|To the Community
Dear Members of the Cottonwood Community
The medical staff at St Mary’s Hospitals and Clinics would like to issue some advice to the community regarding coronavirus mitigation. We want to emphasize that masking in public places should be strongly encouraged, if not mandatory, for all community members, and we agree with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is recommended that for all community members there be universal masking to cover the mouth and nose, frequent hand washing, and physical distancing.
The Coronavirus pandemic is uncontrolled nationwide. Our hospital is testing individuals with symptoms and finding a 36% positivity rate. That means of every 100 individuals we test 36 have the virus. We currently have three elderly patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 and have been able to transfer others to higher levels of care when we were no longer able to support them. These facilities in Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and Boise tell us capacity is limited, which could become a threat for us locally, not just for COVID-19 patients, but also for those patients in need of other types of critical care.
While we know that the vast majority of individuals infected by the virus will have minimal symptoms, we know this is not true of all of our community members. We feel strongly that reducing transmission of infection in our community will reduce the risk of infection to those who are at higher risk for severe infection.
We understand that adherence to these basic recommendations may be difficult and are certainly inconvenient; but practicing and strengthening the adherence to these protective measures can and will mitigate the effects on our community.
Jack Secrest, MD
Andrew Schweitzer, MD
Teel Bruner, MD
Margaret Pluskal, MD
Haley Minnehan, MD
Tom Wonderlich, MD
The photos above show St. Mary’s Hospital workers masked up as they go about their duties. From top down are the admitting staff, Anna Wren, the ENV crew, “Hope and Friends" and Megan and Alli..