“Controlled Entry” at EIRMC

Efforts being made to reduce coronavirus risk

Published online: Mar 05, 2020 East Idaho Health
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IDAHO FALLS -- The coronavirus. It’s all over the news and all anyone seems able to talk about. Hand sanitizer, soup, tissues, ramen, canned goods and much more are flying off the shelves. As of today, there have been six individuals tested in Idaho for COVID-19 with zero infections, so the risk is currently low. However, the CDC has directed citizens to prepare for possible disruptions to everyday life.   

So, what is your local hospital doing to prepare for the virus? For several weeks, EIRMC leaders have prepared on multiple fronts for the potential impact of the coronavirus, including clinical protocols, nursing education, and ensuring availability of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect our patients and caregivers.  

EIRMC is also examining two additional issues:  

  • The serious ramifications to patient care if staff are exposed, and thus potentially requiring quarantine.

  • The risk to already-vulnerable hospitalized patients when they come in contact with a person with respiratory illness (a serious concern throughout flu season).  

To this end, beginning Thursday morning, EIRMC is implementing a “controlled entry” system to screen all incoming patients and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19.  

What does this mean?

  • The entire hospital- including the ER- remains fully operational and ready to care for patients.  

  • From 4:30 am – 9:00 pm, all non-ER visitors and patients must enter through the Main Lobby.

  • From 9:00 pm – 4:30 am, all non-ER visitors and patients must enter through the ER. 

  • All other entry points will be locked 24/7.  

  • Visitors and patients will be asked two questions.  Based on their answers, visitors will be asked to delay their visit until they are well, again for the protection of our patients.

  • There is a process for visitors who may be ill to visit their loved one in special circumstances. 

  • Both Medical Office Building front entrances remain open, but there is no access to the main hospital from the Medical Office Buildings. 

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