RICHMOND – Everyone entering Ray County Memorial Hospital must undergo a brief, precautionary health screening, which amounts to answering a few questions, Jackie DeVaul said.
As the hospital’s infection control coordinator, DeVaul said screenings started at hospital entrances Monday to prevent spreading COVID-19.
“We ask them some quick questions: Are you sick? Do you have a fever? Have you traveled? Things like that,” she said.
People with symptoms may arrive as patients.
“If they’re a patient, we will get a mask on them, try to segregate them,” DeVaul said.
They will be separated from others to avoid the potential to spread the virus or whatever other health issues they may have. When ready, staff will take segregated patients to places where the hospital can provide care, she said.
Those who display symptoms and want to see patients will be handled differently, DeVaul said.
“We’re going to ask them to not visit,” she said.
Not every visitor who is sneezy will be turned away, DeVaul said.
“We do have people who have allergies,” she said. “Case by case, we’ll try to determine that.”
The hospital has received calls from people asking about the coronavirus.
“Nobody that I’m aware of has actually asked to be tested,” DeVaul said. “We’ve had people saying, ‘Well, what if...’ Or, ‘I’m worried that the neighbor...’ That kind of thing.”
Guests and patients are not the only ones who will be screened at the hospital.
“We’re also doing the employees,” DeVaul said. “We’re doing the same, exact thing in all the departments, every shift.”
The overall purpose is safety.
“We’re trying to keep everyone calm here and keep going on with business,” she said.