Liberal, KS– In response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) the following local organizations have met, and will continue to work together, to discuss the safety of our communities: Southwest Medical Center, Seward County Health Department, Seward County Emergency Management, Seward County Commissioners, Seward County Community College, and Liberal City Commission. As a collective, we recognize that we provide vital services and resources to keep our community safe. We are committed to doing our part during this public health crisis to responsibly meet the needs of the community, while also working to limit the exposure to this virus.
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and are following the recommendations of the KDHE and the CDC. We want you to know we are prepared for and knowledgeable about COVID-19 and want to provide you with up to date information from our trusted sources; the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Currently, there are 8 cases of COVID-19 in Kansas, and 135 negative results. There are currently no cases in Western Kansas. This information is updated frequently on the KDHE website.
While we realize most people have minor symptoms with the coronavirus and will recover completely, we also recognize that there is a certain population that can have more severe complications. It is our priority to protect and care for our patients, staff, and community and reduce the potential spread of this virus in our community. To protect this population and our community as a whole, we have implemented the following temporary precautions at Southwest Medical Center:
- Visitors: We ask that no one under the age of 18 visit the hospital. We also ask that our patients have a maximum of 1-2 visitors. Each person that visits should not have any symptoms. Visiting hours are between the hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 pm.
- Hospital Entrance: We will have limited access to the hospital. You may enter the hospital through the main Emergency Department entrance. Every patient and visitor that enters the facility will go through a screening process upon entry, which will include a temperature check, symptom check, and exposure history. If you have symptoms or exposure history, you will be encouraged to contact your primary care physician. If you are a visitor, you will be asked not to enter the facility and to contact your primary care physician.
- Garden of Eatin’: The SWMC cafeteria is closed to the public until further notice.
PLEASE NOTE, IF YOU ARE SEEKING EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE, YOU WILL NOT BE DENIED SERVICE.
COVID-19 Testing: To minimize the potential spread, we will place a surgical mask on any patient arriving at our facility to be tested for COVID-19. You must have an order from your primary care physician to receive a COVID-19 test. We offer this testing Monday through Thursday at any time, and Friday by noon. All samples are sent to the KDHE in Topeka for testing so there is an approximate 24 to 72-hour delay in results.
If you are symptomatic or you have concerns about COVID-19 exposure, please call SWMC at 620-624-1651 before your arrival at the facility. This allows the staff to prepare for your arrival and to reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus.
If you are symptomatic or you have concerns about COVID-19 exposure and you need to visit your primary care physician or another clinic, we recommend calling them ahead of time so they can prepare for your arrival.
What you can do to protect yourself, your family and our community:
- Stay home if you have symptoms.
- Practice good hand hygiene.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid gathering in public places.
- Stay in touch with others by phone or email.
What you can do if you are sick with COVID-19:
- Stay home except to get medical care.
- Separate yourself from other people in your home.
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
- Wash your hands often.
- Clean high-touch surfaces every day.
- Monitor your symptoms.
- Avoid sharing personal household items such as eating utensils, bedding, and cups.
- Remember, most people have mild symptoms and recover completely from COVID-19. You are at a higher risk for more severe complications if you have underlying health conditions such as lung disease, diabetes, heart conditions, or are older than 50 years old. Regardless of your age or condition, please closely monitor your symptoms and go to the nearest Emergency Department if your symptoms worsen.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 can include cough, shortness of breath, and fever.
- If you are concerned or feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare physician and obtain an order for testing if needed.
- At any point in time, if you develop shortness of breath, fever uncontrolled with medication, or feel your condition is worsening, please seek emergency medical treatment.
- If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19, please call the Seward County Health Department at (620) 626- 3369 or call the KDHE hotline at 1-866-534-3463 Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm.
Please stay tuned to hear more about the steps and procedures each of our organizations is taking regarding future operations in response to this ever-changing situation. Thank you for your commitment to keeping our community safe for all during this challenging time.