Putnam County Hospital enacts visitor restrictions, guidelines

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Putnam County Hospital is implementing precautionary measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The hospital will have a new screening process for all individuals who enter the facility.

There will be a daily passport that must be obtained by all individuals entering the hospital. These passports will be color-coded by day and a new one will be needed each day. Staff at the entryway will help guide everyone through the process.

Individuals seeking health care needs will not be considered visitors, and those needs will be met under infection control guidelines.

Visitors who screen positive for symptoms will be asked to leave the facility and referred to the Indiana State Department of Health if they wish to be evaluated further.

Putnam County Hospital Guild members and volunteers who help man desks and run the gift shop have been asked to not report to the hospital in the meantime.

“Putnam County Hospital is committed to doing everything we can to mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” PCH Chief Executive Dennis Weatherford said. “These restrictions and measures are being put into place to protect our employees, patients and community members. Putnam County Hospital will continue to make changes and updates as needed.”

Hospital events, classes and non-essential meetings have been canceled or postponed. These include the men’s health event and the Clay County senior health fair. Updates will come once these events have been rescheduled.

The hospital reminds everyone to practice social distancing whenever possible. This includes limiting close contact with others, especially in large groups.

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60-percent alcohol.

Do not touch the eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sneeze into an elbow. Throw the tissue in the garbage and make sure to wash hands afterward.

The hospital also encourages anyone who may be sick to stay home.

Persons may visit www.pchosp.org for the latest updates.

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  • “Visitors who screen positive for symptoms will be asked to leave the facility and referred to the Indiana State Department of Health if they wish to be evaluated further.”

    So Putnam County hospital isn’t equipped to handle or test a possible Coronavirus patient? No safe place to take those who test positive and might want evaluated further? I understand there is a process, and maybe there are only certain sites who can test, so I’m just wondering.

    -- Posted by kbmom on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 11:00 AM
  • Kbmom. Good questions. I would suggest calling the hospital direct and speaking to the CEO.

    -- Posted by Nit on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 12:31 PM
  • kbmom this policy is for visitors, not for people seeking treatment. They are simply trying to keep people who are sick from visiting patients. They're not trying to keep the sick people who want treatment away.

    -- Posted by Geologist on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 1:57 PM
  • What I’m wondering FF, is if a visitor screens positive and wants to follow up, why send them away unless they aren’t equipped to handle testing? Seems to me the visitor who screens positive immediately becomes the person who wants/needs treatment.

    -- Posted by kbmom on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 2:23 PM
  • The protocol for anyone that screens positive is to go wait in the car for medical personnel to come out with additional instructions. Personnel will call the health department to see what they recommend (to be tested or not). At this time the health department in the only place that they can be tested. However, they are only testing with certain criteria that are met. They will not test everyone that has a flu-like syndrome.

    -- Posted by 19martinc81 on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 3:54 PM
  • 19martin Perfect clarification. Thank you.

    -- Posted by kbmom on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 4:51 PM
  • I saw on the Presidents press today that a protective suit and gear was needed to be changed after each and every screening- I wonder how these drive thru testing centers are working? The doctor said the test would prompt coughing, sneezing and such and the need for the change of the protective gear was for the next persons safety.

    -- Posted by goingon80 on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 6:34 PM
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