All patients are being asked to use the Bralliar Road Entrance for hospital services, and park in a numbered parking space for curbside registration prior to entering the hospital. Bralliar Entrance is open Monday through Friday 6AM – 6PM, closed nights and weekends.
Curbside Registration / Check-in Instructions will be provided upon scheduling services:
The Southwest Entrance leading to the Pharmacy and Infusion Center on Rose Lane is still open for patients needing Pharmacy or Infusion services.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In severe cases some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases death.There is no specific antiviral treatment or vaccine at this time.
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
Primary Care – 928-668-1833 – Providers are available Monday – Friday 8am to 5pm. Telehealth Visits are also being offered.
Emergency Care – 928-684-5421 – Providers are available 24/7 – If you are experiencing an emergency please dial 911.
COVID-19 CONFIRMED CASES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Information Officer
Wickenburg Community Hospital
Wickenburg Community Hospital Responds to Rise of COVID-19 Cases with Community Safety Bulletin
Wickenburg, AZ, December 1st, 2020 – Wickenburg Community Hospital (WCH) responds to the recent increase of COVID-19 positive cases in Arizona with community infection prevention guidelines, COVID-19 signs, symptoms, and testing information.
“COVID-19 numbers peaked over the summer but as we have seen schools start back to in person classes, additional businesses reopening and now with the arrival of our winter visitors to AZ , the number of cases of COVID-19 have once again started to increase. Wickenburg, and the surrounding communities, are also beginning to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases. With holidays and family gatherings beginning to occur, we wanted to take this opportunity to reinforce ways to celebrate and get through the winter season while using measures to help minimize or avoid being exposed to COVID-19.” Karen Smith RN, NMCC, LSSGB, Manager, Infection Prevention and Employee Health Chair, Safety Subcommittee, Wickenburg Community Hospital.
Infection Prevention Guidelines:
• The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet). Using physical distancing strategies helps minimize that close contact where droplets can transmit disease.
• Wear masks in public settings to reduce the potential for spreading the disease. The Maricopa Mask Mandate continues to be in effect.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay at home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) and immediately throw the tissue in the trash and disinfect your hands.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Avoid congregating in groups. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
Symptoms and Severity:
Illness can be severe and require hospitalization, but most individuals recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids, and taking pain and fever-reducing medications. These symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure and can include:
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Muscle pain
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell
• Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:
• Difficulty getting enough air
• Chest pain
• Change in alertness or responsiveness
• Bluish lips or face
• Rapid breathing
*These symptom lists are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Available Testing for COVID-19
Testing at Wickenburg Community Hospital is limited to symptomatic testing at the clinics or Emergency Department. Rapid testing is not readily available to our organization which unfortunately means we cannot test community members who request a test but are not currently displaying symptoms. Currently our small cache of rapid tests are allocated to testing Emergency Department patients who need to be transferred to an Inpatient bed (either at our facility or to an outside facility) or for our Surgical Patients, as a requirement under the Governor’s Executive Order, to ensure our surgical patients are negative for disease prior to surgery.
The Maricopa County Health Department has a robust website that contains updated information on current statistics around COVID-19 for our state, county, and zip code. There is information around Community COVID-19 testing events being held around the county as well as defined testing sites around the state of AZ. The website is maricopa.gov/5588/COVID-19-Testing. (The site does have the ability to provide information in English and Spanish.
Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-07 which requires all Arizona-regulated insurers to cover COVID diagnostic testing from all qualified laboratories; waive all cost-sharing requirements related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing; and, cover telemedicine visits at a lower cost-sharing point for consumers than the same in-office service to encourage utilization of telemedicine for the duration of the state’s public health emergency. There are many places identified that have free testing for COVID-19; however, it does vary by provider, so it is important to ask ahead and check their website for details about any eligibility criteria or costs.
Q: If a spouse or friend was exposed to a COVID person do I need to do a 14 day self quarantine?
A: No, but you need to let Employee Health know there is a potential exposure. The EH nurse will speak with you to determine if you need to start the 14 day temperature and symptom checklist until there are results back from the suspect COVID exposed person. If the suspect person’s test is negative, you will no longer need to continue the temperature and symptom log but if the test is positive, then you will continue to do the log and check in with Employee Health for the 14 days.
Q: Why are we seeing employees and patients test positive now when we did not for so long?
A: Testing criteria and availability has expanded which allows for more people to be tested. Arizona is conducting a Testing Blitz to try and get 30,000 Arizonians tested over 3 weekends. This testing helps us identify more cases but also enables us to see where these cases live because testing results are reported out now by zip code and not just the county where the patient lives.
Q: Why do they report tests by zip code?
A: The more information we collect on positive cases allows us to evaluate if and where we are seeing more cases of COVID. Reviewing this data allows us to get services to that area to help the community as well as trying to collect epidemiological data on the virus and its transmission.
Q: Why did it take so long for Wickenburg and its surrounding areas to see cases?
A: Part of the answer is that we have the capability to test more people. Previously guidance did not encourage providers to swab patients with suspect cases if they had mild illness. Providers instead advised patients to self quarantine. Now testing is more readily available and we can test even those cases with mild illness. The other half of the answer is that the Governor’s Executive Order recommended the closing of some businesses, encouraged social distancing, limited the size of gatherings, recommended the use of masks in public areas and encouraged hand hygiene. All of these measures helped to delay the spread of the virus.
Q: Is the virus getting worse in AZ?
A: What we can tell is that expanded testing is identifying more cases but the number of cases where patients are sick enough to be in the hospital had had a downward trend for the last three weeks. If we all continue to do the right things, like washing our hands, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks in public areas, we hope to see the numbers of cases continue to decrease.
Q: Is anyone following up on positive cases in AZ?
A: Yes, AZ has a robust system in place where trained health department staff, usually nurses, are contacting positive cases and doing what is called Contact Investigation or Contact tracing. This means each case is interviewed to try and determine who the positive person has been in contact with and then questions around trying to determine how the person may have developed the virus. By doing these investigations, we implement measures to reduce further spread of illness from the positive person to others and we can facilitate additional services or care to the patient they may need. All of these investigations help us to learn more about the virus.
Q: Do contact investigations happen at the hospital?
A: Yes our infection preventionist is involved in working with the positive person, county health and the patient’s provider. The role of the infection preventionist is also assigned the task to determine if additional staff at the hospital may have had contact with the positive person. Often times it is difficult to determine if a single employee or multiple employees may have been exposed. If there is the potential for multiple exposures, the IP nurse may ask all employees in a department to complete the 14 day exposure log.
In fact, this process is used for multiple infectious disease cases. Remember, as a hospital we encounter sick patients daily. It may take time for testing results to come back before we know a patient came through our doors who had an infection. But whenever that occurs and it is a disease that could be infectious and is on the reportable disease list, the IP investigates and implements protocols that are designed to reduce the chance of employee exposure.
Q: Who do I talk to if I have questions?
A: Please feel free to bring any questions or concerns around COVID to Karen Smith, Infection Prevention and Employee Health Manager
The CDC has great tools and information, please review below.
Community Hospital Clinics are located in Wickenburg, Wittmann, and Congress. We sincerely follow our mission to provide quality health and wellness services where the patient, family, and community come first.Read More
Our 8 bed Emergency Room department is fully staffed with emergency physicians, nurses, and ER specialists. Your wait time is typically measured in minutes not hours as in the larger metropolitan hospitals.Read More