A Letter From Our CEO: Preparations in Place for COVID-19

Our community and hospital are understandably concerned about the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. This situation changes daily, and as your local health care provider, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital is constantly preparing to care for patients arriving with respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

According to the Department of Public Health and Human Services, as of March 10, 2020, at 2 pm, Montana is reporting no cases of COVID-19 and is closely monitoring the situation. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital is working with the Montana Hospital Association, Ravalli County Public Health, and other local and state emergency preparedness partners to ensure we can respond to communicable disease events. This would include identifying and isolating patients with the respiratory symptoms that occur with influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), pertussis, as well as COVID-19.

Out of an abundance of caution and preparation, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital initiated our Hospital Incident Command Structure (HICS) last week. This team is meeting regularly to manage our communications, logistics, and planning efforts effectively. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital has maintained an emergency preparedness plan for many years to align with Federal Regulatory Requirements and to ensure we can effectively respond to events, such as COVID-19.

We have begun controlling access to our facilities to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, and staff. At each access point, we have hand sanitizer, masks, and tissues available so that patients and visitors can perform respiratory etiquette, as appropriate. Patients with a fever, cough, or cold symptoms are asked to put on a mask when they show up for an appointment. We also ask that if you are ill, please do not visit our already vulnerable patients.

Our patient access and clinical staff are screening patients for both symptom related and travel questions to triage appropriately and isolate patients with respiratory symptoms.

If we suspect an individual has a reportable communicable disease, we coordinate closely with Ravalli County Public Health and the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to ensure appropriate testing and subsequent management of that individual. According to state law, Influenza, Pertussis, and COVID-19 are a few of the many reportable communicable diseases.

We are taking these steps to be proactive in protecting our staff, patients, and the community. As the situation with COVID-19 changes, our team will adjust accordingly. At any given time we may opt to enact visitor restrictions for the protection of our patients and our community as a whole. Your safety and the quality of care we provide are of the utmost importance to us.

We would encourage you to access the resources listed below to keep informed about what is happening with COVID-19. For information about what we are doing at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, visit our website or follow us on Facebook. Controlling the spread of communicable diseases is a community effort; please do your part by washing your hands, covering your coughs, and staying home when you're ill.

Thank you,

John Bishop, CEO
Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital

Helpful Resources

Printable education materials for you and your family.

3. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital website and Facebook page

Please Visit Our Dedicated COVID-19 Page for Continuing Updates and Information About Our Preparations



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