Local hospital issues update on COVID-19

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By Amy Speed

Director of Marketing & Development

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics is requesting all patients who are experiencing respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 to call their primary care provider first before coming to the Guttenberg, Garnavillo, or Edgewood Cornerstone Family Practice clinics, main hospital or emergency department.

Symptoms of COVID-19 in people who have been exposed can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

GMHC leaders continue to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC) and have developed a specific response plan for both the hospital and Cornerstone Family Practice clinics.

“We urge all patients who are symptomatic and may have been exposed, to call their primary care provider first. The provider will determine next steps,” said CEO Tim Ahlers. “Of course, in an emergency, please call 9-1-1.”

Updated visitor restrictions

•Visitors shall be limited to two at a time per patient

•No visitors under 14 years old will be permitted

•Do not visit if you have any symptoms of a cold, the flu or COVID-19

GMHC events canceled

To ensure GMHC does not contribute to additional risk of exposure to the virus for the colleagues, physicians, patients and the communities it serves, effective immediately, GMHC will not participate in or hold external community events. This includes events within any of our facilities or within the community.

Please note the following events have been cancelled:

Wednesday, March 18 & April 15: Diabetic Support Group

Thursday, March 19: Grief Support Group at the Family Resource Center

Tuesdays, March 24, April 14 and 28: Parkinson’s Support Group

Thursday, April 2: Lunch & Learn - Early Childhood Screening and Cancer Support Group

Wednesday, April 8: Auxiliary Scrub Sale

Friday, April 10: GMHC Blood Drive (will be held for staff only)

Friday, April 24: Auxiliary Volunteer Luncheon

Tuesdays: Walk with Us

This action follows CDC guidelines to limit gatherings which could unintentionally put GMHC colleagues, patients and community members at risk. These guidelines are in effect until at least April 15 and will be reassessed at that time.

The most important thing for residents to do is to continue the prevention measures they would use for any respiratory virus.

• Avoid close contact to people who are sick.

• Clean your hands frequently with soap and water, keeping your hands away from your face.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or upper arm.

• Contain germs by staying home when ill.

• CDC and IDPH do not recommend face masks for the general public who are well.

For the most current information about the novel coronavirus, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus.

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