PeaceHealth preparing for the worst after coronavirus outbreak in China

If you have symptoms, call the hospital before coming in.

Posted: Feb 7, 2020 5:43 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore.-- As more cases of coronavirus are confirmed around the globe, PeaceHealth presented its protocols and the gear they have to treat any patient they believe has coronavirus.

The medical group showed off masks, air filters, and other protective gear their medical staff use to treat patients with highly infectious diseases Friday afternoon. PeaceHealth said the protocols they follow are directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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James McGovern, vice president of medical affairs at PeaceHealth, said if you feel like you have symptoms, call the hospital before coming in.

"If you have been to China in the last two weeks and you have those symptoms, please don't show up to the emergency department," McGovern said. "Please don't show up to the clinic. Please call ahead. Let us arrange things, do a screen over the phone and then get you to the right place to get an evaluation."

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PeaceHealth said to screen people who enter the hospital, they ask every patient if they have been to China in the last two weeks and if they have coronavirus symptoms. If they meet these criteria, then the patient is isolated in a back room for further testing.

The hospital said only the CDC can test for coronavirus and that process could take up to 24 hours. However, McGovern said just because medical staff may be wearing protective gear, it doesn't mean they are treating a patient with coronavirus.

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"We do put these on for tuberculosis patients. We'll wear these for shingles in certain situations," McGovern said. "So these are very standard for airborne diseases that we want to protect ourselves from."

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