COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) continues to have visitor restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among patients, the community, staff and providers.
“We appreciate our community’s understanding and patience regarding the medical center’s visitor restrictions,” said Paul Korth, CRMC CEO. “We know that this policy is hard on patients and families, and we are making efforts to be sure that patients and families can communicate with each other through iPads and phone calls. We are also making efforts to communicate with a designated family member for each patient as needed so that they are aware of how treatment is going for the patient.”
The visitor restrictions will remain in place until the community begins to see a steady decline in COVID-19 cases.
“We continue to monitor the number of community cases of COVID-19,” added Korth. “Until we start to see a steady decline in the numbers, we aren’t likely to change the policy so that we can limit foot traffic and the likelihood of exposure within the medical center. When we do start to open up visitation, we plan to do it gradually and phase in visitors in various areas over time.
“We also want to remind the community that they should not delay care because of fears associated with COVID-19,” said Korth. “We are making every effort to keep patients safe from COVID-19 and have put many measures in place to do so. People should not hesitate to come to the ER or the urgent care clinic if they are sick or injured. If you need care, don’t wait.”
Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health, Cookeville Regional has been able to prevent any known internal transmission of the virus among patients, staff and providers.
“Our providers and staff have done an outstanding job in following recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus, through personal protective equipment (PPE), good hand hygiene, proper cleaning and disinfecting as well as the wearing of masks in patient care areas and in public areas throughout the medical center,” stated Korth. “We’d like to remind the community that wearing masks in public is helpful in preventing the spread. When we wear masks, it is to help protect others, not ourselves.”
The CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health have recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
Currently, CRMC has three COVID-19 positive inpatients and has treated a total of 44 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
To protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19, practice good hand hygiene by washing hands often and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% when soap and water are not available. Keep at least a six-foot distance from others in public, avoid large gatherings and wear a facemask to protect others in case you have the virus and are asymptomatic.
“None of us want to unknowingly spread the virus to others, especially those that are high risk and immunocompromised,” added Korth. “It’s a good idea to follow these guidelines for yourself and for the safety others.”