Helena hospitals announced they will gradually begin resuming some services.
Each patient and staff member receives a temperature check as they enter a St. Peter’s Health facility. It’s one of many precautions the hospital is doing to prevent spreading of the virus. According to the Vice President of Operations, the hospital will take gradual steps to resume services with the same precautions.
"Our state and our community have done so well keeping COVID from becoming a bigger issue than it has here locally and we want to stay ahead of that and so we continue to have safety precautions in place," says Brian Lee, Vice President of Operations at St. Peter’s Health.
Visitor restrictions are in place as St. Peter’s begin their second week of resuming services as follows: in-person clinic appointments, some surgeries, diagnostic imaging procedures like mammograms, physical therapy appointments, and more.
Shodair Children’s Hospital also has visitor restrictions in place but opened up all their units on Monday such as group homes. The CEO says he plans to gradually resume in-person appointments.
"We have no plan right now to walk in the front door, we will obviously keep restricting an entryway. There will be obviously temperature checks and there's a questionnaire. We will follow mask guidelines, so that will be the new normal," says Craig Aasved, CEO at Shodair Childrens’ Hospital.
Shodair cut up to 50% of their top-tier-employees’ salary to avoid any furloughs. They also said that they didn’t use any medicaid money to pay for pandemic issues as they wish to keep that money for the patients themselves like offering new services. Their estimated monthly revenue loss is about one million dollars during this pandemic.
Shodair will be fully operational by mid-June 2020 while St. Peter’s Health will be at 75% capacity within the next two weeks of May 13th, 2020. Both will continue to have certain guidelines as they both say that these guidelines could be the new normal.
St Peter’s COVID-19 Call Center is still active as of May 13th, 2020 if you have questions or concerns before visiting a facility.