COVID-19 Information


A brief update from SECHD...

Dear fellow Baca County citizens,

Our hospital district has seen a sudden surge of patients needing care for COVID-19 illness and its associated complications. This reflects what is occurring throughout the state of Colorado.

To put it in perspective, our first case of COVID-19 was reported on 3/27/2020. On 10/16/2020, there were 24 reported cases of COVID-19 in our county. As of 11/25/2020, we have 104 reported cases. We have had 80 cases in just under 6 weeks, and every day brings more cases. These are people who reside in Baca County, not those who live elsewhere. These are our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. The illness has also consumed our healthcare staff, and that only leaves us with limited staff to care for seriously ill patients all hours of the day. We don't want to be in a position that we cannot care for your loved ones if we don't have the personnel.

Furthermore, rising cases in our state means that there are fewer hospitals who can accommodate patients here who require more critical care. This means we may not be able to find a bed in an ICU (intensive care unit) if you or your family needs it for a heart attack, stroke or trauma. This is a very real possibility.

We have an aging population in our county, many of whom can become seriously ill with COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. Even though most individuals may have limited symptoms, we have no way of predicting who will have a mild case or who will die from it. This disease has claimed young and old, healthy and chronically ill alike. We as a county should look out for each other, especially for the most vulnerable among us. If you are exposed to a known positive person, don't wait for public health to call you--isolate and quarantine yourself to limit the spread.

Let's come together against a common enemy that does not care about age, race, gender, or politics. Please follow safety precautions that have been universally recommended - wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands frequently.

And remember, we are here for you, and we are all in this together.

SECHD Administration and Medical Staff.

Thank you,

Dave Engel - FACHE

Important Community Health Message - COVID-19
COVID-19, also called coronavirus, is a significant health issue in our country today.
Here are some reminders to help contain the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe. We are in this together.

Recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country are deeply concerning. In the past 4 - 6 weeks positive cases have quadrupled from 23 to 79. Some areas will experience new peaks in the coming weeks. The second wave is here, even though the first wave never truly subsided.

Please, for our community, stay on guard. Wear a mask, get a flu shot, avoid large gatherings, and practice social distancing. This pandemic is not disappearing on its own. Lives of loved ones are still on the line.

As your local healthcare resource, we are dealing with the toll of this virus and are doing everything possible to care for our community in a safe manner. We need healthy staff to care for you.

Please continue to take precautions, especially as the holidays and our regular flu season approach.

Some facts:
• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone should wear masks in public settings, including at events and gatherings, for public or mass transportation - whenever you will be around others.
• In addition to masks, the CDC recommends social distancing and regular handwashing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
• Travel increases the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
• With Thanksgiving and other holidays approaching, consider alternative ways to "gather" and "visit." Limit in-person get-togethers; stay home if you are sick. Outside events are preferable. Also, an event should be kept small, ideally 10 people or fewer.

Thank you,

Dave Engel - FACHE
CEO
Southeast Colorado Hospital District
373 E. 10th Ave.
Springfield, CO 81073
719-523-4501 Ext. 130


Weekly 11 24, 2020
Weekly COVID-19 notification

Since May 8, 2020 (when the federal government issued reporting requirements), we have had 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Southeast Colorado Hospital District (SECHD) Employees AND we have 0 clusters of three or more residents/staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other.
Here is a more detailed update regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in our HOME. As of 11/24/2020:
• Currently 0 residents and 2 LTCC/ALZ staff have confirmed/active COVID-19. If a resident test positive, we will notify the resident's representative(s) of their condition and implement protocols for their care and treatment. We also follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including return to work guidance, for staff who test positive.
• 10 SECHD staff members have recovered from COVID-19.
• 2541 residents and SECHD staff have tested negative for COVID-19.
• It has been 2 days since a new resident or LTCC/ALZ staff member has tested positive.

SOUTHEAST COLORADO LONG TERM CARE CENTER/ALZHEIMER'S UNIT is staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps under current circumstances. We are also following guidance from the CDC and CMS to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19, such as:
• Enhanced infection control precautions
• Screening residents, staff, and essential visitors for symptoms
• Restricting visitation and entry of people to the building
• Testing staff and residents for COVID-19 based on current protocols and availability of tests
• Postponing communal events
• Limiting communal dining to those neighbors needing assistance or on altered diets
• encouraging residents to wear masks and social distancing when out of room.
• Asking residents to cover their mouth and nose when staff enter.
• All staff wear masks and eye protection whenever in the home.
• Residents are encouraged to wash hands or hand sanitize before and after every meal.
Due to government privacy requirements, we cannot divulge specific information about the individuals who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, unless they are your family member and you have the necessary permissions to receive such information.
We know you are concerned about your loved one, but it is crucial that we restrict visitation to reduce the spread of this virus to others. We will contact you directly if your loved one is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19.
We also understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important to our residents. Family members are encouraged to connect with their loved ones through video chat, calling, texting, on social media, skype, or outdoor visitation. You can schedule video chats and calling by calling the nurses station - LTCC- 719-534-2144 or the ALZ 719-523-2140. For video chats and calling you may also email activitydirector@sechosp.org or call the Life Engagement Department at 719-523-2159. We have a nursing home Facebook page and you can find us under SECH LTCC - we do shout outs throughout the month. If you want to schedule outdoor visitation call 719-523-2141 (outdoor visitation has been cancelled until further notice, sorry for the inconvenience).
We know that you may have questions and we encourage you to contact our center. Please call for nursing question at Heather Burdick, DON @ 719-523-2144 or Glenice Wade ADON 719-523-2141, email for nursing questions at hburdick@sechosp.org or gwade@sechosp.org.
For administrative questions please contact Dave Engel, CEO @ 719-523-2130 or email at dengel@sechosp.org .



