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Carteret Health Care Phasing In Elective Care

Over the last 45 days, Carteret Health Care (CHC) has prepared for COVID-19 and the potential for a massive outbreak in Carteret County. During this period, CHC has made significant advancements in our ability to respond quickly to the changing environment of COVID-19.

With frequent conversations with CHC’s partners at the Mayo Clinic and following guidance from national, state and local agencies and predictive data, CHC was prepared to safely care for a potential surge of Critical Care and COVID-19 patients.

Although delaying elective care, the CHC staff and physicians continued caring for the community when they have needed us most; for emergency and essential clinical care needs every hour and day of the week.

“With some models predicting hundreds to thousands of hospital admissions in Carteret County based on population, we are very thankful we have been spared as a community and are fortunate to have had only five COVID-19 patients hospitalized at CHC in the last 45 days” stated Harvey Case, CHC President. “From a resource perspective, we were prepared for a large surge of COVID-19 patients and we put a tremendous amount of time and effort accumulating knowledge, personal protective equipment, beds, negative pressure equipment, ventilators, test kits and ensuring we have the clinical experts available to care for whatever comes our way.”

Newer models that have been updated with actual data versus projected, now show the estimates of future needs for hospital resources have declined dramatically. With trends now more favorable, preparations are underway to resume elective surgeries and reopen our outpatient services in a phased manner.

Beginning May 4th, Carteret Health Care will begin resuming services and contacting patients to reschedule along with seeing new patients. Centered around safety, CHC’s plan is a phased approach and the hospital plans to start reopening gradually and accelerate at a rate that does not outpace its ability to provide a safe environment for all involved.

As we move forward with elective care, Carteret Health Care will continue using advanced safety protocols including:

  • Requiring universal masking for all patients, physicians, staff and support persons, (patients and support persons are encouraged to bring their own face covering, such as a cloth mask)
  • Facility-wide screening for all patients, physicians, staff, and support persons, who enter CHC
  • Social distancing
  • Visitor restrictions
  • Hand hygiene

These along with other safety precautions such as increasing testing capacity and monitoring personal protective equipment will continue as they have been an effective strategy in our response to COVID-19.

Case concludes, “We clearly understand we cannot let our guard down, however we believe we are ready to safely begin moving forward with caring for patients with needs that have been delayed. We have worked closely with the Mayo Clinic and have incorporated safety behaviors and best practices that have proven effective in mitigating the transmission of the virus.”