Orofino,Idaho-Window on the Clearwater
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CVHC COVID -19: What we are doing seems to be working; keep it up

"Last week Clearwater Valley Hospital received our first positive COVID-19 test result. The patient is not a resident of Clearwater County and therefore this result will not appear in Clearwater County's numbers on the Public Health website," explains Dr. Kelly McGrath.

"The patient is recovering at home. We have been rigorously preparing for this time and we are working closely with Public Health as they follow the mandated protocol for managing the impact for the patient, our staff and the community. SMH and CVHC are taking all necessary steps in order to ensure the safety of our staff and our patients."

Those who have any questions or concerns, please contact Idaho Public Health, District 2, or visit them on their website: https://idahopublichealth.com/district-2/novel-coronavirus.

Staff and patient safety are of the utmost importance now and always at SMH & CVHC. Pictured here is some of our frontline staff, from left are: Ali Hoene, Ellen Richardson, MD, Kelly McGrath, MD, Asia Ehlinger, Danna Smith and Reuben Baker, MD. (Photo courtesy of Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics)

"After hearing about this virus for several weeks in the news, and still having no positive test results attributed to Clearwater County, and only 3 cases attributed to Idaho County, it may be tempting to resume life as normal," says McGrath. "While it does appear that what we are doing with social distancing and all the extra precautions we are taking are working, going back to our normal daily routines, at this point, is not in the best interest of our communities."

In the state of Idaho Monday, there were 1,426 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 27 fatalities, 132 hospitalizations and 14,881 tested.

"Just because the virus appears to be keeping its distance from our communities does not mean that we are immune to it," says McGrath. "The practices put in place such as avoiding close contact with people who do not live in your household, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, staying home when you are sick, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe remain just as important today as they were several weeks back."

"The most recent studies have shown that the virus lives in the air for about 3-4 hours, on cardboard for 14 hours and on plastic and stainless steel for three days," says Mark Ackerman, PA, CVHC. "This shows that making an effort to keep from traveling into public places, where you don't have control over cleaning these surfaces, is still very important, especially when many who have the virus may be spreading it unknowingly."

"The healthcare workers on the frontlines at St. Mary's and Clearwater Valley Hospitals and Clinics are working hard to prepare for COVID-19 to hit our areas," says McGrath. "But the more cooperation we have from community members, by maintaining social distancing recommendations, the better it will be for all of us!"

"One of the biggest changes we have made at SMH/CVHC is the introduction of telemedicine visits for primary care," continues McGrath. "Seeing patients via telemedicine appointments allows us to maintain social distancing recommendations while still caring for our patients who have ongoing health needs that are not related to COVOD-19. The last thing that we would want as healthcare providers is for our patients to not receive the care they need during this time."

"We have taken every effort to make sure our clinic, ER and hospital environments are safe. We want to make sure that people who need care, either via telemedicine or with direct care, are not avoiding necessary care out of fear. Your safety, should you need direct care, is a priority for us," adds McGrath.

Those who need to schedule an appointment, via telemedicine or face-to-face, call 208-476-5777 in Orofino and 208-962-3267 in Cottonwood.

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140