With the latest news that a Terry County healthcare provider did test positive for COVID-19, Brownfield Regional Medical Center will likely soon be a visitor free facility. The fourth confirmed case identified listed possible contamination sites as both BRMC and the BRMC Clinic.
BRMC did issue this statement: “As reported by the health department as the onset of COVID-19 in their press release: On March 23, 2020 BRMC had a healthcare provider returning from Dallas after being out of the country. Before allowing the provider to start seeing patients and resuming hospital duties, the provider went through a COVID-19 screening. The provider had no COVID-19 symptoms to report (a-symptomatic). BRMC made the decision to COVID-19 test the provider. The testing of the provider was outside the recommended CDC and Health Department protocol because there were no COVID-19 symptoms. However, we felt it was justified with the provider returning from outside the country.
“BRMC did also require the provider to wear an N95 mask and PPE until we received the COVID-19 positive results back and quarantined the provider, who is still currently a-symptomatic and not showing any COVID-19 symptoms. The health department was contacted so they could do their investigation and contact any patients with potential exposure. BRMC could not do a media release until the health department completed their part and made a news release. Because this provider did wear the N95 mask and PPE, the exposure risk is determined to be low by the health department. All patients with exposure risk will be contacted by the health department.”
BRMC Administrator Jerry Jasper told TownTalk Radio, “The hospital remains in operation and the Clinic is continuing to operate. The hospital is doing screening for those who present with symptoms of COVID-19. Do not go to the ER with these symptoms. Call the hospital and wait in your car in the parking lot to be called for testing. Testing is done Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. There is a special parking area for COVID-19 symptoms awaiting tests. After hours, call the hospital to report your symptoms. We are doing everything we can to continue to keep our community safe. We take all of this very seriously and we are dedicated to providing safe and quality healthcare for Terry County and the surrounding areas.”
As Lubbock COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, Terry County numbers appear to be staying low, for now. According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 26 additional cases were identified just before 8 p.m. on Monday, bringing Lubbock’s total to a confirmed 77 cases. The report states that a significant number of the new cases were associated with the outbreak at Whisperwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. As reported in the Tuesday, March 31, 2020 A-J, 12 more residents at the home have tested positive.
Brownfield nursing homes and assisted living have not been reported as a contact point for any confirmed case, thus far. Brownfield Rehab and Care Center was the first in Brownfield to go on a complete lockdown, meaning no outside visitors, at the very start of the outbreak. Apex Nursing Home and Cottage Village Assisted Living both followed suit soon after. David Karnes, Owner of Cottage Village stated in a letter sent out to resident family members, “We know the steps we have taken to protect our residents are very difficult for many families. The desire to be with loved ones during uncertain times is strong, and we know you have concerns. I want to thank each of your for the patience and understanding you have shown our staff. We will continue to communicate with you, and advise you of any changes along the way.”
Karnes went on to urge people to send cards and letters, or set up video or Facetime chats with family members to keep spirits up.
During these times and with the news reports coming out, citizens are encouraged to please refrain from reporting misinformation and “facts” they read on Facebook. At times like this, it is so important to rely on actual factual information. At TownTalk Radio, we pride ourselves on providing the most up to date information possible and we will not report anything regarding the COVID-19 outbreak that did not come from our reliable sources, which are the South Plains Health Department, City of Brownfield, Terry County Judge or BRMC. If we don’t hear it from them, we do not report it.
Again, no one is attempting to hide anything or mislead you. There are the proper channels information has to go through before it can be presented as fact. This is a time for patience and prayer. We encourage you to practice both.