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PeaceHealth: Coronavirus Protocols Meant To Prevent Cases Not Panic Patients

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PeaceHealth Oregon Network
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Health professionals say despite some reports to the contrary, they’ve not found any actual cases of the novel Coronavirus in Lane County. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports on some preventative protocols in place at Sacred Heart RiverBend Medical Center in Springfield.

Dr. James McGovern, vice president of medical affairs for PeaceHealth’s Oregon network, shows the protective gear hospital staff wear as a precaution when caring for patients identified as being at risk of having an infectious disease like new coronavirus or the measles.
Credit PeaceHealth Oregon Network

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Seeing hospital staff in face masks or shroud-like devices may panic patients, but it’s not meant to. PeaceHealth's Dr. Jim McGovern says they do safety drills on a regular basis.

“In and of itself it doesn’t mean that there’s Coronavirus or anything threatening in the building.”

Last week, one patient screened positive for travel to China and had upper respiratory symptoms and fever. McGovern says protocols went into effect.

“At RiverBend we take people in through an exterior door that goes right into a negative pressure room. So it makes sure that anything in that room stays in the room.” 

Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis says numerous people have been evaluated, monitored and then “moved off” once testing ruled out the novel strain of Corona.

Both Davis and McGovern say Influenza is a much greater threat to communities.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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