Dear Vashon Neighbors,
Many patients and community members have reached out with questions about the availability of COVID-19 testing at Neighborcare Health at Vashon. Careful planning is currently underway. We must take into consideration the availability of testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) for the safety of our staff and patients.
COVID-19 is highly infectious. It can persist in the air and on surfaces. We must be sure we have enough PPE for the staff as there is a local and national shortage. PPE must be taken off cautiously between each patient to avoid contaminating the wearer and spreading to others. The place where the testing occurs must also be carefully cleaned. We must have a clear and cautious workflow to protect the community.
Neighborcare Health at Vashon performed two COVID-19 tests last week for high-risk individuals. A total of five sets of PPE were used to care for these two patients. Taking stock of our equipment on-site, we would quickly use up our supplies should we offer widespread testing.
We also have a limited number of test kits for COVID-19. These must be set aside for our most at-risk.
We have ordered supplies and test kits and are working with the leadership at Neighborcare to be able to care for the community in the safest way as soon as possible.
Currently, we are offering phone appointments for any patient that calls with concerns for respiratory symptoms and for at-risk patients with chronic conditions who we feel should stay safely at home. This strategy has gone well and I ask that patients please call for a phone appointment if they have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or any concerning symptoms.
I want to encourage Vashon residents to stay home as much as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community while the local, county and state resources collaborate and prepare.
— Jessica Wesch, site medical director, Neighborcare Health Vashon.