In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Audubon County Memorial Hospital and Clinics is temporarily suspending all elective surgeries effective Monday, March 23 until further notice. Surgeries scheduled March 23 and forward will be postponed, with the exception of emergent or time-sensitive procedures deemed necessary by our medical staff. Patients who have scheduled surgeries or procedures will be contacted by Audubon County Memorial Hospital and Clinics’ staff.
The decision to suspend elective surgeries was made in efforts to decrease the risk of exposure to our community, our staff and our patients. Audubon County Memorial Hospital and Clinics is also preparing to conserve medical supplies and other resources.
At this time, there are no known positive COVID-19 cases in Audubon County. Audubon County Memorial Hospital and Clinics continues to follow IDPH and CDC recommendations along with determinations from our providers on whether or not a patient needs to be tested. IDPH has reported that approximately 80% of Iowans affected with COVID-19 will experience only a mild to moderate illness. Iowans who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. We have set up a screening call center that will be staffed 24/7 by hospital staff. If you feel that you may have COVID-19 or think you need to see your healthcare provider, call our call center at 712-563-5236.
Patients who are mildly ill with Coronavirus are able to recover and manage their symptoms at home. If you have symptoms including a fever of greater than 100.4°, cough, sore throat and/or mild shortness of breath, you don’t need to be seen by a provider immediately. These patients are first asked to self-quarantine their entire family at home. Waiting three days before contacting us ensures medical staff can treat the correct condition and helps to determine if the severity of the symptoms requires medical attention. Contact our call center as listed above if your symptoms worsen or you are having trouble breathing.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has set up a hotline to answer your questions. Dial 211 from any phone to speak with an expert, or visit www.211iowa.org. IDPH is your best resource to ask questions and stay informed about COVID-19 updates.
We want to emphasize the importance of this community-mindedness by staying vigilant with social practices and hygiene. Stay home if possible and practice social distancing to stop or slow the spread of contagious illnesses, such as COVID-19. Avoid shaking hands, cancel large events, avoid large crowds, and keep a 6-foot distance between you and others.
“As a community, we will overcome this situation together, neighbors helping neighbors and caring first for those most in need. It’s this spirit of family that has always defined who we are as a community and I’m so proud to see how our employees, providers, and community partners are pulling together. A few people and businesses from the community have been donating facemasks and N-95 masks to help protect our frontline healthcare workers. A group of community members are sewing facemasks for our staff as well. This has given me so much hope that the kindness and human spirit of caring for one another in our community will get us through this and we will be stronger for it.” said Suzanne Cooner, CEO of Audubon County Memorial Hospital & Clinics.
For individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it’s essential that your entire family self-quarantine. If possible, the individual with symptoms should isolate separately within the home, staying in a separate bedroom and bathroom area. When your entire family is under self-quarantine, no one should leave the home. This is absolutely critical to avoid spreading this highly contagious virus. Make arrangements to have someone drop off needed supplies outside to prevent the disease from spreading to others in the community.
For updates on the COVID-19 and what you can do to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors, please routinely visit the Audubon County Memorial Hospital and Clinics Facebook page, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) website at www.idph.iowa.gov, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 23, 3030
Kolton Hewlett, Senior Director of Administration