The providers and medical staff at Sullivan County Community Hospital understand that there is a great deal of fear and anxiety related to the current pandemic related to the novel coronavirus across our community, state and country.
We are currently working diligently to follow guidance and collaborate with our local health department, Indiana State Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control. There are several points that are important to remember that I feel would benefit our community and general public.
If you have symptoms of cough, fever, headache similar to a cold or the seasonal flu you might be infected with COVID-19. Most importantly do not panic, most people who contract the illness will recover with the treatment of symptoms and do not require hospitalization or prescription medication treatment. (There are currently no approved drugs to treat COVID-19.)
Since the vast majority of cases recover with treatment of fever and rest, we ask that if you experience any of these symptoms stay at home and do not come in contact with anyone.
Currently the ISDH recommends home isolation for at least 7 days for infected individuals or until they are symptom and fever free with no medication for 3 days. Your immediate family needs to stay home and stay away from anyone for 14 days, even if they do not develop illness, due to the potential incubation period after exposure. When in doubt, stay home and avoid all contact with others. If you are uncertain if you need further treatment call your healthcare provider for guidance. You can find more information on coronavirus.in.gov.
If you develop significant shortness of breath or difficulty breathing you should seek medical attention immediately during your illness.
Testing is available but is limited and requires approval from the Indiana State Department of Health to meet certain guidelines, but in the end, having a confirmed lab test will not change the treatment for the vast majority of cases and will be handled with the above recommendations.
The best way to control the spread of this virus and to protect yourself and your loved ones is to stay home and practice social distancing. If you must purchase necessities, one person should go pick those up, including groceries or medications. Many businesses are offering curbside pickup if you purchase goods online to avoid contact in person.
If you are over the age of 60 or have medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer see if you can have a family member pick up your goods for you and leave them at the door if possible.
We encourage local businesses and employers to review their human resources policies regarding absences and requiring a visit with a healthcare provider and a work excuse note. It is not necessary for an individual who has been ill and recovered to come to a healthcare setting simply to get an excuse note for work. We expect employers to recognize the unique circumstances of the current health risk in our community.
We appreciate the support of our community and the outpouring of love during this difficult time. If we practice the current recommendations from our state and federal leaders, we can make a significant impact on the spread of this virus to the most vulnerable members of our community.
Our top priority remains doing everything possible to provide excellent care but also to protect the health of our patients, staff and local community.
Please join me in praying for our frontline healthcare workers, retailers, truck drivers, law enforcement officers,
first responders and the health of our community during this difficult time.
Thank you for your support of Sullivan County Community Hospital.
Dustin Ellis MD, Chief of Staff