COOKEVILLE – After seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in the community and in local hospitalizations, Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is suspending overnight elective surgery cases beginning Monday, July 13, until the number of COVID-19 cases begin to significantly decrease.
“We are making this change to open up more hospital beds as we continue to see the number of COVID-19 patients increase in our community,” said Paul Korth, CRMC CEO. “With that said, I can’t emphasize enough to our community that it is safe to come to the hospital and the emergency room for medical care. We have strict precautions in place to prevent the spread of the virus in the medical center. If you need care, don’t wait. We have not had any known internal transmission of the virus and do not want people to delay care out of fear.
“What we do ask the community to do is to take steps now to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community by wearing masks in public, socially distancing, washing their hands frequently and avoiding large gatherings. We have seen the number of positive COVID-19 patients sharply increase over the past several days,” added Korth. “We now have 20 positive patients in the hospital with 30 other patients in the hospital on isolation awaiting COVID-19 test results. This is the highest number of patients we’ve had in the medical center to date due to COVID-19. Limiting the spread within our community is key.”
CRMC has also had its fifth COVID-19 related death. The elderly patient sadly passed away Thursday morning and had other underlying health conditions.
Cookeville Regional Medical Center 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.
“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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health has recommended the wearing of 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.
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.
“As we’ve said before, 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.”