Grinnell, IA – March 5, 2020 – UnityPoint Health® – Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) places the care and safety of our patients, families, guests and team members as top priority. As a result, GRMC is carefully monitoring the COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus, and making preparations to care for patients if needed.
“As with any global health emergency, we take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously,” says Jennifer Havens, CEO of GRMC. “While this is a new disease, the processes required to ensure patients are treated appropriately while protecting our staff and the public are not unfamiliar to us. It’s important to remember our hospitals and clinics effectively care for individuals with contagious illnesses every day, and our staff is well-trained.”
UnityPoint Health has convened a team of leaders and subject matter experts focused on providing consistent direction and information across all UnityPoint Health sites, including GRMC. The team is meeting regularly and partnering closely with state departments of public health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the most up-to-date information and guidance related to COVID-19.
GRMC’s medical staff and infection prevention leaders are working with the UnityPoint Health team and following the latest guidelines issued by the CDC for screening, testing and infection control among patients suspected of COVID-19 infection.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), here are some important reminders:
- It is important to understand the risk of influenza is much higher than the risk of COVID-19 in Iowa right now.
- Prevention of COVID-19 is the same as that for other respiratory illnesses (like flu):
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
- Contain germs by staying home when ill
- If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms, please consider calling your doctor, clinic or the ER before arriving. They may be able to assess your symptoms over the phone and then instruct you on what to do next. This may help to prevent the potential spread of disease.
The IDPH and CDC are closely monitoring COVID-19 and will provide updated information as it becomes available. For the most up-to-date information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.