Sacred Heart was chosen for these specific four passengers due to its outfit with secured isolation rooms, Sacred Heart being one of just 10 hospitals in the country with these special units. The others, meanwhile, are at currently undisclosed locations.
The Spokane Regional Health District says that all of the arriving patients at Sacred Heart have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19), according to local Spokane news outlet KREM. Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz told the media that they all arrived at the Spokane International Airport from Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, California.
As for the 12 other patients sent to other locations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokesman Scott Pauley declined to tell The Associated Press the names of them all.
"It is no risk to the general population," Lutz stated during a recent press conference. "I will emphasize that as much as I possibly can," he added, noting that health officials have reached a consensus that the risk of other people contracting the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) in the United States is "low."
It was the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that chose Sacred Heart as the location for these four individuals, which was originally five individuals before the agency made a last-minute change. Health officials have not yet indicated whether any of these patients contracted the virus in China or in the U.S.
As has become the norm, all of the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) patients who've been transferred to Sacred Heart or elsewhere will now be in containment for two weeks, despite the fact that the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) has an incubation period of up to 24 days.
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As all of this was happening, the CDC cleared the remaining 180 people who were being held at Travis Air Force Base to go back home. Two other groups, reports indicate, were also slated to be cleared as having completed their time in quarantine.
Back at Sacred Heart, officials there explained that the staff members caring for those now in isolation will always be wearing fluid-impermeable gowns, gloves, and N-95 medical face masks with face shields, and will also have on their persons powered air-purifying respirators.
"The level of personal protective equipment we are wearing is in alignment with the CDC guidelines they have put out for caring for these patients, so that includes airborne protection, mucus membrane protection, and contact precautions," stated Christa Arguinchona, manager of the hospital's Special Pathogens Unit.
The most recent numbers issued by the Washington state Department of health show that nearly 800 people throughout the state are currently under public health supervision due to the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19). All of them are being monitored as if they have the disease.
"We have the highest confidence in the medical professionals assisting with the care and transport for these people and we remain committed to assisting our partners in Spokane as needed," reads a statement issued by the Department of Health.
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Sources for this article include: