The Moore County Hospital District (MCHD) has announced that due to the threat of the coronavirus both the hospital and nursing home will be on lock down until the threat has passed. Though there has been no case of the virus confirmed in Dumas or Moore County as yet, MCHD officials say they are preparing for any eventuality and taking steps to keep both patients and staff healthy.
So far, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions have suffered the worst cases of illness (COVID19) caused by the coronavirus, and all of the deaths attributed to the virus have come from those groups. Hospital officials have restricted access to the hospital to patients, staff, and approved visitors only, and they will have to be screened for disease risk factors. Vendors and other persons will not be allowed in. In addition, volunteer services have been suspended and meetings and job interviews will be limited to phone or video only. The main entrance to the hospital will be locked at 5:00pm. Entrance to the hospital between 5:00pm and 8:00am will be restricted to the emergency room. All other doors will be locked.
Outpatient services (lab work, mammograms, etc.) will continue to be performed between 8:00am and 5:00pm.
The physician clinics of the district will still see patients in person, but only those who are sick. Prescription refills will be performed by phone, and some nonessential or elective procedures may be postponed.
Since residents of nursing homes are the most at risk, no visitors will be allowed into the nursing home at all. District officials are working to put into place video and phone contacts between residents and visitors.
Officials say these measures will remain in place until the threat to patients and residents has passed.