MISSOULA — Gov. Steve Bullock announced on Saturday that two "presumptive" coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have been reported in Missoula County.
Community Medical Center has announced visitor restrictions as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus and noted in a news release that they have "processes and plans in place to respond to situations involving infectious disease year-round."
CMC announced they are taking the following measures to effectively respond to the coronavirus:
- Working closely with the Missoula City-County Health Department & Montana Department of Health & Human Services (DPHHS) and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that we are prepared with appropriate plans to detect, protect and respond should anyone in our community contract or be exposed to COVID-19.
- There is a robust emergency operations plan in place and are reviewing and proactively completing a number of preparation checklists out of an abundance of caution.
- Hand hygiene products easily accessible throughout our facility.
- Screening patients in the emergency department, inpatient units and outpatient clinics based on CDC guidance.
- Staff treating a potential COVID-19 case are provided with all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent exposure.
- Patients with respiratory or COVID-19-related symptoms are immediately provided masks to wear to help prevent exposure to others.
- If a COVID-19 case is identified CMC will follow all CDC guidelines for placing that individual in isolation for their care and for the protection of other patients, employees and visitors.
- Expanded capacity to isolate and care for patients with infectious diseases to include COVID-19 patients by doubling our isolation capacity.
- Reviewing internal capacities daily and are prepared to expand further based on need.
- Temporary visitor restrictions at all our facilities as follows: 1 care partner per patient at any time; 1 visitor at a time in the hospital; no visitors age 17 or younger; Maternity & Pediatric Patients – Parents plus no more than 1 visitor at any time; do not visit if you have had a fever and cough in the past 48 hours
What you can do:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Staying home when you are sick
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, including your phone, computer, remote controls and doorknobs
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- Using an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available (Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty)
- Practicing social distancing behaviors, including working from home, avoiding public gatherings and unnecessary travel, and maintaining a distance of approximately six feet from others when possible.
- What to do if you are experiencing symptoms
CMC also notes that if you are having a medical emergency, you should call 9-1-1 or go directly to the Emergency Room. If possible, notify the dispatch agent that your emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.
For non-emergency needs, if you need medical attention due to respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) please call our 24/7 Nurse on Call at (406) 327-4770 and let them know that you are experiencing symptoms that may possibly be related to COVID-19 or check-in online at our Focused Screening Center at FirstCare on North Reserve Street at CommunityFirstCare.com. This will allow providers to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.