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Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 4/1

Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 4/1

Testing and Confirmed Cases
To protect patient privacy, we have established a minimum threshold of five for reporting numbers of inpatients with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

DCH internal counts as of noon on 4/1/20:

  • Five or fewer inpatients are being treated for COVID-19 (note, this number was 6 yesterday but has since dropped below the minimum threshold we are reporting).

  • Five or fewer inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.

  • Five or fewer inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.

  • 20 (cumulative) have tested positive for COVID-19 including individuals from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.

  • 712 (cumulative) have tested negative at DCH sites.

Temperature Scanning Update
The new, phased process for checking temperatures at major hospital entrances will launch in the South Medical Tower at DCH Regional Medical Center at 6 a.m. tomorrow, April 2. The same process will be implemented at all three DCH hospitals and other DCH sites as staffing becomes available.

As noted in the March 31 update, the process requires every visitor, employee, provider and vendor to submit to a temperature scan at least once a day. Any person with a temperature of 100 degrees F or greater will not be allowed to enter (but can seek care if there is a need).

Once a temp is taken, each person will receive an armband to be worn on the arm or laced through the ID badge. Armbands will be valid until the next business day at 6 a.m. The armband color will change daily except for Saturdays and Sundays when the same color will be used across both days.

In addition, all who enter will be given a mask to wear. It will be required in direct patient care areas or when a distance of 6 feet can’t be maintained between people.

The average daily census or occupancy at DCH Regional Medical Center is a little over 400 patients. Today that number was just over 300 and has continued to trend downward.

What does that mean?

In part, the drop in volume is related to the temporary pause in elective surgeries, and that is expected. The bigger concern is that people may be delaying care they really need and that could make their individual condition much worse when they finally do go to the hospital.

DCH has divided its Emergency Rooms (going so far as to add walls) so that those with respiratory conditions are kept separate from others. This has been done to keep our community as safe as possible. We want to make sure everyone knows that if they need care, they shouldn’t hesitate to call on us; we will be here for them.

Helping Community Businesses
DCH has received a tremendous outpouring of offers from the community to help with everything from donated masks to meals for health care workers. The DCH Foundation stepped in to help coordinate mask and thermometer donations. Now, as donors have reached out wishing to contribute financially, the Foundation has created the COVID-19 Fund.

As an extension of that, The DCH Foundation’s COVID-19 Fund has launched a program called “Feeding the Frontline” to match people who want to help the DCH Health System and local restaurants at the same time. With a donor contribution of $250 for a single meal or $1,500 for a week of meals, the Foundation staff will connect with a local restaurant, purchase the food and work with DCH’s Volunteer Services Director to arrange for it to be sent to a department at one of the DCH Health System campuses.

Contact Brandt LaPish at if you are interested in participating.