The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Letter to the Editor - Living with Covid-19


October 28, 2020

Dear Big Sandy Community:

I am writing this out of an inherent obligation to be transparent with the Big Sandy community. By the time this letter is published, I will be fully recovered and back to work after testing positive for COVID-19. This is a personal health issue I am choosing to share because it is the right thing to do. First and foremost, according to the timeframe of my symptoms, there was no exposure to residents, patients, or other BSMC staff. I was not in contact with anyone, besides my immediate family, close enough or long enough.

BSMC continues to take appropriate steps to address community health concerns while protecting our residents and staff. Big Sandy and the surrounding area have seen a recent increase of COVID positive cases. This is predicted to continue increasing along with Flu cases, making it more important than ever to follow county and state guidelines and directives. Stay home if you are sick. Be more diligent with masking, hand washing, social distancing, and limiting group numbers. Get the Flu vaccine. These are simple actions that can have significant results.

Call the BSMC Clinic when you do not feel well. Our providers are doing an amazing job screening and providing instructions as public health information and guidance continuously changes. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: fever, nasal and/or sinus congestion, headache, aches and pains, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dry cough, tiredness, loss of taste and/or smell, rash, and shortness of breath. These are ever-changing as well; therefore, seeking medical advice is best.

BSMC continues to do everything we can to protect our residents and staff by controlling who and what comes into the building. Employees are required to report symptoms prior to coming to work and if symptoms develop at work. Every person that enters the facility is screened and required to wear masks. Visitation, both routine and end-of-life, is restricted but available through scheduled appointments and with strict rules. High-touch areas in the facility are disinfected frequently. Newly admitted patients are placed on a 14-day quarantine and monitored for symptoms.

BSMC will continue to re-evaluate our policies and practices in order to maintain services for the community. The Emergency Room remains available 24/7; we just ask that you call first, if possible. Outpatient Nursing Services are scheduled as needed. Clinic appointments, both routine and urgent, are still scheduled as usual. Telehealth visits with outside providers are ongoing. Physical Therapy, Laboratory, and X-ray are maintaining services for both outpatients and inpatients. Long Term Care beds are available. Activities for our residents and patients are more important than ever.

In the end, my COVID symptoms were mild; but that may not be the case for everyone. We need to come together as a community, as we have always done, to stop the spread. It is a matter of respecting and caring for our neighbors. BSMC is doing its part; please do yours.

Leah Griffith, RN, MHA, CEO


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