March 6 COVID-19 Update
There remains no evidence of an infection of COVID-19 in Tulare County,
according to the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency. For updates
from TCHHSA on the number of individuals in the county being self monitored, click
HERE (site updated two times a week). The county has the ability to test locally;
test results are typically available within 24-48.
At Kaweah Delta
Whether at work or out in the community, people are talking about COVID-19.
Many have questions and some have concerns. We have a plan in place at
Kaweah Delta and are working incredibly hard to make sure that should
there ever be a local exposure, our staff, patients, and visitors will be safe.
This week, Tulare County’s Public Health Officer asked us, along
with other hospitals in the area, to test persons under investigation
for COVID-19. To date, there remain no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in
Tulare County. Our plan to test these individuals is comprehensive and
based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
to keep staff safe and limit exposure to others. It mirrors protocols
already in place for tuberculosis testing and involves protection for
The CDC has also lifted the requirement that testing for COVID-19 must
happen in negative pressure isolation rooms. This means that tests can
take place in rooms with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter
that can trap harmful particles.
We have had requests from the community seeking COVID-19 testing at Kaweah
Delta. Individuals who are not experiencing life-threatening symptoms,
should instead, call their doctor by phone, so that he/she can determine
whether testing is required. At this point, we can only test individuals
with approval of Tulare County’s Public Health Officer, who meet
a combination of the following:
-Fever, cough, difficulty breathing
-Travel to an area in the past 14 days with a widespread or ongoing community
spread of COVID-19
-Close contact within 14 days of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Those of us in healthcare know that this time of year, cold and flu season,
is not only very busy, but dangerous – the CDC estimates that 56,000
people die from the flu or flu-like illness each year; to date, 14 people
have died from COVID-19. We are in constant communication with Tulare
County’s Public Health Officer and we’re constantly monitoring
CDC for opportunities to improve our plan to keep our staff, patients
and visitors safe. We will keep you posted as we know more.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention continue to stress the
following everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses,
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
-Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces.
We will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 activities as we know more.