To The Herald Whig:
Our world turned upside down on Jan. 19, when the first positive coronavirus case was reported in America. It reached the communities in which we live two months later. As of March 23, we have only had one confirmed case of a positive COVID-19 in Adams County and none in Pike County, Ill.
We've been on an emotional roller coaster ever since. When you are on a roller coaster, you want to be sitting next to someone you trust.
You have demonstrated your trustworthiness. You have done all the things asked of you -- from practicing social distancing to calling the local health care hotlines with questions, rather than flooding emergency rooms.
Because of your response, the tri-state region has experienced fewer coronavirus cases than other communities up to this point. Thank you.
I hope the Blessing Health System team and I have demonstrated our trustworthiness to you.
We began planning for this situation before it was declared a pandemic to protect our patients, the public and our staff. We quickly mobilized a screening center, activated a 24/7 hotline, trained staff to handle this crisis, created additional airborne isolation rooms and built a supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
PPE is in worldwide shortage at this time. Blessing has worked with its vendors and local companies to assure health system staff has what is needed to protect and care for patients and themselves safely. Blessing is also conserving PPE consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Blessing is working with all health care providers in the region -- the Adams County Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) -- to share with you the latest information about the coronavirus. There is no reason for any organization or any individual to withhold information in a situation such as this. This is a public health emergency. The only way to slow and eventually stop this roller coaster is by working together. While COVID-19 continues to evolve, the one constant on which we can rely is true human connection and the commitment we share to improve the health of our communities.
For more information, visit blessinghealth.org/coronavirus, IDPH, CDC and World Health Organization.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve your health care needs through this crisis.
Maureen Kahn, RN, MHA, MSN
president/chief executive officer?Blessing Health System