Fannin County community members who suspect they may have the coronavirus, COVID-19, should call ahead during regular business hours before visiting their physician to explain their symptoms, Fannin Regional Hospital CEO Jason Jones said.
“This will help your health care provider take steps necessary to keep other people from potentially being exposed,” Jones said. “If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to receive treatment outside of the hospital setting. If your symptoms are more severe, call ahead if possible and seek emergency treatment. The hospital’s emergency department remains open to care for emergency situations.”
Jones also recommended following The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies’ recommendations to stay home and avoid public places or crowds with greater than 10 people.
“Socializing can put you and your family at risk, as well as the most vulnerable—seniors, individuals with underlying health conditions, and medical professionals,” he said.
According to Jones, Blue Ridge Medical Group doctor’s offices remain open. He advised that if a patient is uncomfortable visiting in person, they should call their provider in advance to discuss telehealth appointment options.
“We are following the latest guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for screening, testing and infection control, and our entire team meets daily to prepare for all aspects of operations from supply procurement to caring for new patients if necessary,” he said. “Fannin Regional Hospital has created stringent protocols to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. In addition, as a matter of precaution, we are limiting visitation to our hospital at this time. We know this can be difficult as connection with loved ones is vital, but we must attempt to limit exposure to the virus.”
When asked how COVID-19 will affect health care in the county, Jones said, “The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our nation’s health care system in way we won’t fully realize until we’ve moved past the immediate, emergency phase. However, we do know that health care workers are answering the call to care for those in need and take that responsibility very serious.
“Operationally, in the near term, hospitals will be impacted as elective surgical procedures are reduced; however, we would expect those to be scheduled when we get past this pandemic.”
He encourages community members to visit the Georgia Department of Health’s website at https://dph.georgia.gov/15-days-slow-spread for guidance during this time.
“Our community is fortunate to have a team of physicians and infection prevention leaders who are committed to monitoring the outbreak around the clock,” Jones said. “We take emergency preparedness seriously and are continually evaluating our emergency preparedness plan to ensure the hospital is prepared with adequate staff and supplies as the situation evolves. This community takes care of each other in times of need. Now is that time. Stay home and stay healthy.”