Trying times call for new rules at FVH

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Dustin Wright

LE MARS — With cases of COVID-19 increasing around Floyd Valley Healthcare’s (FVH) service area, the hospital announced additional measures to keep their patients and staff safe late Monday.

“We understand that these restrictions will be difficult for patients, family members, friends and loved ones. However, our top priority is the protection of everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable. Similar to other hospitals across the nation, we are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and staff. We ask for the cooperation and understanding of the public — we as a health system must act responsibly and do everything we can to minimize the spread of this virus,” said Dustin Wright, CEO.

Effective immediately, FVH has suspended all elective surgeries until further notice.

“We need to conserve resources including protective equipment like gowns and masks, inpatient beds and other supplies,” Wright explained. “Procedures are not cancelled altogether, our staff will be calling to reschedule patients in the near future.”

In addition to postponing elective surgeries, the hospital will not be allowing visitors at this time, with a few exceptions:

• one significant other for an OB patient,

• one parent for a pediatric patient, and

• immediate family of patients who are receiving end of life care.

Wright asks anyone who needs to discuss their particular situation to contact Mindi Miller, nursing service manager, at 712-546-3440.

“For those attending scheduled appointments at Floyd Valley Healthcare, we ask that adults attend appointments alone if they are able and only one adult attends with a pediatric patient,” Wright said. “Please do not bring extra adults or children that are not being seen by a provider.”

In the meantime, Wright asks that the public continue to take the following steps to protect themselves and their loved ones:

• Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Please call ahead prior to coming to FVH for emergent or urgent care.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

• If you are sick, limit close contact with others as much as possible.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

• Practice social distancing by avoiding crowds and limiting physical contact, i.e., shaking hands or hugging.

According to Wright, requests have been pouring in from community members about how they can help, including offering to make homemade masks for hospital personnel.

“In the near future the hospital will soon be accepting donations of homemade masks,” he said. “We are researching the proper design and material so that assure that we are adequately protecting our staff. We will release this information as soon as we can.

“Currently, we are taking donations of N95 masks, face mask, face shields, gloves and new or used goggles. Please drop these items off at the East Entrance,” Wright added.

As CODIV-19 continues to affect FVH’s service area, Wright reminded the public the best way to get the most up-to-date information is by visiting, idph.iowa.gov, or calling the Iowa Department of Public Health 24/7 at 211.

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