Wyoming Medical Center COVID-19 updates,… - Wyoming Medical Center

Wyoming Medical Center COVID-19 updates, Dec. 17, 2020

Dec 17, 2020

Casper (Dec. 17, 2020) – Hospitalizations continued to go down this week, bringing some much-needed relief to our staff. We continue to prepare for a possible surge of COVID patients in the coming weeks. Get up-to-date hospital statistics on COVID-19 from the Wyoming Department of Health’s dashboard.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Wyoming Medical Center began vaccinating its first frontline healthcare workers Wednesday, Dec. 16, with Pfizer’s FDA-approved vaccine. There are a limited number of vaccines available to start. However, we are expecting new shipments each week.

Wyoming Medical Center and Banner Health have worked diligently in recent months to prepare for the possible distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. We meet regularly with local health officials about vaccine distribution.

Banner Health reviewed and approved the vaccine for Banner use due to the safety and efficacy profile. We will not make vaccines mandatory for team members initially, nor will we eliminate requirements in our facilities for masking, social distancing and other safety protocols. “We see the vaccine as one additional layer of protection. It’s not a replacement for the safety measures we’ve perfected at our facilities,’’ said Dr. Marjorie Bessel, chief clinical officer for Banner Health.

We ask for the community’s continued support as we fight this deadly virus. Please keep yourself, your families, members of your community and our health care workers safe by reducing the spread of COVID-19. As the positivity rate in Wyoming rises, so does the risk to our health care workers who are members of the community. They are also our community’s most important asset during this pandemic. Please protect them and reduce the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Putting at least 6 feet of distance between you and others
  • Avoiding gatherings with others outside your immediate household
  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Wiping down high-touch surfaces
  • Staying home if you're ill, except to receive medical care

Capacity

Currently, Wyoming Medical Center has capacity to care for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Our Incident Command team meets daily to track available hospital beds, staffing and other resources needed to care for patients during this pandemic. We are in constant contact with community partners to update contingency and surge plans to ensure we can care for our community.

These plans change along with the conditions on the ground. We also continually monitor hospitalization data in real time as well as looking at predictive modeling tools to determine when to increase capacity. As COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased in recent weeks, we have expanded into new units and converted many single rooms into double capacity.

Staffing

Wyoming Medical Center, like many other hospitals, is working to secure the necessary staff to respond to the COVID-19 surge. We are working closely with our contract staffing agencies to secure out-of-state workers.

We are actively looking for nurses, CNAs and medical assistants to help. Email careers@wyomingmedicalcenter.org for more information. Our ability to surge is dependent on staffing and is assessed shift to shift.

Visitation Restrictions

To create a safe and secure environment for our patients and our healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, visitors will no longer be allowed in any Wyoming Medical Center location. This change occurred Monday, Nov. 2. This includes all of our clinic locations. We understand this will be challenging, but we’re committed to take the necessary precautions to protect our patients, healthcare workers and the community. Information about visitation policies can be found here.

Supplies

Wyoming Medical Center’s inventory of supplies is adequate with no shortages to report at this time. We have received additional beds and ventilators from our Banner partners in Arizona as well shipments of PPE arrived from the State of Wyoming including isolation gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer, face shields and more.

Testing

Please utilize the Respiratory Symptom Screening Clinic if you are experiencing any respiratory symptom or illness.

  • Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day
  • Open noon to 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day -- Thursday, Nov. 26

Located at 245 S. Fenway St. To help alleviate traffic backups on Second Street, please enter the line for the Respiratory Symptom screening clinic from the west-bound lane of Fourth Street in front of the cemetery and turning right onto Fenway St. We appreciate your patience and cooperation.

This clinic tests for COVID-19, RSV, Strep throat, influenza and other respiratory illnesses. Respiratory symptoms include fever or chills, sore throats, cough, nasal or chest congestion, fatigue, body aches, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting. Please report to the clinic in person and proceed through the drive-through lines.

Please note: Our staff will call patients with results of their COVID-19 testing, regardless of the result. Please be patient. Our phone lines are very busy and we are not able to answer calls asking for COVID-19 test results.

Elective Surgery

Wyoming Medical Center is currently performing urgent elective surgeries. These surgeries are medically necessary, and we will continue to provide this service to the community as long as we have the capacity and resources to do so. We have a process and criteria in place to make changes.

Medications

Wyoming Medical Center has an adequate supply of medications used to treat in-patients with COVID-19, including Propofol, Dexamethasone and Remdesivir.