At least one urgent medical care facility has closed down because of a shortage of protective medical gear. Other healthcare facilities are also limiting visitors in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fresno County Public Health has reported two cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel strain of the coronavirus that has disrupted nearly all aspects of life around the United States and globally.
Medical providers across the county are struggling to obtain protective supplies and equipment for healthcare workers including surgical masks, N95 respirators, face shields and gloves.
Peachwood Urgent Care Closed
Peachwood Urgent Care in Clovis posted on its Facebook page that they have run out of safety equipment.
“Due to a shortage of protective gear available we have opted to close our Urgent Care. We will remain closed until we feel we can provide a safe environment to our patients and staff. In addition to the shortage of equipment many of our providers in Urgent Care meet the CDC ‘Stay Home’ recommendation. We appreciate your understanding and together we will get through what is a very trying time for all of us. Thank You,” the message says.
Other facilities, such as Central California Urgent Care and Northwest Urgent Care, say they remain open.
Hospitals Limiting Visitors
Community Medical Centers, which operates hospitals in downtown Fresno and in Clovis, announced further restrictions for visitors.
Starting Wednesday, visitors are allowed for laboring mothers (only one visitor), only one parent or guardian to accompany children for pediatric visits, and visitations allowed for patients in end-of-life care.
At Saint Agnes, the hospital is allowing only one visitor at a time, and no one under 14.
Saint Agnes clinics and doctor’s offices remain open, but “they have canceled wellness and preventive visits for high-risk patients and patients 65 and older,” according to spokeswoman Kelley Sanchez.
The Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center said they have put restrictions in place as well. Only one visitor will be allowed to visit patients during end-of-life care, labor/delivery/postpartum, pediatric, patient drop-offs, and adults who need assistance from a caretaker.
In addition, some medical procedures will be delayed.
“Kaiser Permanente physicians are reviewing all elective procedures scheduled for this month to determine those that can be safely postponed,” Kaiser Permanente said in a news release. “We understand that this is an inconvenience, but for Kaiser Permanente and other health care providers this is a necessary step to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that we continue to have the resources, capacity, and staff available to care for our members and the communities we serve. ”
Showing COVID-19 Symptoms? Facilities Urge Public to Contact Health Dept.
Northwest Urgent Care have asked patients to contact Fresno County Public Health instead of their facility if they feel they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Local physician groups are making similar pleas.
“Santé Community Physicians are encouraging all patients who exhibit signs of COVID-19 to call the Public Health Department at 559-600-3332,” said Santé spokeswoman Kelly Lilles said. “The physicians are asking patients to postpone any non-essential medical treatment to a later date and time for good measure as well as considering Telehealth medical services. It is important that our community come together and practice social distancing, hand washing and staying away from crowded places until further notice.”