Patrick Chapman, the administrator of Tippah County Hospital is urging all citizens to remain calm as the national crisis unfolds. He stated that we have an excellent local healthcare system and well-trained providers in place throughout Tippah County. The key is not to overwhelm the system with unnecessary requests. He stated that Coronavirus is generally not an emergency unless a patient is in respiratory distress. Citizens should avoid the emergency room requesting COVID19 tests.
Primary care providers throughout our community are well-equipped to rule out other problems like the flu and strep throat before testing for the Coronavirus. Initially, testing supplies are limited and will be limited to patients who are highly suspected of the disease after others have been ruled out. Currently, Tippah County has no confirmed cases of Coronavirus. Tippah County Hospital has patient information posted on our website and social media detailing what patients should do if they suspect that they have Coronavirus. He stated, it is wise to limit all hospital visits at this time and that we are limiting patients to 2 visitors at a time. Additionally, screenings, like travel questions and temperature, may be necessary to protect our patients.
For now, the Wellness Center will remain open; however, patrons should use their own discretion about attendance and should implement proactive measures that you would for an active flu season. Chapman said if positive cases are identified in Tippah County or surrounding areas, we may consider closing the wellness center to prevent the spread of the virus.
He related that we are following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and the Mississippi Department of Health, in combating this problem. We are taking an abundance of caution with our elderly population and therefore all visits and unnecessary access to our nursing home has been suspended until further notice. Finally, Chapman said that if it becomes necessary, we have an emergency preparedness plan for a designated triage area at the hospital. He related our biggest concerns right now is keeping our workforce healthy and protecting our most at-risk citizens with underlying health issues.