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Published on February 28, 2020

Bryan Health Closely Monitoring, Taking Necessary Steps to Prepare for COVID-19

Bryan Health is closely monitoring and taking necessary steps to prepare for activity related to COVID-19, a respiratory coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China.

“Over the last few days, COVID-19 has created a lot of attention and concern,” said Lisa Vail, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Bryan Health. “We want the people of our region to know that, while the risk remains low, Bryan has implemented multiple strategies to prepare for patients who may present with this condition. It’s a priority for us and one that we’re ready for.”

Bryan’s team of experienced infection prevention and emergency management specialists has been meeting regularly since early January when the virus first emerged and spread. Over multiple weeks, Bryan has been working proactively to ensure specific processes and preparations are in place to manage COVID-19 cases:

  • A team of leaders are meeting regularly to receive and review updates from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  • A response plan is being implemented at Bryan Health locations, which consists of identifying travel history and symptoms, isolating patients if criteria is met and reporting suspected cases for testing
  • Medical professionals are relying on scenario planning and experience with other highly infectious diseases, such as measles, Ebola, SARS and H1N1
  • Working with other health care organizations in the community to ensure a cohesive response

“We prepare for this type of scenario year-round,” said Tobias Watson, emergency preparedness coordinator at Bryan Health. “Whether it’s COVID-19 or another infectious disease, we rely on our standards and practice exercises to work closely as a team to be ready for a situation like this.”

Prevention of COVID-19 is similar to any other virus, such as influenza. It can spread through close personal contact with a sick person. Individuals are reminded to:

  • Wash hands often
  • Cover cough/sneeze with a tissue
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick

Read more information about COVID-19 and Bryan Health’s preparations.

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