If you’re freaking out about the Coronavirus and love The Walking Dead, here’s where life intimating art may hit a bit close to home. The hospital from the comic book and television series, which also exists in real life, announced its first patient diagnosed with (COVID-19), also known as the Coronavirus. Yep! The same hospital where Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) woke up in during the very first episode of the television show.
Harrison Memorial Hospital (HMH), based in Kentucky, released an official statement. And before you say, Kentucky? Just a reminder that the comic book has things starting out in Kentucky. The television show moved the hospital to Atlanta. Here’s the statement:
“Cynthiana, Kentucky – On March 6, 2020, HMH was contacted by the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH) regarding a confirmed COVID-19 case who had been a previous patient at Harrison Memorial Hospital (HMH) in Cynthiana, Kentucky.
HMH has had COVID-19 screening in place since early January 2020 as mandated by the Centers for Disease Control. At any point of entry within HMH, all patients are screened for the potential risk. The patient presented with flu-like symptoms to our facility. At that time patient did not meet KDPH health screening and was treated for the presented symptoms. When symptoms did not subside, the patient returned. Further tests were completed, KDPH was notified, and KDPH determined the patient did not qualify for testing. Despite the patient not meeting COVID-19 screening criteria, HMH clinicians made the determination to admit the patient to the hospital due to the patient’s condition and was admitted into a negative pressure isolation room. From there, the patient was transferred to a tertiary care facility.
When informed of the confirmed case, HMH immediately contacted the Public Health Commissioner and Center for Disease Control representatives to discuss cautionary measures for patients and staff. At this time, HMH has evaluated the staff members who had contact with the patient. Those employees who were exposed will follow the current CDC recommendations. HMH would like to stress that we have not had a staff member with symptoms, and we are taking precaution to ensure patient safety. The protective process requires contacts to be isolated (for 14 days after their known contact), so that if they become ill we can take appropriate action to keep our patients and employees safe. If after the 14-day period, they remain healthy, these employees are allowed to return to work and normal activities.
HMH wants to alleviate concern to the public. We have the facilities and the expertise to care for patients, while protecting the safety of all of our patients, visitors and employees. HMH has negative pressure isolation rooms with specialized ventilation systems. The staff is trained and maintained a state of continual readiness. In addition, staff is given personal protective equipment when caring for any patient suspected of having an infectious disease. The HMH Certified Health Care Environmental Services Technicians complete daily terminal cleaning and will continue to complete terminal cleaning on every surface in both clinic and public spaces each day using anti-microbial disinfectant. Terminal cleaning includes removing all detachable objects in the room, cleaning lighting and air duct surfaces in the ceiling, and cleaning everything downward to the floor. Items removed from the room are disinfected or sanitized before being returned to the room.
HMH will continue to communicate with the local and state officials, local WEDCO District Health Department, and CDC. Please note: WEDCO, along with the State Department of Public Health, will be performing contact investigations.
HMH would advise the following recommendations for the COVID-19:
- PROPER handwashing for at least 20 seconds.
- Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
- If you do not feel well, stay home, drink fluids and rest.
- If symptoms persist such as high fever, sore throat, coughing and shortness of breath, please seek medical attention.
If you have any questions related to COVID-19, please call 800-722-5725 or visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.”
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The Walking Dead returns this Sunday with a new episode on AMC.