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Phase One Plan for Reopening Services

Phillips County Health Systems Eases Restrictions on Elective Procedures and Visitors

Health System Remains Ready for Medical Surge

Phillips County Health Systems (PCHS) announced today it will ease the temporary restrictions placed on elective surgery, outpatient specialty clinics and procedures, and visitation due to the COVID-19 virus. The decision follows the release of Governor Kelly’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas multi-phase plan for the state. PCHS will schedule patients for elective surgeries and ease visitor restrictions as soon as Monday, May 4.

“This is great news for patients who have placed their care plans on hold due to COVID-19,” said Chief of Staff Dr. Doak Doolittle. “Our team is ready to deliver safe care to all patients. We continue to follow Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kansas Department of Health and Environment for guidance.”

Safety protocols put in place regarding care include, but are not limited to:

  • All individuals entering PCHS facilities, including team members, will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

  • All individuals with medical appointments in the clinic will be asked to don a cloth mask. Patients may bring their own mask or may opt to wear one supplied by PCHS.

  • Care team members will wear necessary and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

  • Visitors will be allowed one at a time in the hospital. Visitors will be required to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and don a mask.

  • Six-foot social distances will be established in public areas such as waiting rooms.

  • Extra cleaning and disinfection will continue.

  • Patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or exposure will continue to be cared for in isolation, away from other patients and staff.

In addition to the safety protocols, PCHS remains prepared to cease non-essential procedures in the event a surge or peak of COVID-19 develops in the area.

“We’re able to lift restrictions due to the low COVID-19 transmission rate within our community,” said Tara Overmiller, COVID-19 Task Force Public Information Officer. “However, our new normal is that we now live with the COVID-19 virus. As people resume activities, we may see a spike in the virus and we will always side on protecting our patients, healthcare workers, and community by returning to more restrictive policies and protocols. Until a vaccine or cure is found, PCHS will remain prepared at all times to handle a surge and care for our community and surrounding area.”

To remain prepared, PCHS will maintain a sufficient supply of PPE as well as other resources necessary to care for COVID-19 patients. In addition, the health system will collaborate with local healthcare entities and the Department of Health to continually evaluate incidences and trends of COVID-19 cases within Phillips County and the surrounding area.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Dr. Doolittle. “Our services may look a little different in the new normal, but our commitment to our mission, to deliver patient-centered, high-quality, compassionate healthcare, remains the same.”

Patients who wish to schedule their elective surgery or procedure should first visit with their appropriate ordering provider by calling the Phillips County Medical Clinic at 785-543-5211.

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