For nearly half the year, our state and nation have been faced with an unprecedented global pandemic called the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. This virus has created challenges across the world. It’s been more than 100 years since the Spanish flu outbreak when our world had to deal with a health crisis of this magnitude. Early on, it was evident that in order to stop the spread of this virus, it would take our national government, healthcare system, and every person’s commitment.
This trying time has been championed by our frontline healthcare providers around the world. This challenge has required our doctors, nurses and support staff to give it their all to meet the ever-changing needs of the communities they serve. These healthcare heroes are the embodiment of our mission to serve others.
Every day, I am humbled and comforted seeing our associates’ commitment to caring for and protecting our friends, families and neighbors.
One thing we have learned from this experience is COVID-19 spreads easily and can have devastating effects for some of our high-risk community members. However, this virus does not only infect older people. We have seen staggering numbers of COVID-19-positive patients under the age of 25. This is most likely due to the social nature of this age group.
We must continue to practice consistent mask wearing, social distancing and good hand hygiene. It has been proven that mask wearing can reduce the spread and likelihood of transmitting the virus by preventing respiratory droplets in the air and on surfaces. Effective hand washing of at least 20 seconds and refraining from touching your face are two of the most effective ways to prevent infection and spread germs and should become a regular habit.
As healthcare providers and as a healthcare ministry, we believe in caring for others and being good community examples of how to prevent the spread of disease.
We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and it will take every member of our community to help us stop the spread and curb the uptick of cases that we are seeing. We support and appreciate our local businesses, schools and government agencies’ efforts to keep our community safe and supporting mask wearing.
While mask wearing is not always comfortable or convenient, we have a shared responsibility to look out for the health and safety of ourselves and others. As you take advantage of the warm weather and summertime, we encourage you to to do the right thing by following health and safety guidelines.
If you become sick or are experiencing an emergency, please do not delay care. We have updated policies and made changes to our hospitals, clinics, therapy centers and other sites of care to help ensure the safety of our patients and associates. By working together, wearing masks, practicing social distancing and effective hand washing, we can help prevent the further spread of this virus.
Please do not delay important health screenings. Talk to your primary care physician about heart, lung and colon health and when they recommend you have screenings for certain diseases. Our community healthcare providers have safety measures in place to help ensure patients and providers are safe.