COVID-19 testing project helps demonstrate Montage Health safety
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Is it safe to get healthcare at Community Hospital and other Montage Health facilities? Yes — we’ve taken many steps to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and a just-completed testing project helps demonstrate the success of those efforts.
We tested 500 frontline staff members and doctors at Community Hospital, Montage Medical Group, and MoGo Urgent Care for COVID-19, and only one employee tested positive — a rate of 0.2 percent. (The employee does not provide patient care, and quarantined at home for 10 days.) The rate is similar to that reported at Stanford Medical Center, where 11,000 employees were tested and only about 0.3 percent were positive.
The tests, supported by a generous donation from community members, were conducted in an effort to reduce the anxiety and fear some community members have about seeking care during the pandemic. Delaying care for cardiac concerns, stroke-symptoms, and other issues life-threatening issues has come at a high — or even deadly — cost to some people. Community members are urged to seek the care they need, whether for routine, urgent, or emergency needs.
The test results are just one indication that the measures we have taken to protect staff are working. Since the pandemic began, we have followed CDC guidance to reduce the chances of transmission of COVID-19. At Community Hospital, we are testing patients scheduled for surgery and some other procedures that have the highest risk of transmission. We are also screening all patients at all facilities, taking temperatures and asking questions about symptoms at our entrances. We also continue to limit visitors, which limits the potential for exposure. And we are following CDC guidelines for personal protective equipment, with masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, and other protective wear used as required.
We urge community members to continue practices proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks in public, maintaining social distancing, and frequently washing or sanitizing hands. COVID-19 cases are increasing in Monterey County, and the end of sheltering-in-place and reopening of businesses and services provide potential opportunities for transmission if we do not remain vigilant.
Protective mask do's and don'ts
Riley Parker, Community Hospital Infection Prevention Specialist, answers our most-asked questions about wearing a mask, using it properly, and limiting contamination.