ILWACO — Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics (OBHMC) are working with the Washington State Department of Health and the Pacific County Health Department on a plan to provide covid-19 vaccinations when a vaccine is approved by the FDA.
Vaccinations will commence as supplies become available, the hospital said in a press release this week. Eventually, anyone in Pacific County will be able to get a covid-19 vaccination and the follow-up booster shot.
OBHMC said that for the past 10 months it has been “hyper-focused” on dealing with the realities of covid-19 on two main fronts: keeping staff, patients and visitors as safe as possible to meet emergent and urgent healthcare needs, and working with fellow community partners to address the covid-19-related needs of South Pacific County.
“There is no doubt this is still a very stressful and fluid situation,” said Larry Cohen, chief executive officer. “While we’d all like to resume our pre-pandemic lives, it is more important than ever that we stay extra vigilant. Even after a vaccine is approved and has been widely distributed, precautions will need to be taken.”
Covid testing expanding
OBHMC also has been collaborating with the Pacific County Public Health Department and Peninsula Pharmacies leaders to develop and provide a more robust covid-19 testing service in South Pacific County.
Peninsula Pharmacies will be providing rapid testing in Ilwaco (location and process to be determined), and, if needed, a covid-19 molecular level test (called PCR) to validate a positive rapid test will be performed. Existing OBHMC clinic patients who have flu or covid-19 symptoms should call their healthcare provider for an evaluation and follow-up instructions.
Reminders and guidance
OBHMC offers these ongoing reminders and guidance:
1. Continue to “mask up” using medical masks or multi-layer cloth masks that cover your nose and mouth. Neck gators, bandanas and face shields alone are not recommended.
2. Wash cloth masks daily, and safely dispose of and replace medical masks if they become soiled — after a sneeze, for example. Sanitize your hands before and after applying a mask.
3. Check the fit of a mask before heading out and avoid touching the front of the mask to adjust it. Adjust the mask from the ear loops or head straps.
4. Continue to practice physical distancing of at least six feet and perform vigorous hand washing or use of hand sanitizers.
5. Limit indoor gatherings to household members only. Social and in-home gatherings are the leading cause of the current increase in positive covid-19 tests. Gov. Jay Inslee’s press event on Nov. 12 asked Washington residents to avoid football, Thanksgiving, Christmas and similar gatherings with individuals outside of one’s household.
6. For those experiencing covid-19 symptoms, call a primary care provider for situation-specific diagnosis and the most efficient and effective course of action.
7. Continued medical care during the pandemic is recommended. Do not delay diagnostic, rehabilitation/therapy services, medication refill followups, getting vaccines, and other treatment services as ordered by your provider.
Routine care available
OBHMC has the necessary PPE and cleaning protocols in place so that services like emergency room care, colonoscopies, mammograms, physical therapy, pulmonary function testing, MRIs, nuclear medicine services, general radiology (X-ray, CT, DEXA, and ultrasound), and laboratory services can be safely provided.
The laboratory at Ocean Park Clinic is open for testing by appointment on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; prescribed lab tests can be scheduled by calling 360-642-6387. The hospital is open for provider-ordered radiology and laboratory services from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, excluding federal holidays.
Temperature and covid-19 symptoms screening are mandated at all sites. Universal masking is required for the duration of one’s visit to the hospital or any clinic.
OBHMC has special rooms set up to care for covid-19 or suspected covid-19 patients. Those who have tested positive for covid-19 and require any healthcare services must call ahead to 360-642-3181 for arrival instructions.