As COVID-19 continues its course in North Dakota, Trinity Health has been focused and strategic in its response.
The health system has been operating under its Incident Command structure since March 16 to manage staffing, resources, and coordinate all other aspects related to the pandemic.
Trinity Health has testing kits and continues to test symptomatic patients across our system, including its drive-in clinic. Trinity Health follows testing guidelines issued by North Dakota Department of Health.
Statewide, sixteen (16) COVID-19-positive patients are hospitalized, two of whom are at Trinity Hospital. Trinity has had three inpatients with COVID-19 so far; the first patient was treated successfully and discharged.
Recently a patient who had been transferred to Trinity Hospital from another care facility became symptomatic of COVID-19 during their stay. The patient tested positive for COVID-19, and Trinity Health immediately identified all members of the team who may have been exposed during the treatment of the patient. While risk of significant exposure remains low for most of them, Trinity Health instructed more than 40 staff to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the time of exposure.
“Our thoughts are with the patient and the patient’s family, as well as with our own family of healthcare professionals who do their best every day for their patients,” said Randy Schwan, Vice President of Mission Integration.
“Healthcare workers are on the front line to treat each and every patient to the best of their ability while reducing the impact of this virus on our communities. The toll on our team and our system is significant. Part of our Incident Command strategy is to allocate staff to cover gaps or provide downtime so associates get a chance to rest and recharge. It’s important that we take care of each other so we can take care of our patients throughout this pandemic,” Schwan said.
Across the United States and the world, numbers of COVID-19 cases are growing. Communities in North Dakota have been stepping up and following public pleas for social distancing and hand hygiene. Trinity Health urges the community to continue taking CDC guidance seriously so North Dakota can “flatten the curve” before it reaches crisis levels:
- Maintain as much distance as possible at work, at home, or anywhere else.
- Clean hands, clean hands, clean hands.
- Comply with Trinity Health’s and other healthcare facilities’ visitor restrictions, which include locked entrances, screening all people at staffed entrances, and masking those who fall into exception categories.
While hospitals and health systems are buckling down, the community outreach has been inspiring. Many people have responded to Trinity Health’s appeal for masks. “We thank all who’ve helped to either construct surgical masks, donate unused N95 masks, or share our message with others,” Schwan said. “I understand a number of them have already been delivered to the Ward County Administration building, and for that we are grateful. They’ll be used by our patients and staff where appropriate and will help to augment our supply of this important resource.”