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Harrison Community Hospital Prepared for Increase in Patients

April 1, 2020

CADIZ – Like hospitals across the country, Harrison Community Hospital is preparing for an expected increase in COVID-19 cases and patients.

Early on during the pandemic, the hospital suspended elective procedures and restricted visitation to reduce of threat of the virus to patients, their families and HCH staff. But the preparations were only beginning.

“Our team has done an amazing job of preparing for this outbreak,” said hospital Administrator Tony Martinelli. “We opened an incident command center on March 13 and have daily calls to track any concerns and keep everyone up to date with the latest developments. With the help of our partners at Wheeling Hospital and WVU Medicine, we have been able to be plugged into a larger network, which has been fantastic.”

Since March 18, residents have been able to receive COVID-19 testing at Wheeling Hospital’s off-site Testing Center. The regional center handles patients from all of the area’s hospitals in the WVU Medicine System including Harrison Community, Reynolds Memorial, Barnesville and Wetzel Community. The testing is not for the general public. It is for at-risk patients who have a valid order.

In order to be tested, those interested may use the hospital’s COVID-19 one-call number at 304-221-3995. Nurse navigators triage the patient over the phone. If it is determined through the call that the patient is symptomatic, that person’s name will be sent to the Testing Center and the order entered into the computer list.

At HCH, health care personnel are taking temperatures of all staff and visitors at the door. In addition, the public has been asked to restrict their visits to the cafeteria.

“And we have closed the Scio Health Center in line with what Wheeling Hospital is doing with smaller health centers across the area,” Martinelli said.

While visitation has been restricted at HCH, the hospital has initiated a new way for inpatients to stay in touch with family and friends.

“One exciting new development at HCH is the ability to do electronic visitation for our admitted patients,” Martinelli said. “The visitation restrictions we initiated to protect our patients left many of them unable to communicate with family and friends. The IT department at Wheeling Hospital included HCH in their project to get iPADs to units that would allow patients to see and talk with their loved ones through the internet.”

Martinelli said he has received several call from residents of Harrison County who wanted him to pass along their thanks to the entire HCH family for all of their hard work during this COVID-19 pandemic. Of the hospital staff, Martinelli said, “They are all doing great work and it is being noticed. Kudos also to our fantastic community for supporting the hospital. Thank you.”

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Contact: Thea Gompers, Director, Marketing/Public Relations 304-243-3705
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