Eisenhower Health officials sent out a letter providing an update on the treatment of the county's first coronavirus patient, an 83-year-old woman.
The patient began treatment at Eisenhower Health four weeks ago, according to hospital officials. She actually just celebrated her birthday last week and officials say she will walk out of the hospital one month later a healthy person.
Since the first case last month, Eisenhower Health has made a number of changes to help with the response to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Development of a triage system and the 24-hour Eisenhower Health hotline.
- Nurses have fielded over 12,000 phone calls, leading to more than 409 patients being tested (not counting those who were re-tested). 16 of those patients tested positive (3 at Eisenhower Health), 177 patients tested negative, and 209 are awaiting their results.
- If you want to be seen at Eisenhower Health, call the hotline first at 760-837-8988 or 760-TEST988. Avoid the spread of this illness.
- Eisenhower Health also ordered PCR lab equipment before the outbreak. This allows the hospital to perform its own coronavirus tests internally and reduce the turnaround time from days to hours.
- Thanks to donors, the hospital order an additional 50 ventilators before just a few days before demand increased in the United States. Because of the support of donors, the delivery is expected in weeks not months.
- Eisenhower Health is increasing the number of ICU isolation beds. The hospital will go from 17 to nearly 50 and is turning patient rooms into critical care beds.
- The hospital is transitioning non-essential physician offices and clinics into telemedicine hubs. Patients in clinics such like Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center and Eisenhower Desert Cardiology Center will be able to call into their physicians for consultations.
- Essential employees are beginning to work from home in ways that have "never been done before."
- As the outbreak started to grow, Eisenhower Health postponed elective surgeries and instead focused on coronavirus isolation cases. A section of the second floor of the Washington building has been set up for negative pressure isolation rooms ready for patients.
- Another big development was the hospital's infectious disease outbreak leadership plan. For example, the hospital has one team focused only on the possible surge of patients while another team focuses on creating the coronavirus inpatient unit.
- Officials are looking into contracting a daycare school on campus for employees with children who are currently out of school.
Eisenhower Health officials want to remind residents that now is the time to remain vigilant and stay away from the public. Follow these public health recommendations from health experts:
- Practice social distancing, which is remaining out of places where people meet or gather and avoid using public transportation, if possible.
- Do not attend work, school or events when sick. Stay home.
- Cough into your elbow or tissue.
- Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer often.
- Stay away from anyone who is sick.
If you have any questions about coronavirus, you can call the Centers for Disease Control with any questions at 211 and 800–CDC –INFO (800 – 232 – 4636).