Care facilities impose new restrictions to protect against coronaviruswebmaster March 18, 2020 0 COMMENTS
By Ellysa Harris
For The Journal
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Muleshoe as of Tuesday morning, but the city is taking precautions by protecting its vulnerable populations to ensure they’re prepared should one be reported.
ParkView Nursing Care Center will not allow visitors to enter its facility through April 1 and it’s taking extra precautions with staff members and those who care for the residents in the facility.
Chris Antillon, administrator for the facility, said the decision will be reevaluated at that time to decide whether or not to extend the visitor restriction period.
He understands the desire to remain in touch with and see loved ones so the facility is working to accommodate virtual visits, he said.
“We want to let families know they can call and we can set up Skype or Facebook or Facetime,” Antillon said.
As of Tuesday morning, the facility had 32 in-house residents. The facility is taking precautions with staff by screening them for fever as they arrive for each shift. Employees are also not allowed to leave until after their shift.
The residents also can’t leave.
The goal is simply to protect the residents.
Antillon said the guidelines for ParkView were decided in accordance with the precautionary measures imposed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for long-term care facilities.
ParkView isn’t the only care facility in Muleshoe to impose new restrictions. The Muleshoe Area Medical Center posted a notice on its Facebook page on Monday evening regarding new procedures and restrictions for visitors in an effort to proactively reduce the potential spread of coronavirus.
According to the CDC, those infected may not show symptoms for at least two weeks and can spread it unknowingly. The CDC recommends a self-incubation period for at least 14 days if you or someone you’ve been in contact with has been around a known case of the virus.
The hospital noted that it will remain open and is taking the following measures to limit access to the facility for the foreseeable future. No date has been set for when the hospital expects to lift the extra precautions.
Visitors must be at least 16 years old.
Visitors must be fever-free.
Visitors must be cough-free.
Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis for those visiting patients nearing end of life.
The hospital is also limiting entrance to the hospital to the front main entrance. The only exceptions will be for patients with emergent needs who will enter through the Emergency Room entrance.
Visitors after business hours will be screened at the ER entrance.
Muleshoe Family Medicine and the Medical Clinic of Muleshoe will also temporarily suspending walk-in visits. All visitors to both clinics will also be screened for elevated temperature, respiratory symptoms and travel history.
Entry to the Medical Clinic of Muleshoe will be limited to the hospital’s front entrance and entry to the Muleshoe Family Medicine clinic will continue to be at its front entrance.
Those who need medical services and seek to visit one of the clinics are urged to schedule an appointment as walk-ins will not be accepted. To make an appointment with Dr. Burk’s office (Medical Clinic of Muleshoe), call (806)272-7544. To make an appointment with Dr. Purdy’s office (Muleshoe Family Medicine), call (806)272-7531.
Muleshoe Area Medical Center also asks that those who believe they’ve been exposed to the virus and/or are concerned they may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus call the hospital before seeking care at the hospital or the clinics. The number for the hospital is (806)272-4524.
The hospital also recommends the following guidelines to prevent spread of and/or exposure to the virus:
Wash your hands for 20 seconds
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it away afterwards
Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands
If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol based.