March 25, 2020
Letter to the Community – Brownwood Area
I’m writing today with an update on Brownwood Regional Medical Center’s preparation for the presence of COVID-19 in Brownwood/Brown County area. Our executive and department leaders are monitoring local, state and federal guidance as it is updated in response to the ever-evolving situation. We are prepared to protect the safety and well-being of our care team and all patients should any members of our community develop symptoms of COVID-19 requiring hospital care.
A clinical care team is carefully screening all patients for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors of fever with a cough or difficulty breathing and exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19 or travel from an area with a concentration of COVID-19 cases. To date, March 25, 2020 there are approximately 28 area residents who have had the risk factors or symptoms of COVID-19 infection. As of this morning, we have had minimal positive cases that have been identified in our Brownwood/Brown County area.
As any patient suspected of having COVID-19 is identified, the individual is placed in a separate room or area away from other patients and given a medical mask to wear. Only a small care team interacts with the patient. The ED/attending physician will determine whether testing is needed, and will coordinate testing and the patient’s ultimate disposition in consultation with the department of health, as needed.
Infection control is a top priority. Our staff members are trained in the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including medical masks, N-95 respirators, goggles and gowns. We actively maintain our PPE inventory based on the number of patients in our care and we have sufficient inventory to tend to our patients. Our resources are being increased so we are prepared for the event of a surge in patients. We are preserving and conserving our PPE inventory in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
Patients receive care thanks to the skills and compassion of the nurses, physicians, technicians and all members of our team. We understand our responsibility to protect our caregivers with the resources and practices to minimize unnecessary exposure to infection and we are restricting visitor access to the hospital at this time as part of this response.
Brownwood Regional Medical Center and all healthcare organizations and caregivers in the community are focused on responding appropriately to this monumental health emergency. We applaud Brownwood/Brown County Health Department Leadership along with the Mayors of our local communities for their actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our area. The public’s participation in social distancing and staying home is critical to reduce the number of people who are infected. Our hospital is just one piece of the needed action to fight COVID-19. We appreciate your support during this challenging time.
For factual information about our hospital’s preparedness, I invite you to visit BRMC-Cares.com/COVID-19. To learn more about the Texas Department Health Services response, visit https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus and for in-depth information about COVID-19 visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.gov.
Jace Jones, Chief Executive Officer
Brownwood Regional Medical Center