Tehachapi healthcare professionals are preparing for the possibility of coronavirus within Greater Tehachapi.
Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley is screening any patients or employees at the entrance. Visitors of patients are not allowed into the building, except for very limited circumstances, and they encouraged to use Facetime, Skype or another video platform to stay connected to their loved one.
“Clinicians are evaluating the situation daily, and these policies will remain in place until it is determined that we can return to a normal operating environment,” AHTV President Jeff Lingerfelt said in an email.
Many AHTV employees not directly involved with patient care are working from home and health fairs, foundation galas and events are canceled until further notice.
The hospital has isolation rooms, protocols for donning personal protective equipment for staff, and testing supplies, and staff are prepared for the treatment of patients with COVID-19-like symptoms.
In an email, Dr. Ramesh Nathan, Adventist Health infectious disease specialist, said, “We appreciate the collaboration between government, health experts and Adventist Health. Together, we are all playing an important role to address COVID-19.”
As of Thursday morning, Kern County had four people who tested positive for the COVID-19, three residents along with one visitor, said Matt Constantine, director of Kern County Public Health Services in a news release.
Healthcare providers can test patients for COVID-19 and are required to notify Kern County Public Health Services. Omni Family Health, Priority Urgent Care, and Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield and all hospitals in Kern County are able to test, Constantine said at a press conference in Bakersfield.
“The testing procedures are in place,” Constantine said. He added, “Public Health is actively meeting with all those entities to ensure that we are doing everything we can on a local level to help prevent potential exposure and potential transmission.”
If a person believes they have COVID-19 and have symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty breathing, they should call their healthcare provider. The doctor can then screen them over the phone, use teleconferencing and then see if a test is needed, added Constantine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning your hands frequently, staying home if you are sick, calling ahead before visiting your doctor, wearing a face mask if you are sick, and frequently cleaning all high-use surfaces, according to cdc.gov.