CPH Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE

March 17, 2020


(SOLDOTNA, AK) March 17, 2020 – Central Peninsula Hospital and other local agencies are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. We are working together to prepare, following recommendations and protocols from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as the Alaska Department of Health and Social Service (DHSS). We are dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of our community and visitors.

Out of an abundance of caution, and in order to protect staff, patients and Heritage Place residents, Central Peninsula Hospital is limiting non-essential access to help limit potential exposure to novel coronavirus, COVID-19. In an effort to maintain Central Peninsula Hospital’s operational status, we are asking community members to not come to the hospital or our outpatient clinics unless you have a healthcare related reason until further notice. We expect the levels of restriction to increase in the near future which will involve screening of all patients and visitors.
“Patients who are screened at CPH outpatient clinics and need further assessment or testing, will be directed by their clinic physician to the CPH ED ambulance bay where we have constructed three negative pressure screening rooms. These will be used for further triage, assessment and testing if necessary” said Rick Davis, CEO of Central Peninsula Hospital. He went on to say that, “Central Peninsula Hospital and Heritage Place are implementing restrictions to protect our patients, residents, community, and our healthcare workers on the front lines. They are our most valuable resource when it comes to treating and stopping the spread of the virus.”

KPB Mayor Charlie Pierce said “The administration fully supports the prevention measures being implemented throughout the borough. Alaskans are resilient in times of adversity. Let’s do our part and practice the CDC guidance to slow the possible spread of infection on the Kenai Peninsula. Please take every precaution to care for yourself and loved ones.”

Members of the community should call their providers before they visit their family practice clinics if they have COVID-19 symptoms including: Cough, Fever, or shortness of breath. This is an essential step for triaging patients before they arrive and allows the provider to provide specific instructions to patients. This call will protect all frontline healthcare and will help prevent the spread of disease. DO NOT visit the hospital emergency department unless you have a
medical emergency. There are red and yellow signs at all CPH entrances with instructions if you have symptoms – CALL BEFORE YOU VISIT!

Visitors are no longer allowed to enter Heritage per Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) directive issued on Friday evening, March 13, 2020.
• Healthcare workers (hospice, EMS personnel)
• End of Life Situations (family, clergy, bereavement counselors)
o Must all wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
o Perform frequent hand hygiene
o Limited to specific area (resident room or designated location)

• Hospital Cafeteria is closed to the public until further notice
• Hospital Gift Shop is closed
• All volunteer services have ceased / volunteers have been asked to stay home
• CPH Cardiac rehab and pulmonary rehab are closed until further notice
• Heritage Place Outpatient Physical Therapy closed, patients are going to alternate locations
• The CPH Health Fair scheduled for April 4th has been cancelled
• All community classes held at CPH have been cancelled until further notice
• Dine and Discuss with Dr. Hough has been cancelled

We are closely following CDC recommendations and guidance on how to best protect our front line staff as well as how to use and preserve existing supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) due to concerns about limited supplies. As such, we want to make sure potential new cases are identified immediately, that our front line staff have the necessary PPE, training and support they need to provide care to those patients. If you are going to see your healthcare provider or are coming to the hospital because you believe you have coronavirus symptoms, PLEASE CALL FIRST. This will allow our staff to prepare for your arrival and assess your situation and provide you with specific instructions.

Central Peninsula Hospital collect samples with nasal swabs per CDC guidelines. The specimens are sent to the State of Alaska for the testing. We do not conduct the test at the hospital as we don’t have that capability. There is not a drive-through test location at the hospital.

Alaska has 3 confirmed coronavirus cases one in Anchorage and two in Fairbanks at the time of this release.
CPH Corona Virus Web Page https://www.cpgh.org/corona