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Masks needed at hospital

Changes due to COVID-19 keep coming. On Wednesday, Warren General Hospital announced additional measures. All hospital and Warren Medical Group employees will wear an appropriate face mask at all times while in the hospital, according to a Wednesday release from CEO Rick Allen.

“Non-clinical staff may wear cloth masks,” Allen said. “Direct caregivers are to wear surgical masks.” Those requirements are in addition to situations that call for more specific personal protective equipment.

The hospital is also taking steps to maintain staffing levels.

The Wednesday update strengthened what was previously stated as a recommendation or request to a mandate that employees take “no vacation or time off during the remainder of April and the month of May,” Allen said in the release. “We need ‘all hands on deck’ in preparation for any ‘surge’ of COVID-19 patients.”

In addition to the weekly conference-call update each Wednesday, there will now be “a daily COVID-19 memo… from WGH leadership,” according to the release. “This memo serves to centralize and consolidate all COVID-19 hospital actions, requirements, guidelines, and mandates.” All updates will be provided through all desktop computers in the hospital.

The screening process for everyone coming into the facility continues, and includes the taking of temperatures.

Masks needed

Hospital Medical Director Dr. Keith Price issued an “urgent plea” for masks on Wednesday.

“At Warren General Hospital, we want to protect our patients and our staff,” Price said. “If you are coming to the hospital for out-patient lab or radiology tests, physical therapy, dialysis, wound care, etc., please wear a mask or face covering. It is very difficult to obtain medical grade masks at this time. We simply cannot give them out to the public and risk a shortage for our staff when they really need them.”

There are online instructions for making simple, but suitable, masks without sewing, he said.

Knowing that not everyone will wear or will be able to wear a mask when they come to the hospital, Price asked for donations.

“At this point, we really need cloth masks to provide to any person who presents to the hospital without one,” he said. “If you would like to help in this drive, please bring your mask donations to either hospital entrance — B or F — and they will be accepted with marked gratitude.

“Many individuals and groups have reached out to help in this pandemic, and we at Warren General Hospital are very grateful,” Price said. “Thank you.”

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