Editor’s note — The following is a message to the Highland County community from Highland District Hospital President and CEO Randy Lennartz about the hospital’s response to the coronavirus:
Under the current COVID-19 threat, we are being asked to do the opposite of what our profession and daily routine asks of us — distance ourselves from people.
When we chose health care, we accepted the challenge that at some point in our career we would find ourselves in the epicenter of response to help those who are in need. Right now, that time has come, and the health of our community and our employees is of utmost importance to us.
Highland District Hospital (HDH) has been taking steps over the last weeks to prepare for the rapidly changing recommendations and needs of our patients and community under these circumstances. We are in constant contact with the Highland County Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health, putting all necessary protocols and procedures into place to assure the well-being of our patients. We have met with our local Highland County Emergency Management Agency and EMS officials to ensure proper transition of patient care. We have been in consultation with our medical staff to provide clinical guidance in planning future control measures to help blunt the pandemic reach. All of these measures have been implemented to keep our community and employees safe.
Although changing daily, we are making the current recommendations and restrictions based on the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes will take effect on Wednesday, March 18, 2020:
* Every entrance to Highland District Hospital will be stationed with a screening station. All patients and employees entering the doors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
* We will be postponing all elective surgeries for approximately three to six weeks. You will be notified by your physician and their office if your surgery is deemed elective or necessary. Highland District Hospital will work with each patient to ensure a rescheduled time accommodates each patient’s need.
* If you have any questions about our procedures, feel free to contact our infection control officer at 937-840-6612. For general COVID-19 questions, call the Ohio Department of Health hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
While this time is uncertain, rest assured our dedicated employees are prepared to help anyone who presents with a need. We ask that you please be patient. Please be kind. Please be aware of your surroundings. And most importantly, we ask that you please do your part to help us be more responsive to the governor’s call to action to help stop this pandemic event.
Find out how you can help by visiting www.cdc.gov for more information, and watch our Facebook page for ongoing updates.