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Star Valley Health provides details about treating Coronavirus at the local level

• SV Health is accepting COVID patients or transferring to Idaho Falls or Jackson?
Star Valley Health has a global plan regarding the care of all patients with symptoms of COVID-19 that require evaluation, treatment, and in some cases transfer to other facilities. If a patient suspects they are ill with COVID-19, we request they do one of three things:
1.) Go to the emergency room if they feel they are in need of that level of care.
2.) Visit one of our urgent care facilities in Afton or Alpine. We request they present to the COVID-19 Testing Center designated at each of those clinics, stay in their vehicle and an attendant will come out to meet them, evaluate and discuss next steps.
3.) Call our Live Support Hotline at: 307-885-5008 or call their primary care provider (PCP) and arrange a telehealth visit with their provider. If their PCP cannot see them because their schedule is full, then they should go to one of our two COVID-19 testing facilities.

If it’s determined that a patient needs admitted to the hospital for further care, we arrange to transfer them to a partner facility that is accepting COVID-19 patients for admission. However, our surrounding hospitals are starting to have a hard time accommodating requests from all of their referring facilities because the prevalence of COVID-19 patients needing admission is spiking to significant levels all around us including the greater Salt Lake area.

We have had plans in place since March to admit patients to our facility if necessary and will do so if we find we are unable to manage a transfer. Our staff are ready, trained and prepared to monitor patients with COVID-19. We have a good supply of PPE and continue to use our tele-infectious disease consultants at Intermountain Medical Center for direction on care of COVID-19 patients. We have remdesivir and dexamethasone available for treatment and have already utilized those two medications on several of our emergency room patients.

When we speak of a plan, may we have a more detailed look. Example, are we using a COVID Ward or are there plans for a COVID Ward?
Since March we have had plans in place to care for patients with COVID-19 at our hospital. During the earlier months of this National Health Emergency we developed systems and policies to manage these patients in our hospital. We have increased the number of reverse isolation rooms (also known as negative pressure rooms) available and per our usual policies for anyone ill with an infectious disease, they are separated from those here for other types of care such as post-operative patients, obstetric patients and their newborns. If we have more than one patient with COVID-19 admitted to our facility they will be admitted in the same location utilizing our reverse isolation rooms.

After the early months of this pandemic, since our community, surrounding communities, and state did such a great job of minimizing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, we were able to transition our services to the new “normal”, while continuing to follow closely the incidence and prevalence of the disease in our community. We have had to accommodate a fluid situation since March and continue to be prepared to do so successfully, so that we can continue to operate the hospital and all of its services now as well as in the immediate and distant future.

Patients can still see their doctors at the Family Practice Clinic and use the SV Health Lab?
Star Valley Health is open and operating – here for you when you need it the most! We continue to encourage patients to call their primary care provider to schedule a telehealth (virtual visit) or if they believe their symptoms are that of COVID-19 visit our testing centers in Afton or Alpine. Patients presenting to any of our facilities for non-COVID-19 related services will be screened on the phone AND when they enter the facility.

We understand this feels redundant but is completed knowing how quickly the onset of symptoms can present. Masks must be worn when entering any of Star Valley Health’s facilities. If you are unable to bring your own, one will be provided for you.

Anytime a patient feels they have an emergency situation with their health, they should not hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room directly, no matter the cause of their emergency including COVID-19 illness.