Jefferson Healthcare is closely monitoring evolving developments with COVID-19. We use established protocols to detect and isolate any patient who might meet infection criteria established by the CDC. We are working closely with the Department of Public Health and follow their guidance. Extensive and thorough procedures are in place to ensure the health and safety of our community.
Data on COVID-19 is still emerging, and the Washington State Department of Health is reporting that while the immediate health risk from COVID-19 has increased with the newly diagnosed cases in our region, for the general public it still remains low. And as a reminder, the vast majority of individuals with the disease experience mild symptoms.
If a community member has questions, we have been instructed to direct them to the Washington State Department of Health website for the most up to date information. As of this date, the DOH is applying strict criteria for patients that they believe are candidates for the COVID-19 test. The Public Health Department has informed us that the criteria for testing are expected to expand over the coming days as more tests are available.
Patients that are experiencing flu-like symptoms or other respiratory illness and are concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19 should contact his or her primary care provider for guidance. We are discouraging patients with mild respiratory and cold symptoms from seeking care at the Emergency Department prior to consulting with your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, please contact the Public Health Department.
Effective today we have launched a dedicated COVID-19/Respiratory Illness Nurse Consult Line 360.344.3094 to answer specific questions regarding the virus and address exposure concerns Monday – Friday 8:00am -5:00PM but is subject to change with notice. Additionally, we are exploring a dedicated space for evaluating patients with respiratory illness provide testing for appropriate individuals. It is important not to expose others, especially vulnerable populations if you are experiencing fever, cough, sore throat and sneezing; therefore, it is very important to call before presenting to the doctor’s office or Emergency Department – unless there is an urgent or emergent health condition requiring immediate intervention.
Out of an abundance of caution to protect our most medically vulnerable community members, we are discouraging unnecessary visits to the hospital, including the cafeteria until further notice. For our community, preventing the spread of the virus is important and everyone can help. Practice good hand hygiene; stay home from school or work when you feel sick, wash hand often with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Here is what you can do to help https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fpreparing-individuals-communities.html