Dear Community Leaders –
Many of you have reached out to advise and support Rutland Regional in communicating important information about our COVID-19 preparations and response. We are actively working on expanding our community outreach and communication activities. As part of this effort, I want to share with you measures that RRMC is taking to protect our patients, staff, and community from the impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Over the past several weeks, hospital medical and administrative leadership have been putting the following measures into place:
- We have secured a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and provided refresher training to over 120 “front-line” employees on their use.
- We have developed and implemented a testing protocol in coordination with primary care providers and the Vermont Dept. of Health that allows us to collect specimens from patients in their cars, thus preventing potentially infected patients from compromising staff and patients.
- We have developed patient surge plans and human resource staffing plans to ensure we have the capacity to care for patients if or when widespread infection reaches Rutland County.
- We have cancelled all external conferences and travel for staff and physicians and will be limiting outside groups from using our conference facilities for all but essential meetings.
- On Monday, we will be imposing stringent visitor restrictions.
All of these actions have been taken to protect our staff, protect our patients, and ensure the operational capacity of Rutland Regional Medical Center.
What can our community do?
- If you are sick or concerned about your health, stay at home and call your health care provider.
- Do not hesitate to go to the emergency room immediately or call an ambulance when you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, sudden dizziness , numbness and weakness or other emergency medical condition.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water – if not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover you mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
- Practice “social distancing.”
- Avoid large gatherings.
- Avoid visiting patients in nursing homes and hospitals unless if necessary to assist with patient care.
- Conduct meetings remotely using teleconferencing and other technology.
- Check the Vermont Department of Health website frequently: https://www.healthvermont.gov/ and follow the guidance provided.
Please be aware that Rutland Regional does not provide “walk-in” or “drive-up” COVID-19 Coronavirus testing. Tests are limited and must be ordered by a primary care physician in accordance with the protocols established by the Vermont Department of Health.
Our hospital incident command center is active and being staffed continuously. If you need to get in touch with me, or the hospital incident command center, please call the hospital switchboard at 802-775-7111.
Please feel free to share this information widely and let me know other ideas on how we can help educate and engage our community on COVID-19 prevention and response.