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MHCC Public Brief for COVID-19, October 16th, 2020

Friday, October 16, 2020

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Hospital Update - COVID-19 Surge and Status of Inpatient Care

Memorial Hospital of Converse County (MHCC) is entering week four of the continuous care of COVID-19 patients. The COVID-19 patient symptoms and supportive needs vary. The number of COVID-19 patients has varied from 1 to 5 patients at a time. The hospital's goal is to provide compassionate care for all our patients while protecting our providers and staff. Some changes to the visitation policy have been enacted to protect patients, staff, and visitors. Those details are listed below.

MHCC has built temporary negative air pressure inpatient rooms on the Medical/Surgical Floor of the hospital. Negative air pressure rooms draw air into the patient room and then outdoors, ensuring no room air is pushed into the adjacent hallway. At present, the hospital has nine negative air pressure rooms and can care for 17 COVID-19 patients at double-occupancy. The Mother-Baby Unit is also located on the hospital's 3rd floor and is a locked unit, separated from the Medical/Surgical patients. Outpatient surgical patients continue to be cared for in the PACU located on the hospital's second floor. Any surgical patients requiring an inpatient stay are cared for on the Medical/Surgical floor; however, surgical patients are cared for at the opposite end of the building in a separate corridor. Inpatient surgical rooms are under positive air pressure, meaning air is forced out of the room and into the hallways.

MHCC Hospitalists, Pharmacists, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and other staff are up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 treatment therapies. They have the necessary medications and equipment needed to support and care for patients with the COVID-19 virus. MHCC is in regular communication with CRMC, WMC, CCH, and other hospitals in the region to share resources if needed.

The hospital's volunteer-led Ambassador program and Care Ride program are suspended for the foreseeable future. MHCC is asking anyone visiting any MHCC building to wear a mask. MHCC wishes to impress upon the community that mask-wearing, hand hygiene, and social distancing are crucial behaviors to adopt and practice. Each person must do their part to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19, especially as we enter the cold and flu season. This virus is deadly, it is serious, and easily spread.

Changes To Visitation Policies At MHCC - Effective Immediately

As of Thursday, October 15th, Memorial Hospital of Converse County has effectively placed the following visitation policies to the departments outlined below. These policies reflect an effort to minimize traffic through various parts of the hospital due to the rise of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in our communities. While we enjoy having community members visit our facilities, we must encourage discretion and ask that unnecessary trips to the hospital buildings are minimized. Thank you for your understanding.

Emergency Department

  • All Patients will be asked to wear a mask
  • Visitors of Emergency Department Patients will be determined on a case by case basis

3rd Floor - Inpatient Care

  • Inpatients are allowed up to 2 visitors per day.
  • All visitors will be asked to wear a mask.

Mother/Baby Unit

  • One support person is allowed during the entire visit.
  • The support person will be asked to wear a mask.


  • One support person is allowed at a time with the surgical patient.
  • Pediatric surgical patients are allowed up to 2 visitors.
  • The support person will be asked to wear a mask.

All Clinics

  • Visitors will be determined on a case by case basis.
  • Visitors will be asked to wear a mask.

Urgent Care

  • Visitors will be determined on a case by case basis.
  • Visitors will be asked to wear a mask.

Hospital Staff

  • Visitors of hospital staff should meet in public areas (not inpatient care areas).
  • Visitors will be asked to wear a mask.

COVID Patients

  • Visitors will be determined on a case by case basis.
  • Visitors will be requested to sign a COVID-19 consent to visit.
  • Visitors will be provided with and required to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

General Visitation Policies

  • Spiritual care will be allowed at the patients' request. The spiritual care person (clergy) will be requested to sign a COVID-19 consent to visit and wear a mask.
  • All visitors will be screened and asked to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) based on the patient who is being visited.
  • No children will be allowed to visit who are under sixteen (16) years of age.

Surgery Patient Testing - COVID-19

At present, all pre-operative patients at Memorial Hospital of Converse County are tested for COVID-19 unless they have a known positive in the prior three months. When scheduling for surgery, patients will be asked the following: "Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three (3) months?" If a patient previously tested positive and is currently well and released from quarantine, the patient will not be re-tested and proceed to surgery. If the patient is sick, surgery will be rescheduled.

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. To keep our patients and staff safe, Memorial Hospital has enacted the following measures.

  • The Ambassador Program and Care Ride are suspended for the foreseeable future.
  • Visitations policies to the hospital have changed, effective immediately
  • The Respiratory Illness Clinic site is supported by Medical Office Building and Emergency Department staff.
  • All MHCC Clinics and Services are open and supporting in-person appointments.
  • Telehealth visits are offered for patients.
  • The Hospital Main Entrance will be open and monitored Monday thru Friday from 7 AM to 5 PM.
  • All hospital exterior doors will remain locked after hours.
  • The Emergency Department Entrance Will Remain Open 24 Hrs.

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. Treatment advice will be given based on the patient's answers.

The Hotline Number is (307) 358-7399.