covid-19

While the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is new, preparing for potential epidemics and pandemics is not new for Burnett Medical Center. With frequent emergency preparedness training, Burnett Medical Center is prepared and has stepped up its preparedness activities by working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WIDHS), and the Burnett County Health Department to ensure providers and staff have the proper training and materials to help keep themselves and the public safe.

Even as we respond to COVID-19, know that Burnett Medical Center is here - as we have been for 90 years - to deliver the safe, quality, compassionate care you need. Burnett Medical Center's Clinic continues to provide in-person visits and is also offering Telehealth services. Burnett Medical Center is also resuming elective surgeries and procedures. As a reminder, all patients must enter through and be screened at the main entrance. For your safety, we encourage everyone to wear a mask into our facility. We apologize for any inconvenience but please know we have made these difficult decisions with you and your loved ones in mind. We are prepared to continue to serve the community through this time of need.

There are important steps individuals can take to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 from spreading:

  • Perform frequent hand hygiene, using hand sanitizer or soap and water when visibly soiled.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • If you've traveled in the past 14 days, please stay home and self-monitor, self-quarantine and call your health care provider if symptoms like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing are present.
  • If you suspect exposure, please call ahead before arriving at a health care facility.

BMC's COVID-19 Testing Guidelines

COVID-19 testing has expanded nationally and in Wisconsin. As a result, Burnett Medical Center is now able to conduct in-house testing via a SARS Rapid Antigen Test. This antigen test is for symptomatic patients only and takes 15-20 minutes to receive the results.

Asymptomatic patients needing preoperative testing will follow our current process and are not eligible for the antigen test.

Burnett Medical Center has the ability to test anyone with or without symptoms but should contact their health care provider to schedule an appointment prior to testing.

 

If You're Experiencing Symptoms

Staying home and in isolation is the best way to protect yourself and others if you're concerned that you've been exposed to COVID-19. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or a combination of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

Symptom-Based Strategy for Discontinuing Transmission-Based Precautions.

Patients with mild to moderate illness who are not severely immunocompromised:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

Note:  For patients who are not severely immunocompromised and who were asymptomatic throughout their infection, Transmission-Based Precautions may be discontinued when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.

Patients with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised1:

  • At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

If you are experiencing symptoms you are encouraged to call BMC's COVID-19 Triage line at 715-463-7245. Please visit an emergency room for evaluation and treatment if you're experiencing severe symptoms, such as increasing shortness of breath.

 

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

 

Visitors

To provide the best protection and allow for appropriate social distancing, we are taking these precautionary steps to ensure the health of our patients:

  • All visitors to Burnett Medical Center will be screened for symptoms and COVID-19 risk at each visit.
  • Visitors will be asked to wear a mask or leave the location for the safety of our patients and staff.
  • Patients under 18 in the Emergency Department, hospital wing, or Surgical Services may have one visitor age 18 or older.
  • Surgical patients may have one visitor 18 or older accompany them to the preop room, if necessary.
  • Outpatient/clinic patients may have one visitor 18 or older accompany them to their appointment, if necessary.
  • The Continuing Care Center is meeting gating criteria, therefore are allowing limited pre-appointed outdoor visits. Please call 715-463-7315 to arrange a visit.
  • Inpatients may have one visitor, 18 or older, per day during visitor hours (8am-7pm).
  • Exceptions may be made for compassionate care.
  • Individuals who are sick and not seeking care or have known exposure to COVID-19 are not allowed to visit.

Please know we understand these visitor restrictions may be difficult for our patients and their families. Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our patients.

 

Make a Mask

Many members of our community have reached out and asked if they can help us by making masks. These masks can be used by those in health care spaces who are not taking care of patients with Coronavirus, but still may want additional protection. This will allow the professional protective gear to be used exclusively for health care professionals who are at higher risk of exposure.

If you'd like to help, we would ask you to sew masks with the following specifications and have provided written (PDF) and video instructions.

When you come to donate masks there will be a Mask Donation sign and a bin inside the main entrance vestibule. Please place masks in a zip-lock bag and place the masks in that bin.

Thank you to those who have donated masks, your support is greatly appreciated!

If you have questions regarding COVID-19, please call us on our COVID-19 nurse triage line at 715-463-7245.

 

Reliable Resources

CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

WI DHS: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm

COVID-19 Risk Assessment: http://covid.wihealthconnect.com/