At Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital (EBCH), our business is caring for people. As local healthcare leaders, we refrain from offering opinions, setting policy or debating hot topics. We will continue to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) throughout the pandemic.
EBCH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brock Urie stated, "Hospitals are not political entities and should not take part in debating mandates or policies. We are here to take care of our patients in the best possible way. This pandemic continues to affect hospitals nationally, regionally and locally. Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital feels the impact of this pandemic on our patients and our staff every day."
The most important ways to protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19 continue to include masking when appropriate, washing your hands often with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and discard the tissue immediately; wash your hands after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Continue to practice social distancing by respecting personal space and get vaccinated if you are able. Stay home if you are sick and get tested if you are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19.
"This pandemic is not over. We continue to test people daily for COVID-19 who have been exposed or have symptoms. Those tests continue to come back positive,” said EBCH CEO Patti Banks. “EBCH continues to admit COVID-positive inpatients and has been accepting patients transferred from other facilities that are overwhelmed with patients."
Regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters: at this time, the booster shot or third dose has not been made available to EBCH. Hospital leaders will work closely with the MDH and our regional coalition to determine distribution when the booster becomes available.
In our ongoing effort to communicate effectively, EBCH will post updates on our Facebook page and our website, and share information in newspapers and on WELY radio. EBCH recently added a "Real Facts" update of questions and answers from the National Rural Health Association to our website to help you make an informed decision regarding vaccinations. Please keep in mind that information associated with COVID-19 is fluid, and we are doing our best to provide accurate, timely information.