As you are probably aware, the number of COVID-19 cases is surging in many parts of the country and around the world. We are seeing a similar spike in cases here in Denver. The Recovery Task Force continues to monitor what is happening throughout the region to make sure we have enough beds to handle an increase in COVID hospitalizations. Currently, we have adequate available bed capacity at Denver Health.
In terms of PPE at Denver Health, our use has been increasing, but we have a good, stable supply of key items, including disposable gowns, nitrile gloves and N95 respirators.
We do anticipate the surge in COVID cases will continue as more people spend time indoors with cooler weather. We all need to do our part to ensure the health care system does not get overwhelmed and the people who need care can get it.
There are simple but important things we all can do to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
- Maintain social distance of at least six feet from others at all times.
- Follow all hand hygiene protocols and wear the correct PPE if you interact with patients.
- And for all of us, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Wear a face covering at all times, unless you’re in a room, on your own with the door closed.
- If you’re eating or drinking – we know we have to remove our masks – so it’s especially important to maintain social distance of at least six feet from others.
- Regarding meetings, Denver Health has greater latitude in how many people can attend meetings. However, we should be sensible and work to keep ourselves and our staff safe. If you’re involved in meetings, look at options to enable people to call in or set up a WebEx.
- Do not come to work if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, such as dry cough, shortness of breath, fever, loss of taste or smell. If you have any symptoms, take the redcap COVID-19 survey which will determine whether you need to get a test.
- And of course, get your flu shot before the deadline on Monday, Nov. 2. It’s mandatory for all employees, even if you work from home. Please note, the last employee flu clinic on campus at Denver Health is this Friday, Oct. 23. It has been moved to Pavilion C Osler/Nightingale, 12 noon- 4 pm. You will need to pre-register on The Pulse. We have vaccinated almost 7,000 people with just under 2 weeks to go until the deadline. (The deadline to submit a medical or religious exemption has passed.)
We must take care of our own personal health, protect our loved ones, our patients and our co-workers.
I know this pandemic has created a lot of strain on many of our employees, physically, emotionally and financially. There are many resources available to support you and we have listed many of them in a Huddle Sheet on this email.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to our patients and our mission. Our role to care for the people of Denver and the work you do has never been more important.
Robin D. Wittenstein, Ed.D., FACHE
Chief Executive Officer