Conemaugh COVID Update - March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

Conemaugh Health System continues to adapt to meet the clinical needs of our communities during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and through this, we remain committed to providing high quality care and protecting the health and safety of our patients, employees, physicians and community at large. We have been working closely with the PA Department of Health and the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An important element to our preparedness is conserving essential resources needed to care for patients with COVID-19, where possible, as we navigate this rapidly evolving situation and prepare for what the next few weeks may hold.

In accordance with recent guidance from CDC and HAP we have made the difficult, but necessary, decision to reschedule elective and non-urgent cases for at least 30 days when deemed clinically appropriate. Patients whose appointments are being rescheduled are being notified, and procedures will be rescheduled as soon as feasible. We are continuing to schedule new cases at the discretion of the provider.

Importantly, rescheduling elective and non-urgent cases:

  • Conserves essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for our frontline staff members;
  • Conserves hospital and ICU beds, supplies and other resources; and
  • Ensures we will have all necessary personnel available to support our sickest patients.

The trust our community places in us is so important. We want to assure our community that it is safe to come to our hospital should you or a family member need care. Our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to safely respond to viruses and infectious diseases, including COVID-19. We have made the decision to reschedule elective and non-urgent procedures because it will help ensure we have the people and resources necessary to meet the needs of our patients in the coming weeks. We know that it is the right thing to do.

We appreciate your understanding and support as we continue to do everything we can to prepare for the potential impact of COVID-19 on our community. For more information about hospital preparedness, please visit our website at Conemaugh.org/coronavirus. For more information about COVID-19, please contact the PA Department of Health at health.pa.gov or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.

As a reminder, if you are concerned you are experiencing respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and plan to visit our hospital, your primary care provider or an urgent clinic, please call ahead before you go and let them know that you are experiencing symptoms that may possibly be related to COVID-19. This will allow providers to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed. If you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Room. If possible, notify the dispatch agent that your emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.