Today, Madera Community Hospital implemented a temporary
no-visitor policy, halted elective surgeries and expanded our safe screening
procedure, while maintaining the vital function or our Emergency Department
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The health and safety of our workforce, patients and the communities
we serve, remain our top priority,” said Karen Paolinelli, Chief
Executive Officer. “We must do everything we can to ensure Madera
Community Hospital continues the essential duty of providing vital healthcare
services for our community.”
The no visitation policy is intended to keep patients, staff, and the community
safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitation exceptions are made for, patients
near end of life, those in Labor & Delivery and pediatric patients.
The visitors of these patients must be screened for fever and respiratory
conditions related to COVID-19, prior to entry. Patients needing outpatient
care, and their approved escort, must also be screened prior to entry
in our hospital and clinics.
“In an effort to decrease patient visits to the Emergency Department,
we have established a drive-up process, where patients who have met criteria
set by the Health Department can be COVID-19 tested directly from their
cars,” said Terrance McGovern, DO, Medical Director Emergency Services.
“Once community spread, of COVID-19, was confirmed we received an
influx of calls and visits to the Emergency Department.” Concerned
patients can now park, call and are initially screened. If the patient
meets the CDC guidelines of COVID-19 testing, patients are registered
and tested in the Emergency Department’s drive through portico.
Madera Community Hospital’s nimble healthcare system is flexing the
normal protocols to best meet the Emergency Medicine needs. “Although
COVID-19 is the most discussed and reported topic, every day your Emergency
Department is saving patient’s lives, with conditions unrelated
to COVID-19,” Dr. McGovern said.
Madera Community Hospital’s new, temporary no-visitor policy is now
in place. If an exception is made for a visitor (only one), they will
be screening for fever, cough and shortness of breath. Family and loved
ones looking for patients can call 559-675-5520 for patient updates. For
healthy children over 2 years of age, the Children’s Visitor Center
provide free child care, provided their legal guardian is receiving outpatient
services at Madera Community Hospital.
“The third phase of reducing spread in our hospital was to discontinue
elective surgeries,” said Paolinelli. “We know all of these
temporary adjustments to your healthcare system are inconvenient, but
they are critical to preserving our healthcare workforce, protecting our
patients and the public.”
“I am so grateful for our Medical Staff for their continued concern
for the safety and wellbeing of our healthcare workers,” Paolinelli
said. “And, this County is so very fortunate to have physicians
like Dr. Roshan who is Board Certified Infectious Disease and Dr. McGovern
who, in addition to Board Certification in Emergency Medicine, has a Masters
Degree in Public Health, who are leading efforts in conjunction with Dr.
Ramirez at Camarena and in communication with the Public Health Officer,
to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Madera County Public Health Department 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
rather than walking into a medical office or hospital. Your physician
will connect with Public Health to determine if testing is appropriate.