COVID-19 safeguards still needed
We’ve been fighting COVID-19 together for nearly a year and a half. And it hasn’t been easy.
Within a week of our first confirmed positive test on March 10, 2020, we set up a drive-through test collection site at our North Campus. We spent hours in full protective gear and in all sorts of weather, collecting samples from long lines of people who were anxious for answers. Our nursing team developed a capacity expansion plan to ensure we were prepared for the growing numbers of patients who needed inpatient care, never dreaming that at our peak we would stretch to accommodate 141 patients at one time.
We found joy and relief in the many patients who recovered and were reunited with loved ones – and we held the hands of others in their final moments, and we held iPads so grieving families could say goodbye. And, when a vaccine became available, we were one of the first to open a mass vaccination clinic to get shots in the arms of our first-responders, senior adults, teachers, and finally to all those eager to get the protection needed to return to a more normal way of life.
We have reached many milestones together and are now fortunately benefiting from those strenuous efforts. It is a privilege to work with our community partners and volunteers in dealing with this dreadful coronavirus. It is extremely gratifying to know that all of our combined efforts have gotten us this far, and it was a great honor to be there for you and your family. With your help – and thanks to the availability of a safe and effective vaccine – we’ve seen the number of COVID-19 cases at AnMed Health drop dramatically since December. It’s a welcome relief for all of us.
With the success of the vaccine and other measures, we’ve closed our drive-through testing site, begun transitioning vaccine administration from our mass clinic site to some physicians’ offices, and reopened our facilities to students, volunteers and visitors. Like you, we welcome these changes as signs of a return to a more normal way of life. However, we still need to practice the following safeguards:
Get vaccinated. Over half of the people in our service area have not yet been vaccinated. The vaccines against COVID-19 are extremely effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization. The best chance we have at avoiding another spike in cases is for everyone to get the vaccine.
Wear a mask. We treat many vulnerable patients who are susceptible to COVID-19, so for everyone’s safety, we continue to ask that you wear a mask inside AnMed Health facilities. And for those who aren’t vaccinated, wearing a mask in public helps stop the spread.
Social distance. America has reopened for business with few restrictions. But as always, maintaining six feet apart from others will decrease the chance of transmission. That invisible buffer is especially important in crowded, indoor areas.
Wash hands. Handwashing with hot water and soap is one of the best forms of prevention, not only from COVID-19 but from other transmissible diseases as well.
While the fight against COVID-19 seems to be going in the right direction, it is not over, and we must continue the fight now and for the foreseeable future. So staying diligent in practicing preventive measures and, most importantly, getting vaccinated are essential to protecting as many people as possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our country and our community. It has revealed our tremendous resolve, our innovative spirit and our ability to overcome. On behalf of the AnMed Health team, I want to sincerely thank you for your support during this time.
We are “in this together.”
William Kenley, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
For anyone 12 years old or older, AnMed Health provides the COVID-19 vaccine in the Healthy Futures Room at the AnMed Health North Campus on Fridays during July (7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.) and August (8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.). Walk-ins and appointments are accepted. Call 864.512.2897 or visit MyChart.AnMedHealth.org to schedule an appointment. Visit AnMedHealth.org/CovidShot for more information.