Immediate Release
Monday, November 2, 2020
Conor Cahill |conor.cahill@state.co.us
________________________________________

AARP Recognizes Colorado as
Model for Addressing COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

DENVER - The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recognized Colorado as a model for addressing the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes. AARP has launched a new Nursing Home Dashboard with state-by-state data showing Colorado's progress mitigating spread in long-term care facilities.

"It's an honor to receive this recognition from one of the nation's most distinguished organizations focused on addressing issues affecting older Americans," said Governor Polis. "We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging for seniors living in nursing homes. While we are still fighting this virus, it is heartening to know that our Residential Care Strike Team is now being used as a national model."

In its initial assessment, analyzing data through Sept. 20, Colorado fared significantly better than the U.S. national average in three critical categories:
• Nursing Home Resident Cases (per 100 residents, four weeks ending Sept. 20):
o Colorado: 1 per 100 residents.
o National state average: 2.6 per 100 residents.
• Nursing Home Resident Deaths (per 100 residents, four weeks ending Sept. 20):
o Colorado: 0.17 per 100 residents.
o National state average: 0.48 per 100 residents.
• Nursing Home Staff Cases (per 100 residents, four weeks ending Sept. 20):
o Colorado: 0.9 per 100 residents.
National state average: 2.5 per 100 residents.

"I commend Gov. Jared Polis and CDPHE, and specifically the Residential Care Strike Team, for their leadership as national models for proactively addressing a difficult situation," said Bob Murphy, the State Director of AARP Colorado.

"We have made tremendous progress reducing COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities, thanks in large part to decisive action taken by the Residential Care Strike Team back in May," said Randy Kuykendall, CDPHE director of health facilities. "The Strike Team will continue to meet and make recommendations for as long as the virus remains a threat in group-living settings."

The Residential Care Strike Team was formed in May and immediately set to work addressing five main areas: testing, enforcement and education, increased access to personal protective equipment, isolation plans, and staffing improvements.

In the U.S. more than 84,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19, representing 40 percent of all COVID-19 fatalities in the nation, according to Kaiser Family Foundation's most recent analysis released October 8.

Additional data points providing more information about each category in the AARP Nursing Home Dashboard are available online at aarp.org/NursingHomeDashboard.






COVID-19

We will not allow any outside visitors into the facility effective immediately.
Patients will be allowed to get labs, radiology studies, therapies will not be taking patients outside their rooms in the hospital.

Outpatient therapy cardiac rehab is suspended effective immediately.


Symptom Update for COVID 19
The CDC has updated the COVID 19 symptoms.
Watch for symptoms.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Headache
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Post by Karma G. Wilson MSN, RN
Informatics/Infection Control

Southeast Colorado Hospital District Long Term Care Center is proactively informing you that we will be participating in testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This surveillance is at the request of the Federal and State regulatory agencies.

We want our county/community to know this surveillance will be conducted with the assistance of the National Guard. We will have our second sampling collection the first week of July. Samples from Residents and Staff will be sent to the state lab.

We are happy the State and National Guard are assisting us to keep our elders safe from COVID-19 exposure.


Important tips for face masks.Your face covering should:
Reach above the nose, below the chin, and completely cover the mouth and nostrils
Fit snugly against the sides of the face
Be made of multiple layers of fabric that you can still breathe through
Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damaging the material or shape
Do not buy surgical masks to use as a face covering. Those are intended for healthcare workers and first responders. Many items you may already have in your home can be used to create face coverings.
Try creating a cloth face covering using bandanas, ski masks, washable napkins, or dish towels.
Learn more at https://bit.ly/2Ravt42


Southeast Colorado Hospital District and Long Term Care Center,
Your providers at Southeast Colorado Medical Clinic want to remind you that your health is essential. We want to reach out to make sure everyone is staying safe and healthy. We understand staying home to protect yourselves from COVID-19, but do not put your other health conditions on hold. We do not want a medical problem getting worse by waiting too long.
Our clinic is safe and ready to see you. Please do not think that you are burdening our medical staff by making an appointment. We work in healthcare because we care about your health, that will never change. We have put into place recommended new precautions to keep our patients safe. Every patient and staff member is screened according to guidelines daily and masks are being worn at all times.
We have also implemented Telehealth visits. These are visits you can do from the comfort of your home using a safe video conferencing software with your smartphone, table or computer. You and your provider will be able to see each other face-to-face. Our providers are very accommodating and will make sure you are taken care of safely, even if that means they need to see you inside your vehicle.

We have many options available for appointments. To schedule an appointment with your primary provider, please call (719) 523-6628 and we will find the best and safest choice for you.