Our hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are fully prepared to care for patients, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with our local and state health departments.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Delta Variant
What is NNRH doing to prepare for the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant?
Our team is highly skilled at managing and treating infectious diseases of all types, including COVID-19. We are continuing to closely follow guidance from the CDC and our local/state health departments and are adhering to the rigorous health and safety protocols that have always been in place at our facility. These operating protocols were further enhanced when the pandemic began and include:
- Requiring masking for everyone inside our facilities
- Screening for COVID-19 symptoms
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols
- Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment
- Isolating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
Is the Delta variant more contagious than the other strains?
Yes. Studies have shown that the Delta variant has a much higher rate of transmissibility (40-60% greater) than any other identified strain, which means it is more contagious. It is estimated that the Delta variant is responsible for more than 50% of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. at this point.
Is the Delta variant more deadly?
We are still learning about the characteristics of the Delta variant as the research continues to evolve. For now, we know that the best thing you can do is get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect yourself. Vaccinated individuals are significantly less likely to spread the virus, become severely ill if they do contract COVID-19 or require hospitalization. Notably, over 99% of all deaths due to COVID-19 in June 2021 across the U.S. were in the unvaccinated population.
Is NNRH testing COVID-19-positive patients for the Delta variant?
We are not testing patients with COVID-19 to determine which strain they may have. The specific type of variant doesn’t impact how we care for COVID-19 patients, nor does it impact the health and safety protocols already in place to protect our team and all those who enter our facilities.
Will there be other strains of SARS-CoV-2?
It is normal for viruses to mutate and develop new strains – this happens with the influenza virus every year, for example. Because of this, there are several different strains of the SARS-CoV-2 currently circulating, including the delta variant, and it is likely that other strains may develop over time. It is very important to get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect yourself and others from any strain of the virus.
What should our community do to slow the spread of the Delta variant?
The best defense is to get a COVID-19 vaccine and encourage everyone you know to get vaccinated. At this point, most of the patients we are seeing who are hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. It is also wise to wear a mask, socially distance from others and practice proper hand hygiene to help slow the spread of illness.
If I have already been vaccinated, should I get a booster shot to help further protect myself against the Delta variant?
Studies are still ongoing to determine how long immunity lasts for a vaccinated individual and if COVID-19 booster shots are necessary. At this time, the best thing to do is make sure you are fully vaccinated for maximum protection – either by receiving both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna two-dose vaccine regimen or the single-dose Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
Are breakthrough infections more likely with the Delta variant if I’m already vaccinated?
Breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are possible regardless of the specific variant, as no vaccine is 100% effective. The good news is that even if you contract COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, you are significantly less likely to become severely ill or require hospitalization.
Has the Delta variant been identified in our community?
The best source of information regarding the presence and impact of the Delta variant in our community is the Elko County Health Board.
COVID-19 Online Risk Assessment
To help support the health of our community, we are providing access to an online COVID-19 risk assessment developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This tool does NOT provide a diagnosis, and it should NOT be used as a substitute for an assessment made by a healthcare provider.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Nevada Health Response (State Health Dept.)
- Nevada Hospital Association
- Elko County Health Board
- Elko County COVID-19 Dashboard -- 3/15/2021
- Elko County COVID-19 Hotline: (775) 777-2507
Information About Safety Precautions at NNRH
At NNRH, the health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. In light of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken the following measures out of an abundance of caution.
REDUCED ENTRY POINTS
- Only one entrance to the Hospital and one entrance to the Medical Office Building will remain open.
- Side doors will be closed and locked. Please use one of the following entrances:
- NNRH Emergency Department – Open 24 Hours
- Medical Office Building Front (Roundabout) Entrance – Open 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Side doors will be closed and locked. Please use one of the following entrances:
SCREENINGS UPON ENTRY
- Every individual who enters the Hospital will be asked screening questions regarding respiratory symptoms and contact with COVID-19 patients. Our screeners will also be taking the temperature of every individual.
