COVID-19 VIRUS UPDATE - Minnie Hamilton Health System Update


- COVID 19 Testing - The new company, AIT, is averaging less than 48 hours on turnaround time and resulting of the test. This has helped out tremendously. We continue our screening processes, and have updated our tools in accordance with the updated CDC guidelines. We are prepared to implement our full plan of a complete drive though process, but have not had to do that yet.

Our current processes include the screening, and staff coming to the patient in their vehicles, unless additional examination is needed. This reduces the exposure to staff, and other patients, etc. Of course, we are seeing several possible cases in the ER, and typically there is a notification process before arriving, thus giving us advance time to prepare and don our PPE. Currently testing supplies are meeting our demands, and we are still trying to secure supplies for our internal machine to perform the test, which will help expedite results.

- PPE supplies - We continue to receive small shipments of supplies, and we are holding our own with no major shortages, however if a surge would appear, we would likely be out of supplies within days, just dependent upon the surge. All models currently indicate the surge will come late April or early May. We have secured additional PPE supplies, which would be arriving in the next few days.

We are in the same boat as most providers in WV and the nation, basically going out on our own or in conjunction with other facilities secure PPE. The national stockpile supplies has not produced needed quantities for most healthcare facilities that we have been in discussion with.

We continue meetings with our associations and local health departments. These meeting are extremely beneficial and important, as we are briefed on our regional situation, which assist in our preparations.

We want to give a special thanks to the Gilmer County and Calhoun County boards of education, GSC, the EMS services of our region, and especially the Gilmer County Health Department, all of you are equally dedicated and committed to our community members, thank you!

Continue public announcements surrounding visitor restrictions, patient flow and access, as well as information about the telehealth services. Telehealth services are going really well, and we continue to ask all community members to utilize this as a way of practicing social distancing.

As always though, if a persons is in immediate need of medical attention they should call seek immediate medical attention. Televisits are extremely important, encourage patients to make an appointment:

Grantsville office at 304 -354- 9704

Glenville office at 304- 462- 3407

The State of WV announced that due to the World Health Organization declaring Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic, testing and treatment for all noninsured individuals’ medical costs associated with COVID-19 will be covered by WV Medicaid during the national state of emergency.

Also, certain medications are available under this temporary emergency benefit to non-insured patients who are experiencing symptoms associated with a possible COVID-19 infection.

We continue to receive community donations, prayers, and commitment for services. We appreciate the public understanding and support.

We continue daily/hourly updates with State and Federal officials. Our team members meet each day at 9am and throughout the day as needed.

We continue employees self-monitoring, temperature logs and report any health issues. The safety and well-being of our staff is of the highest priority, as we need to stay healthy to continue this fight and provide services to our community members.

Minnie Hamilton Health System has been identified by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department as employing workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability.

As healthcare employees we are the essential workers and are needed to be on the frontlines providing services to our community members. We have been dealt a hand that may not seem fair, but this is the hand we have been dealt, and we are committed in the service of others.

Stimulus packages – we continue to monitor and evaluate the many stimulus packages that have been proposed and or passed. These stimulus dollars are for the lost revenues and cash flows associated with low utilization of services during this crisis. These dollars are to be used to keep employees on the payroll and ensure they have a paycheck.

There has been some confusion that healthcare facilities are pulling in big bundles of money, that’s simply not true, again these monies are to be used for replacement of lost revenues/cash flow to keep employees employed. There is so much to be thinking about and how it affects our reimbursements, etc.

We continue our extreme caution and lockdown of the long term care unit, as our residents are a very vulnerable population and we continue the extraordinary efforts to keep them safe and healthy.

Our entire team continues to work tirelessly and will continue these efforts until we prevail. I want the public to know that as all of you sacrifice many things during this crisis, the healthcare workers too are sacrificing, we are all in this together, so please continue the great work, stay calm, and do ask questions.

Social distancing is the only real thing that we can control, please help win this fight and keep your distance from others, practice good hygiene and wash your hands. It is imperative that we do not let our guard down.

Easy access to information per our website at the following link:

Please send me any questions or concerns. Have a great weekend and stay safe, and God Bless all of us.

Steve Whited, CEO Minnie Hamilton Health System