BCMH COVID-19 Update: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

BCMH COVID-19 Update: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

April 14, 2020 – Just a few weeks since stay-home measures for the COVID-19 pandemic were put in place, Bates County Memorial Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. John Bustle believes the community has yet to see peak numbers of confirmed cases. Peak may not occur in this area for another week or two, according to some models.

“As I have heard from the beginning of this process, this is a marathon and not a sprint.  It certainly feels like we are half way through a marathon right now, like we have gone far enough – yet we have much farther to go.”

With just six confirmed cases and one death due to COVID-19, Bates County has so far not seen the widespread infection that other parts of the country are experiencing.

“Our region enacted social distancing measures much sooner on the curve than others,” Dr. Bustle explained. “We had the luxury of seeing what the hot spots were going through and took steps to keep that from happening here. These actions have kept the novel Coronavirus from spreading rapidly in our area.”

Because testing supplies are still in such short supply, the hospital continues to restrict testing to the highest risk cases. When supplies become available, the hospital will have the ability for rapid testing on existing equipment – but there is no indication when those supplies will be made available.

Dr. Bustle said, “I am picturing a slow return to normal as the pandemic wanes. It feels like we are in a holding pattern waiting to see what happens over the next week. Don’t let your guard down. Continue to use appropriate protective measures.”