On Friday, Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center released updates and reminders regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Upper Allegheny Health System Communications Specialist Janene Coldren listed the following:
ELECTIVE SURGERY – As mandated by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, elective surgeries at Bradford Regional Medical Center are suspended. Olean General Hospital will follow and cease elective surgeries starting Monday. BRMC and OGH will continue to perform emergent surgeries.
CONFIRMED CASES – Thus far, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in McKean or Cattaraugus counties, as reported by the Department of Health. The lack of testing kits throughout the U.S. continues to be an issue and therefore, the lack of confirmed cases probably isn’t a true measure of COVID-19 activity in our communities. Therefore, it is important for our patients and residents to practice social distancing, staying home unless necessary, practicing good hand hygiene, etc., to prevent the spread of this virus.
STAY AT HOME - The New York and Pennsylvania governors have issued business and school closings in an effort to keep people at home. It really is an important step to help slow the spread of the illness. Medical staff are working tirelessly to prepare and care for patients. Taking preventative measures are vital to help healthcare facilities manage patient care during this pandemic. We know these restrictions can be emotionally and financially frustrating but it's important to do your part to keep you, your family, your friends, and your neighbors safe and healthy.
SUPPLY NEEDS – Hospitals across the U.S. are competing for resources. N95 and non N95 masks are in high demand among all healthcare facilities. Recently, a regional corporation donated 1,000 N95 masks to a hospital in its effort to help out. Anyone who may have an extra supply of masks and would be willing to donate them to BRMC and OGH, can contact email@example.com.
TESTING - For testing information, please call your healthcare provider. DO NOT CALL THE HOSPITAL OR COME TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT OR PHYSICIAN OFFICE PRACTICES. Communications have been sent to healthcare providers regarding testing guidelines. Healthcare providers will need to determine whether or not the individual needs to be tested. If the healthcare provider approves someone for testing, the provider (not the individual) will contact the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. Finally, the individual will be notified by the DOH if he or she should be tested and/or quarantined at home.
VISITATION POLICY — OGH and BRMC have suspended all visitation at the hospitals and The Pavilion with exceptions made for those in critical care/near end of life, OB (spouse/labor coach allowed), pediatrics (one parent/guardian allowed)
SCREENING UPON ENTRANCE — We continue to screen all individuals that enter our facilities. We will start screening employees on Monday.
DENTAL SERVICES — Routine dental services are temporarily suspended. Emergency dental care will continue at the Gundlah and Delevan Dental centers.
IF YOU ARE SYMPTOMATIC — As a reminder, per the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or if you develop a fever and symptoms - such as cough or difficulty breathing - call your healthcare provider for medical advice. DO NOT COME TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, HOSPITAL OR TO PHYSICIAN OFFICE PRACTICES. Your provider will advise you over the phone on how to proceed.
IF YOU ARE SICK — If you have a fever (100.4 degrees F/38 degrees C or higher), cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms. They will instruct you on how to proceed. If your symptoms are severe, such as difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, pain/pressure in the chest, please call the emergency room in advance. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. Avoid contact with others; stay home when you are sick.
CORONAVIRUS PLANNING — Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital have established an organization-wide coronavirus steering committee and command center operation to address this pandemic. The group has been coordinating emergency preparedness, response efforts, as well as daily communication with state and county agencies. Those efforts continue around the clock in the health system.
Note: Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center will not share personal information about patients tested, treated or admitted for COVID-19 in order to protect their privacy as required by federal law.