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Local Hospitals Ready to Respond to COVID-19
As of today, Longmont area hospitals are not yet experiencing capacity issues and have plans in place to handle a surge in activity based on needs. The City of Longmont and the community’s two local hospitals, Longmont United and UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital, have been in constant communication to ensure that the hospitals can meet community health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preparations at both hospitals include:
- Complying with the Governor’s directive to suspend surgeries that can be delayed without risk to patients by identifying elective procedures that can be prioritized or postponed while still providing urgent and emergent surgeries for those in need. This also frees inpatient beds and resources, including personal protective equipment.
- Re-deploying staff and employees to areas of greatest need.
- Providing a significant number of virtual urgent care appointments.
- Reassigning leaders who have been in non-direct patient care roles to direct patient care roles.
- Optimizing inventory of personal protective equipment and other supplies and pursuing avenues to increase inventory.
- Implementing a no-visitor policy at Longs Peak Hospital and a limited visitor policy at Longmont United. Exceptions to the no-visitor policy at Longs Peak include maternity, pediatric and end-of-life care at all facilities.
- Monitoring and managing operations and resources through a systemwide incident command structure.
- Collaborating with city, county and state partners.
“Though this situation is rapidly evolving, Centura Health-Longmont United Hospital is ready to meet the needs of our community,” Tina Johnson, MD, chief executive officer of Longmont United Hospital said in a statement. “We are meeting daily through our systemwide incident command structure to discuss operational flow, supply needs and operational adjustments due to issues impacting each local community. In addition, we are actively collaborating with state and local officials to expand capacity and increase supplies in the event we need to accommodate a surge of patients from this pandemic.” Longs Peak Hospital is licensed for 51 beds but has plans in place to add additional capacity if needed. By working as a large system, UCHealth also can redirect patients and admissions to other facilities to help even out capacities at Longs Peak and other hospitals.
"We have been doing everything we can to be prepared to care for a surge of patients related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an unprecedented situation," said Lonnie Cramer, president of Longs Peak Hospital. "The best thing everyone can do to support their community hospitals – and to protect health care workers who are needed to care for sick people – is to practice physical distancing. Stay home and away from other people. This will slow the spread of the virus and keep people out of the hospital."
Residents who have general questions about COVID-19 can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 for answers in many languages. Email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) websites for more information on best practices. If you have upcoming travel plans, please visit the CDC’s website for the latest travel information.