Sonoma Valley Hospital continues to monitor the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak and has implemented readiness and response protocols specified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (SoCoDHS).
Steps the hospital has taken include:
- Established internal procedures that comply with CDC and CDPH recommendations in terms of patient screening and isolation protocols, and healthcare worker safety.
- Obtained supplemental personal protective equipment and supplies for Coronavirus readiness.
- All hospital healthcare staff are already trained in infection control protocols. The hospital will supplement this with additional training, if needed, as specified by the CDC or other healthcare agencies.
“Sonoma Valley Hospital is actively screening for persons who may have encountered Novel Coronavirus in China or elsewhere,” said Infection Prevention Manager, Kathy Mathews, RN. “Should we encounter a possible Novel Coronavirus patient, the patient will be given a mask and quickly isolated in a special airborne isolation hospital room. Trained healthcare staff wearing personal protective attire as specified by the CDC will care for the patient. The California Department of Public Health will be notified immediately and will guide the hospital in care of the patient.”
Sonoma Valley Hospital staff are currently screening all patients seeking care for Novel Coronavirus symptoms. This screening includes recent travel to China, and detection of any respiratory symptoms of illness such as a cough or shortness of breath.
“We are stressing preparedness regarding Coronavirus,” said Matthews. She noted that the best prevention measures include the routine precautions we take during every flu season. This includes keeping a distance from persons who are coughing and sneezing, care to cover mouths and noses with a tissue or a sleeve (not our hands) when coughing or sneezing and, most important, to routinely wash your hands or use alcohol hand sanitizer to kill germs.
“Patients should be sure to seek medical attention right away if they have traveled to China within the last 14 days, or have a household contact who traveled there recently and they developed flu-like symptoms,” Matthews said.