A priority for any community hospital is to be ready to immediately help its community when an emergency arises. We have worked closely with our nonprofit and public partners in Sonoma Valley in recent years to respond to the wildfire and power outage crises, and we want you to know that your hospital is well-prepared to deal with COVID-19 should it appear here.
While there is no indication that this disease is spreading in our community at this time, Sonoma Valley Hospital has protocols in place, as outlined by the CDC and state and local health agencies, to enable us to safely care for COVID-19 patients while protecting the health of our staff, other patients and visitors.
How To Stay Informed
As the news media reports, this is a rapidly evolving situation in the US and abroad, and we encourage you to stay informed. To help you, we have posted up-to-date information on our website here, including information on preventing exposure provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, Sonoma County Department of Human Services and UCSF. Keep this link handy as the site will be updated as more information becomes available.
While the government is still learning about COVID-19, it has found that symptoms may appear within 2-14 days following an exposure and include fever, cough, and sore throat. In more severe cases, it may include shortness of breath and pneumonia. Experts currently believe that about 80% of cases are mild and do not require hospitalization.
A special concern for us here in Sonoma is our large senior population. We have heard from national public health officials and other local authorities that seniors, and especially the very elderly, are particularly vulnerable because of underlying conditions, and that family and caregivers should take heed to watch out for seniors regarding this contagion, as well as for the regular flu which is still active. We remind you it is not too late to get a seasonal flu vaccination.
We urge everyone to use this health concern as an opportunity to review your preparedness for a long-term emergency at home. As long periods of remaining at home may become necessary, either for self-quarantine or because schools and workplaces are closed, everyone is urged to have a household plan for keeping on hand adequate supplies of food, water, medicines, and other basics.
We sincerely hope that this virus does not come to our community, but if it does, your hospital stands ready to respond. We remain in contact with all local, county, state and federal agencies on this and will keep you informed as the situation evolves.
In good health.
Kelly Mather, CEO, Sonoma Valley Hospital
Sabrina Kidd, M.D., CMO, Sonoma Valley Hospital