Ringgold County Hospital is following all the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Health in response to the current Coronavirus pandemic affecting the nation. “We’re healthcare professionals, and along with everyone else in the country, we’re taking this situation very seriously,” said Gordon Winkler, CEO of RCH. “In order to protect the safety and well being of all our patients and staff, we are pre-screening everyone wishing to gain entry to the hospital for fever, chills or sweats, cough, shortness of breath, or nausea/diarrhea.” Some routine exams and wellness visits at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic have been rescheduled to reduce the potential spread of this virus. Winkler added that the hospital has specific requests of the community:

1. Whether you are sick or not, stay home. Social distancing will slow down the spread of COVID-19.
2. Wash your hands frequently and clean all the surfaces in your home.
3. If you feel sick, call 641-464-3226 before coming into the hospital. You will be directed to the appropriate department for help.
4. Call “211” in Iowa, or 877-435-8411 in Missouri, to receive general information on COVID-19.

Although there have not been any COVID-19 cases reported in Ringgold County to date (as of 4/6/2020), the hospital has made changes both physically and operationally to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers. A dedicated entrance to the hospital has been created for those experiencing breathing issues. The dedicated entrance is on the north end of the hospital next to the Emergency Room
entrance. In addition, car-side triage and services have been implemented to add to the safety of both patients and healthcare providers. Patients can have simple services like blood drawn without ever leaving their cars!

Visitor access to the hospital has been restricted and entry to the building is limited to the two main entrances. The main entrance is open between 6:30am and 5:00pm Monday – Friday, and the Emergency Room entrance is open at all times. Anyone who enters the hospital will be pre-screened for temperature and other COVID-19 risk factors. No public walking is allowed until further notice.
Additionally, we are instituting strict visiting restriction. For the immediate future, NO visitors will be allowed in our facilities.

Visitor Restrictions
NO visitors will be allowed in our facilities.
Some exceptions will be made for extenuating circumstances.
Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for:

  • Children admitted to the hospital
  • Patients receiving end-of-life care

For approved exceptions, only one visitor per patient will be allowed. They must be:

  • 18 or older
  • Either immediate family members, powers of attorney, guardians or patient representatives

Checklist to prepare and protect yourself and your family (DOWNLOAD AND PRINT)

PLAN AND PREPARE: TAKE EVERYDAY PREVENTIVE ACTION: TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD’S
EMOTIONAL HEALTH:
• Get up-to-date information about local
COVID-19 activity from public officials and
departments.
• Create a list of important organizations and providers your household can call in case of emergencies.
• Choose a designated room that can be used to separate family members who are sick or under quarantine.
• Stay in touch.
• Stay informed about the local outbreak situation.
• Notify your work or school if your schedule or arrangements need to change.
• If you live alone, ask family, friends, and health care providers to check on you during the outbreak.
• Stay in touch with family and friends with chronic medical conditions.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Let family members who are sick or have underlying issues stay at home and away from the office, school or crowded places.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Avoid sharing personal items.
• Outbreaks are stressful for both adults and children. Find resources here.
• Children may respond differently to stressful situations.
• Talk with your children and answer their questions. Let them voice out their fears or worries.
• Practice meditation.
• Stick to a schedule.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Iowa Department of Health: www.idph.iowa.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www. cdc.gov.