Heber Hospital Administrator Addresses Wasatch County Council
Wasatch County Council held their nightly COVID-19 Coronavirus update on Thursday evening. The council heard from both county health experts and the local hospital administrator.
Wasatch County Health Department Director Randall Probst updated the council on the county’s third case of COVID-19. The case is an individual between the ages of 35-60 years old and has not been linked to travel or the other two cases in Wasatch County. Like the first two cases, the individual is in self-isolation at home. Probst was asked if he could specify where in the county the cases were occurring, he said they are spread through various parts of the community.
Probst also showed some changes to the counties Coronavirus webpage, including resources for local businesses and their patrons.
Also, at the meeting was Si Hutt, the administrator of the Intermountain Heber City Hospital. Hutt spoke about how not everyone who wants to will be able to be tested for the disease.
“People are nervous, and they want to be tested, but there needs to be a recognition that there is a shortage on reagents," Hutt explained. "There's a shortage on testing, so we're being really cautious with who we test. So, if you have no symptoms or mild symptoms and you're concerned just stay home. Do the social distancing, self-isolate but there's really no cause for concern at that point.”
Hutt says those with moderate symptoms can call the state’s coronavirus line 800-456-7707 or Intermountain’s line 844-442-5224 where they will then be screened and told whether they should remain home or go to get tested. Hutt says those who qualify can do curbside testing near Intermountain’s facilities.
“By curbside testing, I mean we've got a tent out front and we would ask the patient to go in there," Hutt continued. "The caregiver will come out, we’ll be able to take those samples relatively quickly and then ask the individual to go back home. Continue to self-isolate and we will call them with results and let them know if there are positive or not.”
Test results come back in about 48-72 hours. Those with severe symptoms, including those who can’t breathe, should call 9-1-1 or come to the emergency department, calling ahead if you can. Hutt says while the hospital is a safe place to come, they are taking plenty of precautions to keep it that way.
“You'll see screeners at the doors. We haven't had that in the past, but we have that now," Hutt said. "We don't want people just visiting the hospital if they have those symptoms. We’re very much restricting the number of visitors that we would have come into the hospital. We've adjusted those as we've gone. So really, we're just asking one visitor, and if you have somebody on our Med surg floor, we would ask for no visitors while they're there. Someone can help them get admitted, help them at discharge to get home, but not be visiting there.”
Hutt added those having a baby at the hospital will be allowed only one person with them, and a licensed doula if they’ve arranged for that.
“We're basically saying if you don't need to come to the hospital now, don't come now," Hutt explained. "So if you have an elective surgery, those can be done at a different time. Not canceling, as much as postponing, but now is not the best time to do that. We're still doing urgent and emergency surgeries. If you have an annual wellness visit at the clinic, not the right time to come. For folks who do need to come in and are healthy, we're trying to separate those. Having those patients come to clinic in the morning, and if a patient has made an appointment at the clinic and is potentially contagious, we’re trying to have those folks come in the afternoon.”
Hutt said if people need timely care, like diagnostic and lab tests and dialysis, they are open.