Some Questions and Answers with Dr. Jason Ray, M. D., on COVID-19 preparations at AllianceHealth Woodward
Do you have some Frequently Asked Questions you are running into from the public?
The most common (and most important) question I receive is What do I need to do to protect myself and my family? The answer is pretty simple. Wash your hands frequently. Treat every thing you touch out in public as if it were contaminated (because likely it is). Don’t touch your face. Stay out of public places when you can. If you are in the highest risk groups, stay home.
If serious need arises, do you have sufficient capacity?
Yes. We have been planning for what to do for weeks now. Could we become overwhelmed if people aren’t taking precautions? Yes, but we have been preparing for that too.
How many beds does your hospital have? How many are already occupied? How many ICU beds? How many of those are occupied? What is the plan for expanding capacity?
I am not sure I’m the best person to answer all those questions. But what I will say is that we have been planning and preparing for this for weeks. By canceling all elective procedures we can take care of COVID19 patients in our surgical area. We have made plans to expand into other areas of the hospital if that is required and even made preparations to expand off site should it come to that.
What other concerns do you have?
My main concerns have been with protecting our staff and educating the public. We have adequate protective equipment as it stands and are doing everything we know to keep our workers safe. If they get sick they can’t take care of others so that’s a major priority. I continue to use every avenue I can to get out the word about prevention and quarantine. If you are sick STAY HOME! Most people who get this have mild illness. Getting tested doesn’t change your treatment or what you need to be doing. And it exposes more people to you. If you are sick and afraid you have it, you probably do! Isolate yourself at home as much as you can, wash your hands and surfaces you are touching a lot. You should only come to the hospital if you are really short of breath. And call ahead so we are prepared to take care of you!
What other preparations are you making?
We have done everything we can to prepare, stockpile what’s available and train ourselves to be ready. But more than anything else it is up to our community to follow the recommendations from the State, CDC that are out there. Stay well! We will get through this together.