Hospital Corner – May, 2021

Hospital Corner – May, 2021

At the moment (late May) there are zero positive COVID-19 cases in Mineral County. Great news.  Also, our current county vaccination rate is just over 37%; could be better but ranks as second highest county rate in the state (after Washoe).  Nearly two-thirds of Hospital staff are vaccinated, which compares well to other rural hospitals.  Masks are no longer required for those fully vaxxed, except in a few locations (such as healthcare facilities: all employees, patients and visitors).  Hope of course is that this will motivate the “vaccine hesitant” out there still undecided about getting a shot or two of Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.  Couldn’t be easier these days: you have lots of choices on where/when to get your shot.  Call your clinic provider or watch for the next vaccine pod offered by county public health nurse. Finally, all three approved vaccines are now available in Mineral County—and, as you have likely heard, children age 12 and older as well as all adults are eligible to receive.  Asking those still on the fence to reconsider and get immunized today.

Due to all the good news noted, Mt. Grant General continues its gradual reopening—though full return to pre-pandemic life is months away. For now, visitors to acute patients or SNF residents must still call ahead and reserve an appointment time, which will prevent a logjam of guests arriving at the same time.  We like to spread these visits out as much as possible, though we will do our best to accommodate last-minute requests.  All visitors and staff will continue to be screened when they enter through the ER hallway (single point of entry/exit).  Beginning July 1, screening will be done at nurse’s station using an automated thermal scanner kiosk.  And yes, for those of you who love wearing them, you will continue to proudly wear your screened sticker for all to see!  Masks as mentioned earlier are still mandatory while inside the clinic, hospital, nursing home and other buildings on our healthcare campus.

May weather in Hawthorne is wildly unpredictable (as Little League parents can attest) so plans for outdoor activities involving SNF residents have to account for any number of scenarios—and require lots of preparation.  It might be warm and sunny mid-morning but by noon, strong winds and rain showers along with a steep drop in temperature can ruin the best of plans.  That looked to be our fate during the AFD parade earlier this month, as nine nursing home residents ventured outside (some for the first time in over a year).  Fortunately, the weather held and our viewing location, the patio at Maggie’s restaurant, protected residents from wind gusts.  Thanks again to FHCU for allowing us to use the patio on this special day. Residents in attendance enjoyed the parade, treats from Mr. Beane’s, and many spent time with family and friends who stopped by. No one wants life to get back to normal more than our residents!  Several trips and activities are scheduled in coming months, including a return to Bingo Wednesdays at Care & Share, a treat for many of our seniors.

Thank you time.  To say the past 15 months have been a challenge wouldn’t do justice to the multitude of hardships hospital staff has dealt with daily.  Sadly, these challenges proved too much for some, who left our employment to work elsewhere. We wish them well and thank them for their hard work while here.  Of course, my greatest appreciation is for staff who persevered through it all and remain with us today.  Their devotion to this hospital’s mission (clinic and nursing home included), speaks volumes about their character.  Through our darkest days (late November being the worst), they came to work each day with a steely determination to provide the best care possible for patients and residents. It was never easy.  I am honored to work alongside such magnificent people.

Hugh Qualls, Administrator