Kaweah Delta announces website feature to notify public of COVID-19 patients

From KDHCD:

Kaweah Delta has launched a new feature on its website to provide Tulare County residents with information on the number of positive COVID-19 patients inside the Medical Center.

This new feature will be updated daily, Monday through Friday, at www.kaweahdelta.org/covid19.

“This update underscores that COVID-19 is here in our community and it’s important for all of us to remain vigilant in our efforts to protect ourselves, and our community,” said Gary Herbst, Kaweah Delta’s Chief Executive Officer. “We have taken a number of steps to protect our patients, our staff, and our community, but we all have a role to play to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Kaweah Delta first notified the community on March 16 that a patient at its Medical Center tested positive for COVID-19. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Kaweah Delta identifies all employees who come in contact with a patient that has tested positive for COVID-19, and tests and treats anyone who displays symptoms.

Kaweah Delta has taken a number of measures to put the health and safety of patients and visitors first. They include institution of:

  • A no-visitor policy
  • Screening patients outside of its Emergency Department for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Implementation of temporary Medical Center entrances
  • Development of a free screening hotline to assess people who may have COVID-19 symptoms from the safety of their home to avoid unnecessary exposure of themselves and others
  • Cancellation of all public events
  • Removing volunteers from its sites
  • Cancellation of all business travel
  • Asking its more than 5,000 employees to cancel internal meetings and use teleconferencing or online meetings instead.

Starting next week, the City of Visalia will close a small city block to improve safety for Tulare County residents coming to Kaweah Delta for COVID-19 testing.

Effective Tuesday, March 31, Floral Street in downtown Visalia will close to traffic one block north of Kaweah Delta Medical Center (between Main Street and Acequia Avenue). The closure will allow Tulare County residents, who the Tulare County Public Health Department would like tested for COVID-19, to drive down the block in their cars and park in the diagonal parking spaces on the street’s west side. Kaweah Delta staff will collect specimens from these individuals. Kaweah Delta does not do testing; specimens are sent to the Tulare County Public Health Laboratory, which conducts testing to determine whether an individual is positive for COVID-19.

Kaweah Delta first set up tents outside of the Medical Center on March 13 to collect specimens from people suspected of having COVID-19.

The sites are also being used to screen those individuals who are making use of Kaweah Delta’s  new, free COVID-19 screening hotline at 559-624-4110. Individuals who call receive a same-day appointment with a nurse practitioner who assess by phone whether they have COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone can use the hotline, but people with primary care physicians should call their physician for an assessment first.

Kaweah Delta will continue to share COVID-19 information and regular updates with the community on its website at www.kaweahdelta.org/COVID19, via media statements, and on its social media accounts.

Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency advises if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your primary physician or 2-1-1 rather than walking into a medical office or hospital. Your physician will connect with Tulare County Public Health to determine if testing is appropriate.

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