Wichita hospital taking extra precautions to stop spread of COVID-19

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A Wichita hospital is taking extra precautions to stop the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Wesley Healthcare CEO Bill Voloch says the hospital is ready if the coronavirus gets worse.

"We are going to prepare for the worst and certainly hope for the best," said Voloch. "You're going to see us start doing things like we may put a tent up outside our ER to prepare for that scenario. We've seen that all over the country. We may be drilling up on our hospital floors with additional hospital beds, signage, that type of thing."

Voloch says the safety of Wesley's patients is his main concern.

The hospital has already made changes to its visitation policy, but that is being adjusted again. Voloch says starting Monday at noon, the hospital will go to a no visitor policy for its ICU and acute care towers.

"We will still have some exceptions for pediatrics, NICU and laboring moms. We'll allow one visitor, and anyone having surgery. Our surgery patients need to have a ride home, so they will be allowed to have a visitor," said Voloch.

If the coronavirus becomes a crisis here, Voloch says Wesley workers received a special letter that will allow them to work.

"A safe passage letter. This is a typical letter you send out to healthcare workers when you're in the middle of a crisis, when there's a possibility that we could be in some sort of a shutdown or state or government shutdown or quarantine.I sent that letter out last week. I don't know anything. I don't know if that's going to happen. It's just part of our preparation if healthcare workers need to get back and forth to the hospital from their house, they have this letter," said Voloch.

He's also asking everyone to practice social distancing. He says if your symptoms don't require you to go to the hospital, stay home and self quarantine and call your doctor.

Voloch is also recommending the community respect all healthcare workers. He says some Welsey employees have been treated badly because people feel they might be spreading the virus.