Tomah Health to begin first phase of reopening June 1

Tomah Health to begin first phase of reopening June 1

From the The pandemic hits home: Keep up with the latest La Crosse area news on COVID-19 series
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Tomah Health will begin the first phase of reopening services to the public June 1.

Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Tracy Myhre said department managers and coordinators have designed recovery plans and been meeting to discuss details for a number of weeks in light of COVID-19.

“Tomah Health leaders have mapped out an intentional but safe plan that provides various services in phases,” Myhre said.

Tomah Health canceled events and halted many services in mid-March due to the pandemic.

Since that time, Myhre said, emergency room and urgent care have continued as well as services provided at the hospital’s Warrens Clinic and Hospice Touch and Life Choices Palliative Care facilities. She said Tomah Health has also been offering telehealth services since May 13.

“We continue to follow all Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Monroe County Health Department safety guidelines.”

Myhre said safety precautions for reopening will include COVID-19 testing of all patients having any type of invasive procedure. She said all patients will also be required to wear a mask and sanitize their hands upon entrance to the hospital.

“All Tomah Health care team members will wear surgical masks and protective eyewear, as well as other necessary personal protective equipment at all times when caring for patients,” she said.

Myhre said access to Tomah Health remains limited to the hospital’s main entrance and emergency department entrance. She said the two access points would remain through Sept. 30.

She said visitor restrictions also continue.

“Based on CDC recommendations, no visitors are allowed at Tomah Health except for special circumstances including a support person for births in our Women’s Health Department, children under the age of 18 and for end-of-life patients,” Myhre said.

Social distancing, including a 6-foot buffer, will be followed in all hospital waiting areas.

“Safety remains our top priority,” Myhre said. “While our services may look a little different, our commitment to our mission, to deliver high-quality, compassionate, personalized health care, remains unchanged.”

In addition to the safety protocols, Myhre said Tomah Health is prepared to cease nonessential procedures in the event of a surge or peak of COVID-19 cases in the area.

“Our Pandemic Committee has been meeting daily since March 11 to stay on top of any possible patient surge, while addressing supplies, testing and staffing,” Myhre said. “We also continue to meet weekly with Monroe County Health Department staff and area emergency partners to assess the situation.”

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