Pearsall, Texas – March 3, 2020 -- Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a novel (new) strain of the usual coronavirus seen seasonally. There has been high levels of activity and interest of this new illness and changing concerns for its impact. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the immediate risk to the American public is low at this time, the CDC also said the U.S. should prepare for possible disruptions to everyday life. Frio Regional Hospital, in collaboration with the city, county and state health authorities are working tirelessly to ensure our community is prepared for not only the current state of the virus but also any future spread of COVID-19 throughout our community.
Overall preparedness efforts include reinforcing appropriate infection prevention protocols, helping to ensure we have needed supplies and equipment and staffing contingency plans.
“We know the entire community is looking at us to keep them safe and healthy. We have the comprehensive safety measures in place to guarantee a safe work environment for our staff and safe hospital for our patients and visitors during this high alert for coronavirus,” stated John Hughson, CEO of Frio Regional Hospital. “We have an Infection Prevention Department and senior leaders who are working with the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council and our partner, Methodist Healthcare, to further discuss preparedness within the hospital setting and community. In addition, Frio Regional Hospital’s partnership with Methodist Healthcare system allows us access to HealthTrust – a large medical supply group that can supply necessary personal protective equipment to our staff. Although Frio Regional Hospital has the capability to treat patients, our purpose is to ensure proper transition of care.” added Hughson.
Frio county and surrounding areas has a low immediate health risk from COVID-19 with its overall mortality rate being lower than the influenza. “We need to remind our community, the hospital treats patients every day with far more dangerous and deadly respiratory illnesses such as influenza, which has already caused 19 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths this season in the U.S alone,” states Dr. Oscar Garza, Chief of Staff for Frio Regional Hospital.
Community can protect their own health as well as the health of their family members and community by remembering those actions that we should always take:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often, using either soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel for at least 20 seconds
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Follow all guidance on appropriate PPE use for all patients
- Engage with Infection Prevention early if there are any questions on potential
For more information, please visit:
- CDC COVID-19 page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Department of State Health Services Coronavirus Call Center at 1.877.570.9779.