COVID-19 UPDATES

We are dedicated to remaining a trusted source of information for you and your family as the new coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts our community.

March 25, 2020

Update: New visitors restrictions are now in place, visit our press room for details.

First Confirmed Case of NOVEL CORONAVIRUS AT KAWEAH DELTA MEDICAL CENTER

On March 13th, the Tulare County Public Health Branch officials notified Kaweah Delta that a patient screened at its Medical Center tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the County count to 2 positive cases at this time.

The individual is currently self-quarantined at their home and Kaweah Delta is working closely with the Tulare County Public Health Branch to monitor the situation.

Kaweah Delta and the Tulare County Public Health Branch officials continue working together to support the Visalia community.

First Confirmed Case of NOVEL CORONAVIRUS AT SVMC

On March 11th, 2020, we confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 infection at our site. The individual’s identity remains confidential due to mandatory patient privacy guidelines set by HIPAA.

Immediately following the positive diagnosis, Senior Leadership and Clinical Leadership has worked closely with the Tulare County Public Health Branch to assess the situation.

If you were affected or in risk of being affected, you have been contacted. Every resource is being exhausted to be diligent in our investigations. Read more at our blog.

SVMC Updates

Our plan is to continue to communicate with our community as frequently as possible to address concerns as they arise during this difficult and ever changing time.

We will use the following tools to communicate with you:

  • SVMC’s Social Media Channels (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
  • SVMC's website
  • Signage posted at our facilities with warnings, alerts, and additional information

Nurses with stethoscopes

COVID-19 TASK FORCE

Our organization has had a dedicated task force in place since February which has met regularly to formulate a plan to deal with COVID-19.

Our focus continues to be patient safety, employee safety with the use of personal protective equipment, and resource allocation.

COMMAND CENTER

Sierra View activated its Incident Command Center on March 11th at 7 p.m. and it is in constant operation and continuously staffed by Senior Administration, Clinical Expert Leadership Medical Staff, including Chief of Medical Staff and Support Staff to ensure that our organization can immediately respond to any situations which may arise.

COLLABORATION WITH TULARE COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH BRANCH OFFICIALS

We are in frequent communication with the State CDPH Command Center, with the Tulare County Public Health Branch, local hospitals, the regional CDPH Office, and other local healthcare providers and organizations to coordinate our responses to the evolving community needs.

INCREASED SECURITY MEASURES AND EFFORTS

PRE-SCREENING FOR ALL VISITORS

We are performing screenings on all visitors, patients, employees and vendors who have entered our sites. All entrants must first receive clearance to enter any area of the hospital, the MOB, Wound Healing, or Urology Clinic.

No visitors are allowed in the Distinct Part Skilled Nursing Facility (DPNSF), except under unique identified situations, such as end-of-life situations.

CANCELED EVENTS AND CANCELED VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

We have canceled all events located at our hospital to help prevent and reduce our patients’ and employees’ exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

We have collaborated with the Volunteer League and asked volunteers to cancel their activities on-site, including closing the gift shop.

ON-GOING COMMUNICATION WITH THE COMMUNITY

Senior Leadership is in communication with the public with the help of our social media accounts as well as through constant communication with the media.

Please make use of our external communication tools and share them with friends and family who may wish to stay informed.

  • Facebook: facebook.com/sierraviewmedical
  • Instagram: @sierraviewmedical
  • LinkedIn: Search for Sierra View Medical Center
  • Sierra View Medical Center website

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Sierra View Medical Center has obtained additional personal protective equipment from the Tulare County Public Health Branch to care for health care professionals as they continue caring for our patients.

MANDATORY EMPLOYEE SCREENING

All employees must complete a mandatory self-screening to disclose any symptoms to help us keep our patients and staff safe.

Raised hands to ask questions

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers.

Where did the transmission of this case take place?

It is believed at this time the transmission to the patient happened outside of Tulare County.

When were the results confirmed that the patient tested positive for COVID-19?

The patient tested positive for COVID-19 at approximately 7 p.m. on March 11, 2020.

Who was the patient in contact with and specifically how many employees and/ or community members? Do we know at this time?

We have traced those with whom the patient may have come into direct contact. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CDPH, and local health authorities are working closely with SVMC to investigate any further possible exposure. All persons under investigation (PUI) have been notified at this time.

Why was the patient sent home?

CDC and CDPH advise that patients who are medically stable can receive care at home. 80% of patients will be treated at home while roughly 20% will need care in the hospital. Patients well enough to be treated at home will be monitored by staff from their local or state health department.

Did the patient travel outside of the home/hospital in the greater area of the Central Valley?

The patient had limited exposure to people outside of the hospital.

Is it safe to attend large gatherings?

As of Thursday, March 12, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered Californians to cancel or postpone gatherings of 250 or more people statewide to slow the spread of COVID-19.

If you still plan on attending a large gathering, please keep in mind:

  • If sick, stay home.
  • If dealing with chronic lung disease, heart disease, cancer diabetes, or a weakened immune system, avoid unnecessary events and gatherings

For any information regarding events, contact the Tulare County Public Health Branch at tchhsa.org.

How Does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact via respiratory droplets expelled when a person with the infection coughs or sneezes.

Woman washing hands at sink with running water

We ask that you focus your efforts on the following key precautions:

  • Maintaining a distance of 6 feet from each other, wherever possible
  • Practicing hand hygiene
  • Seeking medical attention if experiencing symptoms

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing

Please call your primary physician or 2-1-1. Your physician will connect with the Tulare County Public Health Branch to determine if testing is appropriate.

The Tulare County Public Health Officer may be reached at 559-685-5720 or 559-471-7092 after hours and on weekends.

How to Contact Us

Questions? If you have questions for us please contact us by email at marketing@sierra-view.com or by phone, 559-791-3922. The Marketing office is open from Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Latest News

    For the latest news about the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus

    For the latest updates about COVID-19 at the local level, please visit: SVMC BLOG

    Additional COVID-19 Information

    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus that causes a respiratory illness. It is caused by a coronavirus called 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). There are many types of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a very common cause of bronchitis. They may sometimes cause lung infection (pneumonia). Symptoms can range from mild to severe respiratory illness. These viruses are also found in some animals. COVID-19 was first found in people in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. In 2020, several cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S.

    Public health officials are working to find the source. How the virus spreads is not yet fully known. It may be spread through droplets of fluid that a person coughs or sneezes into the air. It may be spread if you touch a surface with virus on it, such as a handle or object, and then touch your mouth.

    Learn more about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19.

    Please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus. For local updates, please continue visiting this website and visit tchhsa.org, or call 2-1-1.

    Informational files from the CDC may be viewed online.

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