The first cases of COVID-19 patients in the John C. Fremont Hospital Ewing Wing were confirmed Friday, May 6, with five residents testing positive. Over the weekend an additional five residents were confirmed positive for a current total of 10. All residents were vaccinated and boosted. Five staff members have also tested positive and are at home in isolation.
For residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 the hospital has rooms designated as isolation units with their own dedicated staff. Nursing home residents who exhibit symptoms of the virus, along with any roommates they might have, will also be transferred to these isolation units.
Families of the residents were contacted and notified immediately on Friday and over the weekend.
“In spite of these challenges, it is important for families to continue contact with our residents so they feel the love and support. We encourage family members to reach out to our residents. We will be happy to help coordinate communication with them in any way we can. Postal service continues at our facilities, as does our telephone service,” said Matthew Matthiessen, CEO of John C. Fremont Healthcare District.
All visitors, non-essential health care personnel and vendors are restricted from entering the facility with the exception of visitors for end-of-life care, who must wear masks and other personal protective equipment. Group activities and communal dining for residents inside the facility have also stopped.
“Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our residents, nursing staff and other care providers. Our staff is trained in proper use of PPEs and are following all relevant guidelines in infection control. Our patients are receiving the best care from our staff,” said Matthiessen.
Our Infection Prevention and Emergency Preparedness Managers are conducting contact tracing to ensure identified staff members have been placed into quarantine and that we have implemented the appropriate cleaning protocols.
To reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19, we continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). We are staying in close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps under the current circumstances, including:
· Enhanced infection control precautions, such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when we care for residents, increasing the availability of hand sanitizer, and more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces. Residents have also been relocated within the facility to prevent the spread of the virus causing COVID-19.
· Screening residents and staff for COVID-19 symptoms, as well as anyone else who must enter our facility. Only staff who must enter the building will be permitted entry.
· Suspending visitation for acute patients except for end-of-life.
· Ewing Wing staff and residents will be tested for the virus causing COVID-19 based on current protocols.
· All staff working or visiting in the main hospital are recommended to wear an N95 mask.
The health and well-being of our residents and employees is our top priority.
“I want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to keep you safe and healthy in these unprecedented times. From additional intense cleaning of our hospital to limited entry points and visitor restrictions, our priority is your health. We are working closely with our public health officer,” said Matthiessen.
The John C. Fremont Healthcare District Crisis Command Center has been deployed since March 4th, 2020 and are trained and prepared for this COVID-19 outbreak.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, fever or chills, cough, congestion, shortness of breath, malaise, fatigue, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache or diarrhea, contact our clinic at 209-966-3631 and if you have an urgent medical need, call our Emergency Room at 209-966-3631 to advise staff of your arrival and symptoms.
Our Emergency Department, clinics, and lab and imaging departments are open and practicing a high level of protection for our patients.
John C. Fremont Hospital would like to remind everyone to wear a mask when attending the hospital or clinics, wash your hands regularly, and stay at home if you are sick. As cases are increasing in the county and our surrounding counties, it is advisable for the community to have PCR testing, especially with allergy season here.
This is an evolving and rapidly changing incident and we will continue to update the community.
For more information, contact Therese Williams, director of public relations at [email protected]