SHOW LOW —  During these unprecedented times, the White Mountain community needs to come together to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Our communities have been hit hard with this virus and Summit Healthcare continues to test and see a rise in COVID-19 positive patients. Summit Healthcare strongly recommends wearing a mask or other suitable face covering in public when unable to practice social distancing (6 feet or more separation). This has proven to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“As a community there have been a lot of questions regarding COVID-19 and whether or not Summit Healthcare is prepared to handle a surge of infected patients. As the CEO of Summit Healthcare, I feel confident we are prepared to handle the surge and I have addressed some of the community’s questions below,” says Ron McArthur, CEO of Summit Healthcare.

Q&A

1. Of the 200+ positive cases reported in the Summit Healthcare system, how many are "in-patient".

The 200 plus cases reported by Summit Healthcare are the total number of cases reported since March 2020. These represent tests completed in Summit Healthcare facilities that have come back positive for the virus. Out of the 200 cases, 55 have been inpatient at the hospital at one time or another since March 2020. The remaining cases tested positive but were not in need of hospitalization and urged to quarantine at home for 14 days.

2. How many in-patient cases are critical care? Does critical care mean ICU or on a ventilator or both?

As of July 1, 2020 Summit Healthcare has 11 patients in critical care that are either confirmed positive or suspected positive COVID-19. Critical care usually refers to a patient in ICU. A patient in critical care may or may not be ventilated. These number may change daily.

4. What is the bed capacity at Summit Healthcare hospital? What is the critical care capacity?

Summit Healthcare is licensed for a total of 101 beds. Of this total, 64 are private medical/surgical beds. Summit Healthcare is able to increase our medical surgical bed capacity by an additional 24 beds. Summit Healthcare has 12 adult ICU/Critical Care beds and we have the ability to increase that total by an additional 11 beds.

5. How will Summit Healthcare plan for a possible surge in cases?

Summit Healthcare’s Incident Command has been implemented since March 2020. The steps Summit Healthcare has put in place for a surge include:

Summit Healthcare’s Incident Command meets frequently during the week in addition to other support meetings.

Daily reports are communicated with staff informing them of bed status, staffing, and equipment usage and other needs, if any.

Summit Healthcare has brought in additional ventilators early on and have increased the number of ancillary respiratory assist units as well to care for patients with need for additional respiratory support.

Summit Healthcare has procured additional beds to replace the gurneys used in the Surgical Preoperative area that serves as our expanded ICU. Summit Healthcare continues to increase our staffing capabilities.

Summit Healthcare proactively tests and screens employees to support the health of our workforce.

Summit Healthcare has increased ICU/Critical Care telehealth monitoring capabilities for additional bed capacity.

Summit Healthcare has implemented inpatient telehealth solutions to reduce the amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for patient care.

Summit Healthcare has deployed telehealth solutions for many non-emergent outpatient visits to reduce in-person interactions to further reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Summit Healthcare collaborates with county, state and healthcare industry work groups to ensure we have the best and most up-to-date information available.

6. Does Summit Healthcare take cases from IHS in Whiteriver?

We maintain a close working relationship with IHS in Whiteriver and continue, as we always have, to support them by taking cases for which we can provide an optimal level of care. This includes, but is not limited to, suspected and confirmed COVID-19 positive patients.

7. Where are Summit Healthcare's testing site locations, hours?

See attachment. If a patient thinks they may have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient, call 928-537-6700 to make an appointment for COVID-19 testing.

8. What are the COVID-19 testing criteria?

Please refer to the CDC.gov website for testing criteria. Summit Healthcare is testing patients with any of the symptoms listed on the CDC website. Summit Healthcare is also testing patients who are suspected of being exposed.

9. Should people get tested if they have no symptoms but "just want to be tested?"

If an individual feels they have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 positive person, they should be tested. They may not be symptomatic, but could be asymptomatic and still affect others if they are not wearing a mask. Wearing a mask helps prevent spreading of the COVID-19 virus to others.

Per the CDC, COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing). These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (are “asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (are “pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

10. Where is Summit Healthcare in terms of peak cases according to your infectious disease expert?

We are still seeing a rising trend. The numbers are variable day to day but we have a significantly higher number of cases now than we had a month ago.

11. What details can be provided for off-tribal lands in Navajo County? (I.e. Pinetop-Lakeside, Show Low, Snowflake-Taylor, Heber-Overgaard, etc.)

Contact Navajo County Public Health Department. Summit Healthcare does not receive information for the whole county, therefore it would not be appropriate to comment on the county as a whole.

12. Should people still call Poison Control if they have symptoms and can't reach their PCP or don't have a PCP?

Yes, Poison Control is available if an individual has questions. If the individual is symptomatic, please go to one of Summit Healthcare’s Walk-In Clinics to be seen.

13. How much does a COVID-19 test cost w/o insurance?

All insurance providers are covering COVID-19 tests for patients. If a patient does not have insurance they are still able to get tested at no charge.

14. How long is it taking to get test results back from Summit Healthcare testing sites?

Test result turnaround times vary from 48 hours to 7 days, depending on the volume of tests being received at the reference laboratories.

Summit Healthcare’s current policy is to require patients to wear a mask/face covering whenever entering a Summit Healthcare facility and to maintain covering their face at all times. If you choose not to wear a mask, your appointment will be rescheduled for a later time or you can be seen by your provider via a telemedicine visit.

Summit Healthcare thanks all our communities for all of their support. Our tremendous staff continues to work hard to fight against COVID-19. Summit Healthcare does weekly podcasts to keep the community informed. The number of positive COVID-19 cases reported through Summit Healthcare facilities can be found daily at summithealthcare.net.

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