Community coronavirus updates

By Kristy Bleizeffer Mar 13, 2020

Wyoming Medical Center and community updates for local COVID-19 response will be posted here.

REVISED VISITOR GUIDELINES

Visiting hours are now 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Limited visitation is allowed during these hours.   

Many of our patients already have weakened immune systems, and may be very young, very old, or they may be here for an illness that weakens their body’s ability to fight infection. They might also have contagious illnesses themselves. 

Current restrictions include:

  • One visitor per patient per day (exceptions will be made for comfort care or terminally ill patients) 
  • No visitors to patients on isolation precautions
  • No visitors in the Emergency waiting room
  • Pediatric patients and babies in the nursery may have both parents visit, but only one at a time.

There are only two access points for visitors to our facility. 1) Emergency Department entrance and 2) West Parking Garage entrance. Please note that the patient advocates will be sitting at the two entrances. 

Every visitor will be questioned regarding:

  • Elevated temperature
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

We will continue to monitor the situation, and may make adjustments in the days and weeks ahead. We apologize for this inconvenience, but must protect our patients, staff and the community. We appreciate your cooperation.

Homemade isolation gowns and PPE

Wyoming Medical Center faces the same shortages in personal protective gear (PPE) as other hospitals across the country in this unprecedented health crisis. Our biggest needs right now are isolation gowns to protect staff treating patients with infectious illnesses. We are also accepting donations of cloth face masks, caps, and surgical masks. Approved patterns for homemade PPE and full details can be found here. 

PREGNANCY AND COVID-19 

Due to COVID-19 concerns, we are asking any woman 20 weeks or further in her pregnancy who is coming to the hospital for treatment of any kind to call ahead. This will allow us to do a phone screening for risk factors and helps to ensure your safety as well as the safety of other patients. Call (307) 577-5530.  

RESPIRATORY SYMPTOM SCREENING CLINIC

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throats, nasal and chest congestion and others, please:

  • Call your primary care provider and follow medical advice.
  • Or, you can call the Respiratory Symptom Screening Clinic telehealth hotline at 307-233-7288. You will be evaluated by a registered nurse, and will be asked several questions regarding your symptoms and COVID-19 screening history. 
    • You will then be able to set video telehealth appointments with a medical provider to treat your respiratory illness or symptoms, receive medical advice, or be referred to the Respiratory Symptom Screening Clinic or another level of care.
    • The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is for Natrona County patients only. 
  • You may also report to the physical location of the Respiratory Symptom Screening Clinic at 245 S. Fenway St., but calling ahead is appreciated. The clinic number is 233-0291. The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, and will help screen, evaluate and treat respiratory symptoms.
  • If you are suffering respiratory distress or another medical emergency, please call 911.

Telehealth screening for respiratory symptoms

To supplement the physical location of the new Respiratory Symptom Screening Clinic, we are implementing a new telehealth screening hotline beginning Monday, March 23.

Patients who are experiencing respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throats, nasal and chest congestion, and others can call the hotline and will be triaged by a registered nurse. The patient will be asked several questions regarding their respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 screening history, and about other respiratory illness. The patient will then be able to set video telehealth appointments for treatment, further education, or referral to the physical respiratory symptom screening clinic or another level of care.

  • Telehealth hotline: 307-233-7288
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Urgent Care East closed

Urgent Care East is closed until further notice as we reorganize staff and resources to best serve our patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. We care about your health and safety, and will continue to treat you at these walk-in and screening locations:

Respiratory Symptom Screening Clinic, 245 S. Fenway St.

  • Open: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day
  • Go there for: Cold, flu respiratory symptoms including fever, sore throats, cough, nasal and chest congestion, and ear and sinus infections. Please call ahead, (307) 233-0291.
  • Learn more here. 

Respiratory Symptom Screening telephone hotline

  • Open: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, March 23
  • Call: 307-233-7288
  • Call the telephone hotline if you are experiencing respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throats, nasal and chest congestion, and you will be triaged by a registered nurse. You will be screened regarding your respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 screening history, and other respiratory illnesses. You will then be able to set video telehealth appointments with medical providers for treatment, further education, or referral to another level of care. 

Immediate Care, 3632 American Way

  • Open: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day
  • Go there for: Minor injuries or broken bones, urinary tract infections and more.
  • Phone: (307) 233-7300

Hospital closures and interruptions

Wyoming Medical Center appreciates the community's continued cooperation and understanding as we work to protect our staff, patients and guests. Please be advised of the following interruptions and/or closures of hospital services.

  • Inpatient & Outpatient Surgeries: We continue to do medically necessary surgeries on a case-by-case basis. The schedule is reviewed daily for appropriateness in an attempt to conserve resources. 
  • Procedures and tests: All procedures are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and medically necessary exams are still being scheduled. These may include Echocardiogram, Pulmonary Function Tests, Stress Tests,  Bronchoscopies and Interventional Radiology. Please note: Emergent tests are still available, and our Emergency Room is operating as normal. As always, please call 911 for suspected heart attack, stroke, respiratory stress, and other medical emergencies.
  • Sleep Lab: Closed.
  • NERD Health & Wellness Center: Health coaching, acupuncture and massage appointments, as well as all activities in the Multipurpose Room are canceled.
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Pulmonary rehabilitation is canceled until further notice
  • Mother-Baby classes: Childbirth education and breastfeeding classes are canceled. In-person lactation consults are canceled.  We encourage all mothers to call (307) 577-2942 for other options for education and consultation. 
  • Safe Kids Day: May 2 event is postponed 
  • Valet Parking: Valet is closed until further notice, however valet staff are on site helping to direct traffic. 

If you have any questions about an upcoming appointment at Wyoming Medical Center or our outpatient clinics, please call your physician's office for details.

VALET PARKING

Valet is closed until further notice. The valet staff is on site helping to direct traffic.  

Treating COVID-19 symptoms at home

Currently, there is no treatment for the COVID-19 virus, however there are ways to help control the symptoms. Most COVID-19 cases will be mild and will not require hospital care.

Symptoms of COVID-19 -- dry cough and fever -- may be reduced at home with over-the-counter medications that target those symptoms. These include throat lozenges to soothe your throat, Tylenol and Ibuprofen for fever, lots of rest and plenty of fluids. 

If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 at home or are self-quarantining,  please follow these CDC guidelines. 

Self-quarantine guidelines

The CDC has issued the following guidelines for people with confirmed or suspected COVID 19 or those under investigation who do not need to be hospitalized, and for those previously hospitalized but medically stable enough to return home:

  • Stay at home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean high-touch surfaces everyday 
  • Monitor your symptoms and call your doctor if they are worsening. If you are having trouble breathing, go to the ER.

"For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is th elongest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses," according to the CDC.

Read the guidelines in full here.