Tidelands Health urges social distancing to limit spread of coronavirus
Tidelands Health is imploring community members to practice social distancing – an important step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and prevent health care resources from being overwhelmed.
In alignment with federal recommendations, the health system is encouraging community members to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others and minimize personal contact by limiting travel, avoiding gatherings of people and taking other steps.
Called social distancing, the practice is proven to slow pandemics. It reduces the overall spread of illness and provides the medical community with the time and resources to treat everyone who seeks care.
“We understand how difficult it is to cancel that family reunion or long-awaited vacation, but we need the community to partner with us to help beat this illness,” said Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs for the health system. “Everyone needs to practice social distancing, even people who aren’t ill or at high risk for complications from coronavirus, because we can all spread the illness — even if we have mild or no symptoms.”
The health system’s social distancing message, which is being shared via multiple communication channels, aligns with recommendations from the federal government developed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent the types of infection spikes that have overwhelmed medical care in Italy, China and other countries.
At the same time, the health system is implementing multiple surge strategies at its inpatient and outpatient locations to increase the organization’s capacity to care for critically ill patients.
These are the latest in a series of steps Tidelands Health has taken to educate the community about coronavirus and help the region prepare. The health system has developed a coronavirus information center at tidelandshealth.org that offers prevention information, instructional videos, fliers and other resources, launched billboards promoting the benefits of handwashing and has regularly appeared in the news media.
The health system has also been proactive in its efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus in its facilities and the community. At its hospitals, Tidelands Health has limited the number of public entrances, is screening patients and visitors for symptoms upon arrival and has implemented visitor restrictions, among a variety of other measures.