emergency Department Entrance Will Remain Open 24 Hrs.
  • Volunteer Services, including Care Ride, have been suspended.
  • The Arbor Café and Mocha Molly’s are both Closed to the Public.

COVID-19 Hotline:

Memorial Hospital has established a COVID-19 Hotline for patients with questions or concerns about their symptoms. The Hotline is managed by the Emergency Department at MHCC. Patients who call the Hotline with symptoms will be asked a series of questions (see attached). Treatment advice will be given based on the patient’s answers.

The Hotline Number is (307) 358-7399.