Effective Wednesday, 2/3/2021, at 6:00 a.m. we are revising our visitor policy as follows:
- Patients will be limited to one (1) WELL visitor per day.
- Inpatients may receive one well visitor per day during designated visiting hours.
- Outpatients may be accompanied by one support person during their appointment. This includes patients arriving for procedures at the Laboratory or Radiology Department.
- Patients arriving at the Emergency Department may be accompanied by one support person.
- Visiting hours for inpatients will be 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Visitors will only be granted entrance once during this time period. They may not leave the hospital and return multiple times in the same day.
- Visitors of inpatients are asked to enter through the Emergency Department entrance. The main entrance of the hospital will remain closed at this time.
- All visitors must be 14 years of age or older.
- All visitors will be screened upon entry and have their temperature recorded.
- Visitors who do not pass the screening will be asked to reschedule their visit until they are symptom-free.
- All visitors will be required to wear a mask and a wristband at all times while in the facility.
- Visitors are strongly encouraged to bring their own masks from home.
- If a visitor arrives without a mask, the hospital screeners may provide them with a temporary cloth mask. This cloth mask should be returned to the screening table upon the visitor’s departure so that it can be cleaned and reused.
- All visitors will be required to practice physical distancing while inside the hospital.
- All visitors must complete the COVID-19 Informed Consent and Waiver form.
- Any individual visiting a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19 or another infectious disease will be required to wear an isolation gown while in the patient’s room.
- Obstetrics patients may be accompanied by one support person during the duration of their stay in the hospital. They may not receive additional visitors at this time.
- Allowances will be made for patients receiving end-of-life care and the number of visitors permitted may be increased.
- Please utilize alternative methods of communication with patients as much as possible. We encourage the use of telephone calls, Skype, Zoom and FaceTime.
Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we work to maintain a safe environment for our patients and team.
NNRH is taking every precaution to keep our patients safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our facility. For this reason, we are following the CDC recommendations and the State of Nevada directives that anyone who enters our facility must wear a face mask at all times.
Why wear a mask? Recent studies show that universal masking, in addition to practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene, can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, especially in individuals who may not know they are ill. And until there is a vaccine, these measures are our best line of defense in protecting not only you, but also our healthcare workers and community members.
Please be smart and do your part. Wear a mask! We all have a responsibility to protect one another against the spread of COVID-19 and make our communities healthier.
For more information from the CDC on face coverings and how to make your own, click here.To learn more about the many ways we are working to ensure your safety while you are in our care, click here.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Additional Articles from the Hospital
- "Taking Charge of Your Health" by Starla Ricks, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC -- 8/20/20
- "Hospital Urges Community Members to Wear Masks" -- 8/3/20
- "Children's Health During COVID-19" by Joe Armbruster, APRN, FNP-BC -- 7/15/20
- "Childbirth & COVID-19" by Cinda Peurala, RN, MSN, MPA -- 7/2/20
- "Hospital Reinstates Zero Visitor Policy" -- 6/23/20
- "Hospital Eases Visitor Restrictions" -- 6/3/20
- "Cardiovascular Health and COVID-19" by Becky Jones, RN, MSN -- 4/20/20
- "Thank A Healthcare Hero" by CEO Steve Simpson -- 4/2/20
- "I have respiratory illness symptoms. What should I do?" -- 3/25/20
- NNRH Statement on Positive COVID-19 Case -- 3/19/20
- COVID-19: What NNRH is Doing, And What You Can Do -- 3/18/20
- Health & Fitness Fair Postponed -- 3/11/20
- NNRH Statement on Coronavirus Preparedness -- 3/2/20
Handwashing Tips from the CDC
When and How to Wash Your Hands
Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.
Wash Your Hands Often to Stay Healthy
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way
Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.
Follow these five steps every time.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.
Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,
- Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
- Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.
- Caution! Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning if more than a couple of mouthfuls are swallowed. Keep it out of reach of young children and supervise their use. Learn more here.
How To Use Hand Sanitizer
- Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.