From the SweetwaterNOW News Desk
ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo — The overwhelming increase in the number of COVID-19 patients now being hospitalized has prompted Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County leadership to take more stringent precautions.
In an emergency meeting Friday afternoon, the MHSC Incident Command team was briefed on the situation and initiated the next step of its pandemic protocol.
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“We are at crisis level,” said Incident Commander Kim White, MHSC emergency services director. “We appreciate the patience.”
On Friday afternoon, the hospital had 16 COVID-19 inpatients. The hospital has opened its same-day surgery unit as an additional COVID unit. Until Monday, the hospital had never had more than eight Covid patients throughout the pandemic, according to Wyoming Department of Health data.
Beginning immediately, no visitors will be allowed in the hospital until further notice, said Deb Sutton, MHSC public information officer. The hospital also will continue to postpone elective surgeries, considering emergent and urgent cases on a case-by-case basis.
The only exception to the MHSC visitor policy is that one visitor will be allowed with a patient in the Obstetrics Department.
“We understand this is a difficult situation for the families and friends of our patients,” Sutton said. “Please understand this is temporary,” White said hospital leaders will evaluate at least on a daily basis to determine if and when some patients can receive visitors.
“We encourage friends and families to text, FaceTime or Skype our patients,” Sutton said. “It is our first priority to keep our patients our stuff in the entire community safe.”
“There is a lot the community can do to help us,” she added. “Get vaccinated, wear a mask, maintain social distances, and wash your hands.”
Here is a quick breakdown of healthcare options:
- Sweetwater Walk-In Clinic: The clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 3000 College Drive.
- Drive-thru vaccine clinic: It is open from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday at the hospital’s main entrance. Beginning Sept. 14, The vaccine drive-thru will be open from 3-6 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday. It will then be temporarily located on the southwest end of the campus.
- Drive-thru Swab Station: it continues to operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Beginning Sept. 9, the swab station will temporarily relocate to the hospital’s mobile healthcare unit at the southwest end of the campus.
For more on this and all Sweetwater Memorial has to offer, go to sweetwatermemorial.com.
The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.