Lake Chelan Health is cleared to admit patients to the hospital and resume all services. Patients that had previously tested positive for COVID-19 are no longer infectious and off isolation precautions. In mid-January, five patients began showing initial symptoms of the virus and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. The Chelan Douglas Health District (CDHD) has been providing guidance to the Lake Chelan Health staff and reviewed all safety precautions.
The first recommendations by the CDHD included placing the hospital on diversion to not admit any new patients and suspend physical, occupational, and speech therapy services. Lake Chelan Health CNO, Jaime Minnock, worked with CDHD in leading the investigation into how the virus entered the facility and reached patients. Emphasis was immediately placed on testing of all staff working directly with patients for the prior 14 days. 98 employees were tested within hours and all initial tests came back negative for COVID-19. Follow up testing was conducted which also resulted in no positive tests.
The Lake Chelan Health team has practiced every safety precaution for months to prevent the spread of the virus, and we are extremely proud of the team for their diligence in stopping what could have been a disastrous outbreak.
CDHD reviewed our investigation concerning how the virus was potentially introduced and transmitted. The health district commended our staff on the established safety precautions and were comfortable with the mitigation strategies. Lake Chelan Health has updated its visitor policy to no visitors or extra guests accompanying patients to appointments, except for end-of-life care, pediatrics, and allowing one support person or partner for obstetrical ultrasounds and delivery.
We appreciate the guidance and support received from the CDHD in safely working through this COVID-19 outbreak.