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COVID-19 changes at CHCS

Community HealthCare System is working to protect our patients, communities, and associates from COVID-19 and has taken several actions to enhance our preparedness. The situation is changing rapidly, but we will continue to update this list as more adjustments become necessary.

In addition to keeping our providers, nurses, and clinic associates abreast of COVID-19 screening and testing procedures, we have done the following.

  • Update April 30: We will resume surgeries, wellness visits, and other services effective May 4. Hospitals and senior care facilities remain closed to visitors, and Fitness Centers remain closed at this time per the Governor's reopening plan. 
  • UPDATE April 17: Our Corning Clinic remains closed. Patients who need appointments should choose another location until further notice. 
  • Update April 14: Associates at all facilities will follow CDC guidelines by wearing fabric face coverings while at work when unable to maintain social distance. This will help protect patients as well as associates from asymptomatic individuals who may be carrying COVID-19. (Senior care associates started wearing masks on April 3.)
  • UPDATE March 26: We will offer telemedicine appointments for certain types of provider visits starting the week of March 30. 
  • UPDATE March 25: Our Health Fair and Community Baby Shower scheduled for April 25 is postponed. We will reschedule as soon as we are able. 
  • UPDATE March 23: Our Corning Clinic, which is usually open on Tuesdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., will be closed March 24 and 31 and April 7. If you have an appointment scheduled, we will call you to reschedule. 
  • UPDATE March 20: All CHCS Fitness Centers will be closed starting Sunday, March 22 at 5:00 p.m. If you are a member, please check your email for details. Electronic draft membership fees will cease for now, and those who paid over the counter will have time they paid for when the gym reopens. Employee payroll deducts and wellness benefits will be suspended. 
  • UPDATE March 20: The Onaga Cafeteria and Coffee & Gift Shop are now closed to the public. 
  • UPDATE March 20: Community Home Care Equipment/DME will be open for curbside service only after today; please do not enter the hospital to visit the store.Call 785-889-5018 and one of our associates will help you. 
  • UPDATE to hospital visitor policy effective March 19. No visitors will be allowed for hospital patients except under the following circumstances:
    • The visitor is a guardian for a child
    • The patient is on comfort end-of-life care
    • The patient is in critical condition and needs help making important decisions
    • Note: Staff members are available to work with loved ones to connect via phone and video. Please call the Onaga nurse’s station at 785-889-5007 or the St. Marys nurse’s station at 785-437-4196 to express your interest. 
  • UPDATE effective March 19: Elective surgeries and screening endoscopy procedures, including colonoscopy, are suspended. We will evaluate in early May.
  • UPDATE effective March 18: Access to the Onaga Fitness Center will be limited to Therapy and Cardiac Rehab patients from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Fitness Center members are welcome at other times. We are doing this to protect our patients, some of whom are in fragile health. 
  • Closed our senior care facilities to visitors. This includes Eastridge Skilled Nursing Facility, St. Marys Manor, and Redbud Assisted Living.
  • Controlled access to Onaga Hospital: The main entrance will be open during business hours, but all patients and visitors will be screened before entering. After 5:00 p.m. or if no one is present, patients and visitors should enter through the Emergency Department. Associates will use the Associate entrance via badge access. Other entrances will be locked.
  • Instituted new guidelines for visitors
  • Rescheduled wellness visits for adults and children at our Holton Family Health Center. These are yearly checkups. Well patients who visit the Holton Clinic for labs or other services should use the east doors.
  • Asked patients coming to our clinics to call before entering if they have fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Signs are posted at clinic entrances. 
  • Canceled all fitness classes and yoga classes at CHCS Fitness Centers. Classes will be canceled for the next two weeks starting Tuesday, March 17.
  • Removed communal reading material from our waiting areas at all locations.
  • Ensured that all high-touch areas are sanitized throughout the day. 

Thank you to all of our associates for their hard work and to the members of our communities who are taking precautions to protect everyone against the spread of COVID-19.

1 comment

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  • Betty Ellis | Mar 16th 2020 @ 6:52 PM

    Sounds like a very workable plan that should significantly provide better monitoring of possible sources of communicable illness entering the building. Thank you for your persistence in working this through and continued modifications to keep the communicable virus' elements much more isolated and trackable.

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