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Novel Coronavirus: How Summa Health is preparing for any scenario to help keep their staff and patients safe

Posted March 03, 2020 by Thomas M File, Jr., MD


Everywhere you turn, there are new headlines reporting on the increasing number of cases and unfortunate deaths due to the novel coronavirus. It’s a respiratory infection that was first identified in Wuhan, China, late last year.

At the time of this post, the outbreak has been detected in more than 35 countries, including those in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019 (referred to as COVID-19).” To date, there have been no cases diagnosed in Ohio.

Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider the immediate health risk to the American public low at this time, many people and organizations are taking precaution. Because the novel coronavirus is a newly identified strain, the health risk is difficult to assess.

That’s why Summa Health’s Infection Control Department and Infectious Disease Division, in conjunction with the CDC and local public health officials, is continuing to diligently monitor the situation and preparing its staff for an emergency.

Here’s what Summa Health is doing now to help keep its staff and patients, as well as the community, as safe as possible in an evolving situation:

  • Summa Health has activated a Situational Assessment Group to review the hospital’s process in case of an emergency.


  • As recommended by the CDC, Summa Health System Emergency Departments have screening processes in place across all patient intake departments hospital-wide for the virus. A travel history is activated in patient records to identify potential cases.


  • Prevention of transmission of communicable diseases is common practice in all hospitals. In the event that coronavirus disease spreads further in our area, Summa Health has measures in place to quarantine patients.


  • Supply inventory for infected patients, as well as personal protective equipment to ensure employee safety, is a top priority.


  • Staff is instructed to observe instructions for patient infection precautions as posted at patient room doors. Also, all patients and staff are reminded to practice good hygiene habits, such as washing their hands, covering cough/sneezes with their sleeve, and keeping their hands away from their face.


As the situation continues to evolve, Summa Health is working to keep its staff and patients informed. Please check back on our blog frequently for updated information on coronavirus disease 2019.

Call 234.867.6314, if you have additional questions related to the Coronavirus.


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