Although Resolute Health Hospital and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital — New Braunfels have seen increases in COVID-19 patients in recent weeks, officials say they have yet to experience any capacity issues.
Comal County health officials on Tuesday reported 13 residents hospitalized with COVID-19. Officials do not release information on where patients are hospitalized.
Jim Wesson, president and administrator of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital — New Braunfels, said surgeries and non-COVID-19 diagnostic testing continue at the facility, even with the additional coronavirus patients.
"We have the adequate number of beds to care for all of our patients," Wesson said. "Now, we are always concerned about making sure we keep our staff healthy. As our staff gets exposed in the community, if they become positive COVID patients, they can't come to work. We do have additional staff on call. We have an adequate supply of (personal protective equipment), and that's important."
Wesson noted that local patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are recovering in New Braunfels hospitals and not transferred out of town, as the increase in hospitalized coronavirus patients has impacted health care facilities across the region.
Resolute Health Hospital has the bed capacity and surge plans to handle any additional patients, according to Patti Tanner, the facility's director of communications.
"We are prepared to manage an increase in patient volumes and continue to work with and state and local experts and other health care organizations to make sure we are prepared to take care of the needs of our communities," Tanner said. "We continue to take every precaution to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and staff in our hospital. If you require medical attention, please do not delay seeking care or follow up care for any medical conditions."
Tanner said this is an opportunity for everyone to remember to take the proper precautions to stay healthy and remain vigilant during the pandemic.
She said she recommends following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the community:
Do not leave your home if you are ill except to receive medical care.
Wear a mask when you are in public near others
Stay 6 feet away from others.
Wash your hands frequently
Wipe down surfaces that may be infected
Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
Both hospitals are restricting visitors to keep staff and patients safe, but there are exceptions.
At CHRISTUS, exceptions include:
One support person whose presence is essential to maintain safety and who is part of the patient's care and recovery process must meet the nursing leadership's approval. This applies to inpatients, labor and delivery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. One parent may remain as a support person with pediatric patients. The support person may enter the hospital and must proceed directly to the patient's room and stay in that location until departure.
One support person for patients undergoing day surgery. Upon entry to the hospital, the support person must remain in designated waiting areas until accompanying the patient at discharge.
Visitation by a military member departing on deployment.
On a case-by-case basis at the end of life.
Individuals designated to be the support person for a patient must be 18 years of age or older, wear a mask at all times while in the hospital, have no close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 within the past 14 days, have no signs or symptoms of lower respiratory illness, follow social distancing guidelines.
Exceptions at Resolute Health Hospital include:
Labor and delivery and postpartum units — one individual appointed as the family's sole designated visitor to visit throughout the entire course of the patient's stay.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and pediatric units — two individuals who are appointed as the family's designated visitor to visit throughout the entire course of the patient's stay.
Acute Rehabilitation Unit — One individual who is appointed as the family's sole designated visitor to visit throughout the entire course of the patient's stay.
Designated visitors must remain symptom-free of any illness. Children of antepartum patients will be considered for visitation on a case-by-case basis, and no minors under the age of 16 will be allowed.
Both hospitals have instituted a screening process that includes analysis for fever and respiratory symptoms.