As the state begins lifting restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Macon Community Hospital would like to update our community on our actions during these unprecedented times and our goals for the next few weeks.
I would like to personally give a heartfelt thanks to our staff, providers, our medical community, our Board of Directors and all first responders for their support and hard work during an event we have never seen before and one I hope and pray we never see again. Our team has poured their heart and soul into taking care of our community, and each other, through these difficult times. Our staff shares the same concerns and apprehensions as everyone else in our country, but they continue to work hard and go above and beyond to help our local hospital complete our mission and care for our community.
Since March 12th, when we tested our first patient for COVID-19, we have tested over 125 additional patients and have worked with the Tennessee Department of Health in preparing for a potential surge of up to 45 patients and 6 ICU beds with ventilator capabilities. Thankfully, that has not been needed yet, but we maintain at full staff and constant readiness in case we are needed. We are reaching the conclusion of a project to add an additional private patient room, along with installing negative pressure in all existing patient rooms. This will exhaust air from patient rooms through special filters out of the building to prevent the spread of disease. This will help to prevent any cross-contamination from COVID-19 in our hospital, which has one of the lowest acquired infection rates of any hospital in Tennessee.
All our staff are screened at least once per day and have been diligent in disinfecting and sanitizing throughout the hospital and this has paid off – although we have treated many patients with COVID-19, we have not had any patients contract COVID-19 while in our facility nor have we had any employees test positive for the virus! The number of patients we have been seeing in the emergency room has fallen since this began and some of it is due to fear of catching the virus while visiting the hospital. Some have waited until it was almost too late, and we want you to know we are here to provide for your care in a clean and safe environment.
Following the guidance from the CDC and the expiration of the governor’s executive orders that closed some of the hospital’s outpatient areas, we will be re-starting certain tests and procedures as we are allowed. We have met all the requirements and Phase 1 guidelines for the state and our surgery department will begin performing surgeries on May 4th. The therapy department will also begin taking new patients and restarting treatment on patients that were seen prior to the governor’s executive order on May 4th.
Other departments will be available as we are allowed and are fully prepared to provide the high quality our patients expect. As always, our inpatient, emergency, medical imaging, respiratory therapy, and laboratory are currently available and willing to serve you and your health needs. We will continue to follow the guidelines for no visitors and to screen anyone entering the hospital. According to the Tennessee Department of Health and our internal statistics, Macon County hit its peak on April 16th and the “curve” continues to decline. However, we should all continue to be vigilant in our efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
In closing, I want to thank our community. This has been a very stressful time for our team at the hospital. The heartfelt cards, calls and letters of support have been very meaningful and encouraging. Our community has donated supplies, meals and support and we want you to know it has meant a lot. We have a quality hospital, a strong county, state, and country and by the grace of God, we will get through this together. Just remember, more than ever, we are here for you!
Thomas J. Kidd, CEO
Macon Community Hospital