Rock Valley Hospital Operating At Capacity, Asks Community To Social Distance, Etc.

Rock Valley, Iowa — One of the area hospitals is asking the community to join together in slowing down the transmission of the COVID virus.

Officials at Hegg Health in Rock Valley tell us that over the past five days they have seen an increase of 30% in Emergency Room visits and at 11:30 p.m. on Friday the hospital began sending Acute Inpatient admissions to other facilities. Early this week, they only had one bed available. The Hegg Health Center emergency room is open and accepting patients.

Although Hegg’s local bed capacity remains near or at full capacity, officials tell us they have been assured by Avera that they are accepting critically ill patients. They tell us that bed capacity is greatly impacted during a time of large virus spread, and that hospitals also require beds for all of the routine needs that existed before the pandemic – such as heart attacks, surgeries, diabetic care etc.

Hegg officials say maintaining a healthy workforce is vitally important for the Health Center which relies on 24/7/365 staffing in order to meet community needs. Many employees have been working additional shifts in multiple departments in order to provide care for all of the patients and residents.

Glenn Zevenbergen, CEO of Hegg Health Center says that their intention is not to instill fear in the community, but rather to educate everyone on what they are able to do to assist in helping us at this time. Zevenbergen says “That was the primary reason we met with schools last week to request that they consider wearing masks. It’s the best tool we have in slowing down transmission and it would be irresponsible of us not to inform the community and ask them for help in addressing the issue at hand. My hope is that we are able to slow the virus down and keep the situation manageable.”

While Hegg officials say they are confident that the majority of COVID patients can receive the care they need at Hegg or regionally if needed. Hegg Health Center asks local schools, colleges, churches, businesses, residents, and visitors in the county to consider the following “asks” to assist in the mitigation strategy and help to slow the spread of the virus:

· Mandate facial coverings/masks at every possible level to help reduce the viral load/spread
· Maintain recommended physical distancing protocols in all indoor facilities
· Continue to promote hand hygiene, and measures to sanitize/clean surfaces