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Minnie Hamilton Health System gives update on hospital procedures

GRANTSVILLE — Although Calhoun County has not yet seen any positive COVID-19 cases, Minnie Hamilton Health System provided an update on the state of their medical care.

For the past three weeks, residents have had access to the COVID-19 tests, according to Eric Ritchie, chief operations officer.

As with other hospitals in the state, Minnie Hamilton is no longer allowing visitors, everyone entering the building is checked and all employees are using personal protective equipment, Ritchie said.

Having access to PPE is a priority, Richie said. They currently have all they need to accommodate employees but they ensure they have supplies coming in as replacements as well.

“We’re fortunate we have not had anyone test positive as of (Monday) morning. We’re always just preparing to treat anyone like they could be the first possible case,” Ritchie said.

Ritchie said one advantage they have in their rural location is the people from outlying areas.

“No one goes through Calhoun County unless they live there. We’re pretty isolated. When you look at the map of who has it and who (doesn’t), you can tell where the interstate runs and where the populations are,” he said.

The Grantsville and Glenville officers are offering telehealth visits to eliminate the need for patients to go out in public. These visits are for acute, chronic or walk-in visits.

Insurance is billed like a regular office visit but all copays and deductibles will be covered, according to the Minnie Hamilton Health System’s website.

Several members of the county population are taking advantage of this offer but many of them are doing their visits over the phone as opposed to a video chat.

“We’ve had a surprising number. Because we are a rural community, the video conferencing is not utilized as much because the bandwidth cannot support it,” Ritchie said.

Pharmacy workers are also helping their customers. Although the Calhoun County pharmacies aren’t equipped with drive-thrus, employees are taking prescriptions or other needed items out to customers’ vehicles.

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