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Oswego Health Reminds Community It’s Safe to Seek Emergency Care

Hospital news | Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Contact: Jamie Leszczynski

(Oswego, NY – May 5, 2020) In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, emergencies unrelated to COVID-19 still happen. But a troubling trend is emerging. People with warning signs of a heart attack, stroke or other crisis are putting off going to the emergency room (ER) or urgent care centers as they’re afraid of catching COVID-19.

That fear can cost lives.

Fast treatment in an emergency often raises the odds of survival and can lower the risk of serious complications from an illness or injury. That's why no one should delay medical care.

Oswego Health reminds the community that safety is their biggest priority and they are ready to care for you. They have implemented the following safety measures to keep you safe and prevent COVID-19 from spreading:

  • All individuals entering Oswego Health facilities, including staff, will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All individuals entering Oswego Health facilities will be asked to wear a cloth mask. Patients may bring their own mask or may opt to wear one supplied by the health system.
  • All medical staff will wear surgical masks and protective eye wear, as well as other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), always when caring for patients.
  • Visitors will still be prohibited. One support person will be allowed for delivering OB mothers; children under the age of 18; patients with confusion, altered mental status or developmental delays; and end-of-life patients.
  • Six-foot social distances will be established in public areas such as waiting rooms.
  • Extra cleaning and disinfection of high-touch, public surface areas will continue.
  • A triage tent outside the emergency department at Oswego Hospital was constructed to assist with screening of patients prior to entry into the facility. All patients arriving at the Oswego Hospital ER will first be evaluated in the triage area and cleared for any respiratory illness before continuing into the emergency room at the hospital. If a patient does have symptoms of respiratory illness they will continue to be seen by a provider in the tent for further evaluation.

“Currently, Oswego Health is planning to reopen many of our outpatient locations starting May 18 with the expectation to resume elective surgeries on June 1. This allows us ample time to ensure the collection of more PPE and to increase our testing ability so that all procedures can safely proceed,” stated Chief Medical Officer, Duane Tull, MD. “At present Oswego Health has only had 3 positive COVID-19 patients in our hospital so the risk of proceeding with elective cases is less than surrounding hospitals with higher volumes. We are anxious to resume all of our surgeries and service, but we want to do this correctly. If we can procure adequate PPE supplies and testing, we may begin sooner, but all things must be done correctly and safely. Though the risk is reduced, we will not put either staff or patients at risk in any way.”