HYDABURG – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and the Alma Cook Medical Center (ACMC) in Hydaburg, on Prince of Wales Island (POW), have been proactively planning a response ahead of the coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching POW. ACMC remains in continuous contact with the City of Hydaburg, Tribal Administrators, and SEARHC leadership to ensure the safety and well-being of staff, patients, and all community members.
Changes in service have been implemented at ACMC to limit patient contact, and plans are in place should a COVID-19 case be confirmed in the community. Clinic appointments can now be hosted virtually, by phone or video. All individuals who enter ACMC must wear a protective face mask. On site, ACMC has designated one clinic room to be used only to screen individuals who are being test for COVID-19. Post examination, the designated room is thoroughly disinfected.
COVID-19 tests are available at the clinic to those who meet the symptomatic guidelines – currently fever and cough, or shortness of breath – regardless of travel or exposure criteria. Normal channels of care remain in place across the Consortium, but should you require levels of care beyond what can be provided at ACMC, SEARHC will arrange transport to Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center in Sitka, or another healthcare facility to provide the necessary level of care.
“To prepare for COVID-19, ACMC representatives are participating in meetings to plan a safe response to a potential COVID-19 patient influx in our community,” said Anita Matherly, NP-C. “We are having daily staff meetings and go over new guidelines to provide information and obtain input from all staff on possible improvements in the process.”
SEARHC recommends that patients remain home if sick. Patients with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, or those who are immune compromised, should contact their provider immediately if they become ill. Please adhere to the CDC preventive methods to deter respiratory disease, including washing your hands thoroughly and often, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects, and getting a flu shot.
For more information on the novel coronavirus, visit covid19.searhc.org or call the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799 to speak to a representative during normal business hours. If you need to speak to a registered nurse after-hours, call the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560.