In recent weeks, our community and our hospital has seen a drastic spike in COVID positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths. CCMH has opened a second COVID unit to assist with the increased need for hospitalization, but both of these units routinely run at (or above) capacity. Much of our state’s hospitals are feeling the same pressure and frequently, there are no available hospital beds in the state able to accept patients. These issues are becoming more widespread throughout the nation as we get closer to the holiday season. Many organizations – from hospitals to universities – are having to create, implement, and refine contingency plans as positive cases explode throughout the US. COVID is now spreading at a rate we call “exponential growth.”
Now more than ever, we need you to protect yourselves, your families, and your patients. Incident Command tracks employee exposures, and these exposures are increasing weekly – mainly, from community sources, acquired outside of the work environment, where people may not be as careful as they should be. Wearing a mask and washing your hands are two great things you can do to protect yourself, but they DO NOT replace the need for social distancing.
We are all experiencing “quarantine fatigue” and “pandemic fatigue”. We are all tired, and we all want life to return to how it was before COVID was a threat. We miss our family, our friends, our nights out, our date nights, our birthday parties. However doing these things right now puts our community, our families, and our hospital at major risk. What we are experiencing now will continue to worsen unless we are able to reverse course, and the only way to begin to reverse course is to abide by the three W’s:
Wear your mask
Wash your hands
Watch your distance
Stay home if you are sick, avoid others who are sick, and make use of services that allow you minimal contact with people in crowded places (grocery pickup or delivery, curbside takeout, virtual visits for doctors, etc). These things will reduce your risk of coming into contact with someone who has COVID, and will reduce the risk of you transmitting COVID to others in the event you may have COVID, but be asymptomatic. Travel away from home or attending large family gatherings for the holidays is strongly discouraged at this time.
As always, employee questions about COVID or hospital policies can be sent to Incident Command, or the CCMH COVID 19 email hotline.
The state department of health has set up a hotline for information regarding COVID-19. If you have concerns or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, call 877-215-8336. You can also call your primary care doctor or use a telehealth service to reduce exposure.
For more information and the latest updates on COVID-19, you can visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov and www.cdc.gov.