The moves come as health care systems in the state change their focus from testing for transmission of the new coronavirus, to trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 among patients, visitors and providers while preparing for an expected surge of critical cases.
With proven community transmission of the new coronavirus in the state, visitors are no longer allowed in the cancer units and most other high-risk areas of Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, Rose Medical Center and the other hospitals in the HealthONE system, spokeswoman Stephanie Sullivan said.
UCHealth on Sunday started limiting patients to one visitor every 24 hours, including birth centers, and children under 16 aren’t allowed unless they themselves are patients. Visitors are also banned from nursing homes and assisted living facilities under an order issued Saturday by Gov. Jared Polis’ administration.
St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco started postponing elective surgeries on Friday, Centura Health spokeswoman Wendy Forbes said. Banner Health canceled all elective non-emergency surgeries and procedures at the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.
Larimer County public health officials on Sunday asked that elective surgeries and non-critical medical appointments be postponed “to conserve medical resources.”
Most hospitals are limiting the number of entrances to their buildings so visitors can be questioned before they enter to see if there’s a chance they might be carrying the coronavirus without having symptoms.
UCHealth is evaluating whether to take everyone’s temperature before allowing them inside the building, said Dr. Richard Zane, UCHealth’s chief innovation officer and chair of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Fever is a frequent symptom of the coronavirus, along with trouble breathing.
In Montezuma County, officials reiterated that a cough or sniffles does not mean testing for coronoavirus is warranted. It might be the flu or a cold.
If signs of respiratory illness exist, people are encouraged to contact their medical provider and follow instructions. Stay home and recover, self-isolate, do not go to work or public places and use good hygiene.
If sickness is severe with fever, coughing, shortness of breath, or hospitalization is needed, contact the hospital patient information line in advance at 970-565-2201.
If you need to pay a hospital bill, utilize online pay options or by phone at 970-564-2130, and call ahead if medical records are needed at 970-564-2311.