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EIRMC orders controlled entry to protect staff/patients

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) has implemented a "Controlled Entry" system in an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 or novel coronavirus.

As of Thursday morning, six people in Idaho have been tested for COVID-19. There are zero confirmed cases. As a result, the risk is currently listed as "low".

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has directed public entities to prepare for possible disruptions to everyday life.

As one of the region's leaders in patient care, EIRMC said it is doing what it can to be the frontline of response and preparedness.

EIRMC has been preparing on multiple fronts, including clinical protocols, nursing education, and ensuring the availability of appropriate protective equipment for patients and caregivers.

At EIRMC, and across the nation, one of the serious concerns is protecting health care staff. If they become exposed they ay require quarantine. Secondly, the risk to already-vulnerable hospital patients who might come in contact with a person with respiratory illness. That is already a serious concern throughout the flu season.

The controlled entry policy outlines the following guidelines:

• The entire hospital- including the ER- remains fully operational and ready to care for patients.

• From 4:30 am – 9:00 pm, all non-ER visitors and patients must enter at the Main Lobby.

• From 9:00 pm – 4:30 am, all non-ER visitors and patients must enter at the ER.

• All other entry points will be locked 24/7.

• Visitors and patients will be asked two questions. Based on their answers, visitors will be asked to delay their visit until they are well, again for the protection of our patients.

• There is a process for visitors who may be ill to visit their loved one in special circumstances.

• Both Medical Office Building front entrances remain open, but there is no access to the main hospital from the Medical Office Buildings.

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