Health officials' coronavirus plan calls for possibly using Northwood as drive-thru test site
Dr. Dean Watson shares what steps to take to prevent the spread of the virus and what TMH is doing to help. Tallahassee Democrat
2020年欧冠赛程表Healthcare officials in Tallahassee are preparing for the likelihood that the influenza-like COVID-19 virus will surface in the capital city by setting testing protocols and identifying a location away from hospitals for intake and testing of potential patients.
2020年欧冠赛程表It’s not if, but when, a local case is identified that efforts will ramp up and become more visible, said Dr. Dean Watson, chief integration officer for Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and Capital Health Plan.
2020年欧冠赛程表Most importantly, Watson said, doctors are putting out guidance for anyone who feels they may have symptoms associated with the rapidly-spreading virus that has been declared a world pandemic.
2020年欧冠赛程表“That’s what we want to get out there. Right patient, right location,” Watson said. “Call first.”
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2020年欧冠赛程表TMH officials will turn to drive-thru testing which has proven successful in other states.
The barrier of a vehicle limits interaction between doctors and potential carriers and officials will likely have that setup before the weekend at the hospital’s Magnolia Drive facility in anticipation of a cascade of cases after the first is identified.
What prompts the activation of that site or moving it to the Northwood Centre, which city officials have identified as a testing site, is still being assessed said Ryan Smith, TMH’s Chief Clinical Officer.
2020年欧冠赛程表“We have a couple internal triggers we’re looking at, whether that’s the first positive or a certain number of patients,” Smith said. “What is the demand? What is the least risky processes we have and developing those internal processes to say ‘OK now we need to stand up this drive-thru? At some point when a positive does occur the number of patients we see is going to increase significantly.”
Health officials are asking people to call their doctor to be referred to hospital officials for testing. In short, do not go to the hospital to seek coronavirus testing.
“Make sure you call first because everything that has to happen has to go through their provider. We have to know who they are. We have to know they’re arriving,” Watson said, noting that cancer patients and other people with serious illness also occupy hospitals.
Any contact with a coronavirus case could prove deadly.
“This is not a drive thru like a restaurant," he said, "This is a known case coming. We are prepared for you. We will swab and test you.”
Watson said the push to first contact primary care physicians can ensure that the available tests aren’t exhausted on people who may just have the flu or a common cold. Healthcare officials are working to connect services to people without a primary care doctor.
2020年欧冠赛程表TMH, Capital Regional Medical Center, Capital Health Plan, Tallahassee Primary Care Associates, Bond Community Health Center, Neighborhood Medical Center and the Florida State University College of Medicine are working together to develop a unified plan, Watson said.
2020年欧冠赛程表The clarity of message will help the community know how to contact their doctor and unify triage and treatment in the future.
“The goal is, again, to create a standardized approach to reduce hysteria and to minimize chaos,” Watson said. “The ultimate goal is that you don’t have 15 drive-thru stations and 15 different approaches to providing care. The community has to feel that everyone is organized and ready to respond in an organized fashion.”
To date, TMH has tested eight people, though Watson said there were a few more that have been tested elsewhere. So far, all have come back negative.
2020年欧冠赛程表Healthcare providers are required to divulge to the state health department the discovery of a positive case.
2020年欧冠赛程表Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that 1,000 of the 2,500 privately-developed tests the state ordered would be dispersed throughout the state starting in Broward County, where cases continue to be discovered.
Smith said TMH had enough tests to manage the current scenario in Leon County and was optimistic about a 48-hour turn-around time in testing results by third party providers Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, which analyze tests but do not administer them.
2020年欧冠赛程表“In today’s current (environment) we have adequate testing materials to control the demand,” Smith said. “But if this ramps up, I think we need assistance and help from the governor and everybody else to increase the supply that we have.”
On Thursday, Mayor John Dailey announced the cancellation of two major festivals in town and urged other organizers to follow suit or postpone large gatherings to limit the spread. Earlier in the day, DeSantis urged all mass gatherings to stop.
Watson urged people to follow the guidance of health professionals to practice good hygiene, maintain a distance from sick people or stay home if sick. He also reiterated how important it was for the right people to seek treatment.
“Remain calm, remain educated, reduce the hysteria, then follow the guideline just as if it was a flu outbreak,” he said. “Right patient. Right location. And 90% of the time, that patient needs to be home.”
Contact Karl Etters at firstname.lastname@example.org or @KarlEtters on Twitter.
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