If you turn on your television, browse the internet or access social media, you will most certainly see news regarding coronavirus COVID-19. It is understandable to have concerns and feel somewhat anxious. I want to assure you that Wedge Medical Centers puts the safety of its members and staff above all else. Wedge Medical Centers is prepared to continue providing exceptional behavioral health services to the communities we serve while working with state and local governing bodies to lessen the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Our operations and management staff continue to monitor this global pandemic. With the constant evolving of this global health crisis, meetings are held daily to ensure Wedge Medical Centers is up to date with all current facts and recommendations made from state & local health departments, Centers for Disease Control and the Federal COVID-19 Task Force. Our meetings focus on emergency preparedness, continuity of care, safety of staff and members, site sterilization and cleanliness.
Working together, we can reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. In collaboration with other health care systems, we restricted visitors to sites to limit the potential spread if COVID-19. We are utilizing telehealth health services in effort to limit physical contact and site contamination. Hand-washing with warning to avoid touching one’s face are done via postings and verbal prompts. We have communicated to all staff effective social distancing practices (6 ft of distance) without social disengagement. Recognizing the signs of infection are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Members are encouraged to stay home if feeling sick. Educating our staff and members can benefit the communities we serve by being well informed and practicing safe effective healthcare practices.
We have educated our staff by providing and posting “facts about the coronavirus” along with several other publications released by experts in the field. Below is a summary of facts regarding COVID-19 released by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. (www.cdc.gov/COVID19)
- COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) is a respiratory illness that is mainly spread from person to person. This virus was first detected in China and has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including the United States. Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. The risk of infection is higher for people who are in close contacts with someone who has had COVID-19 (healthcare workers, family members). COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that are released when one coughs or sneezes. These droplets be inhaled into the lungs or land on surfaces or objects thus contaminating them. Touching a contaminated surface or object then touching one’s own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, is another potential was of spreading the virus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by cleaning your hands often for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. You should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands while avoiding close contact with people who are sick. You can limit the spread by staying home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
- COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
Wedge Medical Centers is committed to continue providing exceptional behavioral health care during this difficult time. It is truly and honor and privilege to serve our community by providing exceptional care.
Lloyd C. Alcera, MD
Medical Director – Psychiatrist