Situation Update

Cumulative/Active cases:
  • Watauga County Cases: 46 (15 active)
  • Ashe County Cases: 49 (15 active)
  • Avery County Cases: 8
  • NC Cases: 57,183
Statistics Source: NC Department of Health & Human Services, AppHealthCare. Last update: 6/26 11:00 am

Topics covered in today’s update:

  • Situation Update
  • Eye Protection Requirement
  • Visitor Restrictions Reminder

Eye protection required during face-to-face contact with patients beginning July 1

Studies indicate significant number of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. The virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity of others thus the CDC recommends that healthcare personnel wear eye protection in addition to masks in facilities located in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission.

ARHS employees are required to wear approved eye protection during face-to-face contact with patients.

Approved Eye Protection includes:

  • Goggles
  • Safety Glasses
  • Face Shields
  • Surgical Mask with Face Shield

Personal eyeglasses and contact lenses are NOT considered adequate eye protection. Extended use of eye protection is recommended. Wearing eye protection continuously will decrease the chances for cross-contamination. Employees are required to maintain their eye protection, as a part of their uniform, it should be dedicated to one individual only.

Eye protection will be issued to employees who have the most face-to-face contact with patients first (listed below). Face shields will be available on an as-needed basis for other employees coming in contact with patients. Employees in additional departments will receive eye protection distributions in the coming weeks.

  • WMC and CMH Emergency Department
  • Nursing – all WMC and CMH inpatient units
  • IPG
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Registration/Admissions
  • Imaging
  • Lab
  • EVS

Personal eye protection can also be used as long as included in the approved list. Eye protection information will be added to the current Utilization of Masks policy and the name of the policy will be changed to Utilization of PPE.

Further instructions on donning and doffing eye protection, as well as cleaning and reuse of eye protection will be provided to employees via the employee hub and through supervisors.

Eye Shield

Employees who wear prescription eyeglasses will wear DeRoyal eye shields.

Safety Glasses

Safety glasses are required for employees who do not wear prescription eyeglasses.

Visitor Restrictions Reminder

Each patient at Watauga Medical Center (WMC) and Cannon Memorial Hospital (CMH) can designate one visitor/advocate to accompany them during their hospital stay between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The designated visitor must be the same person for the duration of the patient’s hospital stay, and another visitor cannot be substituted if the designated visitor is unable to come on any given day.

Employees are asked to abide by the same visitation policy for hospitalized family and friends. Please do not visit patients in the ED or other patient care areas unless you are the designated visitor.  

Several safety precautions apply, click here to see all regulations for designated visitors >

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