Covid-19 Update - 3/27/20
Sanders County remains one of the few remaining counties in western Montana without a confirmed case of Covid-19. We are fortunate so far, particularly given that Montana has reported its first associated death. My heart goes out to those in our state (and nation) who are suffering from the consequences of this disease, and particularly the family who lost a loved one. The occurrence prompts us to examine again if we are doing all we can to prevent Montana from experiencing the ravage that is occurring in other places.
Montana’s governor issued a “shelter in place” order that is to take effect tonight. This reinforces at a new level the importance of social distancing. As we at Clark Fork Valley Hospital continue to prepare for the arrival of our first case, we constantly have the hope that we can avoid the overwhelming events that many communities have experienced. The hope is based on the belief that people will do what is right and follow the social distancing and shelter in place directives that have been put forth. PLEASE DO SO!!!
I am humbled by the community members who have been working with our staff to solve some of the problems we anticipate with personal protective equipment supplies. We have had masks donated, and we are working with businesses and schools to 3D print others. Also, community members are sewing masks and other “clothing” that we will likely need. Thank you to all of you who are supporting our efforts to be prepared, and for demonstrating a spirit of community that we all depend on at some point in our lives.
Although we have cancelled elective surgeries and procedures, we have continued to perform those that cannot be delayed. Our intent is to be operational to meet those needs that cannot be put to a later time. As part of that effort we are working to have the ability to conduct a larger range of Telehealth visits next week using modern technology. Our goal is to maintain contact between you and your provider to assure that if you have chronic health problems or preventative measures that need addressed we can continue to meet those needs.
As we move into our first weekend of the shelter in place order remember that some sunshine and fresh air can do us all good, so step out of the house, walk around a bit, and take some deep relaxing breaths. Just keep your distance from others.
Gregory S. Hanson, MD