It has been nearly two months since Sierra Vista Hospital suspended performing nonelective surgeries, procedures and tests. During this time, we have continued to see patients in our Emergency Department, Clinic, Laboratory, Radiology and Rehabilitation Services on a limited basis. We have also screened over 300 patients for Coronavirus and fortunately we have only had one positive test in the county. We have had many inpatients in our facility that were in isolation as we waited for test results, but again fortunately all have been negative. Now we are preparing to gradually reopen our services.
As we start allowing more people into the building, you will see some changes in how we do things. Everyone entering the hospital will be screened before entry and everyone will be required to wear a mask. Waiting areas have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing. For the most part, family members are not allowed to accompany others for their appointments or into the Emergency Department.
If you are having surgery or an outpatient procedure at Sierra Vista Hospital, things will be different also. Prior to surgery each person must have a negative COVID-19 test, have an available driver to take them home, and someone at home to help them as needed.
Our nursing staff is calling each person to reschedule surgeries/procedures and a COVID-19 test. If we do not have a negative COVID-19 test result, the surgery/procedure will be rescheduled.
We have been very fortunate to be able to maintain a strong supply of PPE for our staff and patients. Our inventory is solid, but that can change quickly if we experience an outbreak in the county.
Our staff is as anxious to get back to work as those of you who are anxious to resolve your health issues. I can assure you that Sierra Vista Hospital is taking every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe. We follow all CDC and New Mexico Department of Public Health recommendations. All exam and procedure rooms and all the equipment in them are cleaned with antibacterial agents. Our staff members continue to self-monitor daily by taking their temperatures, washing and sanitizing their hands often and wearing masks to protect others. We are committed to our community’s and patients’ safety.
I would also like to thank all our staff for their efforts over the last few months. They have been diligent, flexible, and resolute in dealing with this pandemic. Also, to everyone in the community that has provided food, snacks, masks, well wishes and general support, we all say thank you.
Please continue to be vigilant in your social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing!