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OGH Begins Offering Surgical Procedures Once Again

May 28, 2020 Ochiltree General is pleased to announce the continuation of surgical procedures for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Texas Panhandle. Though surgeries – including procedures such as colonoscopies – began being performed once again on May 25, Ochiltree General is still very aware of the threat to our community presented by COVID-19 and has instituted policies to protect our patients as well as staff members.

Beginning Monday, May 18, all patients having procedures at OGH began being pre-operatively tested for COVID-19. This includes all cesarean sections, labor inductions, and patients arriving in active labor. Operative cases resumed Monday, May 25, and all patients will be tested in-house prior to their procedure. All patients and visitors will continue to undergo the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire on arrival. Should patients present to the hospital for other pre-operative testing or surgical admission completion, they will be tested for COVID-19 at that time. Between the time of testing and procedure time patients are expected to self-quarantine at home. Otherwise, they will be tested in-house the morning of their procedure. If a patient for an elective procedure refuses a COVID-19 test that procedure will be cancelled. Should the result be positive, the procedure will be cancelled and rescheduled for a different time.

Adult surgical patients will not be allowed a visitor at this time. Patients will need to have someone available to drop them off and be prepared for a phone call from staff when the procedure is complete. They will then be instructed when to drive up to the Emergency Department door when the patient is ready for discharge.

Obstetric patients and pediatric surgical patients will be allowed one parent/caregiver to be with them in the hospital. The chosen parent/caregiver must be the same individual for the entirety of the patients stay. For pediatric surgical patients, the same parent must stay at the hospital for the entirety of the procedure until discharge. The parent will be screened for COVID-19 prior to hospital entry and are required to wear a mask while in the hospital.

Ochiltree General has implemented measures to keep non-surgical patients safe as well. When patients enter Ochiltree General, they are triaged based on their symptoms so that anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 does not commingle with those individuals who are visiting for outpatient procedures. In addition, staff members are having their temperature taken upon entering the hospital, voluntarily wearing masks throughout the facility as well as practicing social distancing as much as possible in a medical environment.

As always, your local hospital continues to actively monitor all updates from the Texas Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control in regard to COVID-19. Currently, there are 52 reported positive cases of COVID-19 in Ochiltree County.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Infection Control Officer, ACNO Jyme Kinnard, at jlkinnard@oghtx.com, Chief Nursing Officer Kelly Judice, RN, at kjudice@oghtx.com or call the hospital main line at 806-435-3606.

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