Grays Harbor Community Hospital plans to begin limiting unnecessary visitation by the public, in preparation for the spread of COVID-19 in Washington State. A press release from the hospital Thursday afternoon explained “As we prepare for COVID-19 spread in Washington State and continue preventive measures to limit the spread of other respiratory illnesses including influenza, we will begin limiting unnecessary visitation by the public to our facilities. We want to protect our patients and healthcare workers by following CDC guidelines including minimizing the opportunity for exposures.”

COVID-19 is particularly dangerous as it is a new virus and there is no general immunity existing in the community. Like the Flu, it is most dangerous for the elderly, and those with existing medical conditions. Most people will have a mild viral syndrome, similar to a cold.

Not everyone with a fever and respiratory symptoms needs to be evaluated by the emergency department. The very ill may need hospitalization, but the goal is to keep as many people at home “self-quarantined” as possible. At this time the Washington Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are determining who gets tested.

Actions you can take now to keep yourself and your community safe:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Stay away from people who are sick with fever and a cough.
  • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue. Throw out used tissues and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face especially your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Make plans for external events such as the closing of schools.
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Grays Harbor Community Hospital (GHCH) does not have testing available onsite. When a patient meets the criteria established by the Department of Health, GHCH can take the appropriate samples to be analyzed by an approved facility. Testing will be available to those who have specific symptoms such as a temperature of 101 or greater, cough and shortness of breath, along with one of the following: known contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, recent travel to specific regions of the world, those sick enough to require hospitalization.

If you think you are sick enough to come to the hospital but you would like to speak with someone, we have a phone triage line: 360-537-5100. You will be asked to leave a detailed message and one of our nurses will return your call within 2 hours.

For the safety of the public and our patients, all public events, classes and group meetings at the East and West Campuses of GHCH will be postponed or canceled until the threat of COVID-19 has diminished.

If directed to go to the hospital by the Washington State Department of Health, first call the GHCH Emergency Department at 360-537-4130. Ask to speak to the Charge Nurse, notify them that you meet the screening criteria, and have been directed to go to GHCH. You will receive specific instructions.

Resources:

WADOH Hotline: 1-800-525-0127 and press #

www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus