Hospital taking coronavirus precautions

Among the precautions Grays Harbor Community Hospital is taking to protect its patients, staff and the public from the coronavirus outbreak are limitations on unnecessary visitation, canceling public events at the hospital and stockpiling protective gear.

The hospital doesn’t have testing available onsite at this time. It can take samples for testing when patients meet the criteria, but they must be sent to an approved lab, according to Chris Majors, director of marketing and public relations.

“Testing will be available to those who have specific symptoms such as a temperature of 101 or greater, cough and shortness of breath, along with one of the following: known contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, recent travel to specific regions of the world, those sick enough for hospitalization,” Majors said.

“The very ill may need hospitalization, but the goal is to keep as many people at home self-quarantined as possible. At this time, the Washington Department of Health and the CDC are are determining who gets tested,” he said.

The hospital has a phone triage line for people who think they are sick enough to come to the hospital. They should leave a detailed message at 360-537-5100 and a nurse will return the call within two hours, a hospital news release stated.

If directed to go to the hospital by the Department of Health, the hospital asks that people call the emergency department at 360-537-4130 and ask to speak to the charge nurse, notify the nurse that they meet the screening criteria and have been directed to go to the hospital.

“For the safety of the public and our patients, all public events, classes and group meetings at the East and West campuses of GHCH will be postponed or canceled until the threat of COVID-19 has diminished,” Majors said.

The hospital is also making sure it has stockpiles of the appropriate protective gear, such as masks and gloves, he said.

Majors said that Community Hospital has not treated any COVID-19 positive patients yet. The two patients from Grays Harbor who are being tested for COVID-19 while being hospitalized outside the county were not treated by GHCH, he said.

“We do have isolation rooms and we can, if someone comes in, we could keep them and others safe,” he said.

Actions you can take now to keep yourself and your community safe:

• Stay home if you are sick.

• Stay away from people who are sick with fever and a cough.

• Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds.

• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue. Throw out used tissues and wash your hands.

• Avoid touching your face especially your mouth, nose and eyes.

• Get a flu shot.

• Make plans for external events such as the closing of schools.

• Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


WADOH Hotline: 1-800-525-0127 and press #