Sierra View Medical Center stops visitors, starts specimen collection site

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- The first COVID-19 positive patient in Tulare County was treated at Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville.

Since then, the hospital activated an incident command center, started a drive-through specimen collection site, and most recently, changed its visitor policy.

Visitors are no longer allowed.

Anyone coming into the hospital (either through the main entrance or emergency department) will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.)

Screening for the emergency room is happening inside a tent.

If someone is suspected of having COVID-19 or has flu-like symptoms, Dr. Jeffrey Hudson-Covolo says they will be separated from other patients and seen by a doctor.

"We're now setting up a special area in our emergency room that will only take care of patients that present with COVID-19 like symptoms and signs," Hudson-Covolo said.

Sierra View is not currently treating anyone with a positive case of COVID-19.

But they do have some suspected cases.

If you think you might have COVID-19, Tulare County Health and Human Services is advising that you call your healthcare provider or 211.

Do not call 911 or go to an emergency room.

"If you are needing emergent care and you need to come to the emergency room, we want you to call ahead," Hudson-Covolo said. "Or we want you to call EMS so EMS can come to your location, pick you up, and call ahead to the hospital so we can be ready to receive you."

On Monday, Tulare County public health officials announced four new confirmed cases of COVID 19.

Three of the four are between the ages of 18 and 25.

The other is between 26 and 40-years-old.

Hudson-Covolo says the percentage of young adults testing positive for the disease is on the rise nationwide.

"We really need our younger people to take serious these stay at home orders," he said.

Like Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, there are exceptions to Sierra View's new no visitor policy.

See below for more information.

Sierra View visitor policy:

https://www.sierra-view.com/press-room/2020/march/no-visitor-restrictions-now-in-place-at-sierra-v/

Kaweah Delta visitor policy:

https://www.kaweahdelta.org/COVID19/Visitor-Policy.aspx

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to abc30.com/coronavirus/.
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