Dear Community Members,
On Monday evening, the Aspen Valley Hospital Board of Directors reviewed in public session the hospital’s response to the COVID-19 crisis through direct reports presented by the hospital’s Incident Command Team.
Importantly, Monday night’s meeting afforded us an opportunity to share with you, our community members, the specifics of how we have transformed the hospital in order to meet the urgent needs of patients with COVID-19 symptoms, while continuing to handle all other urgent and emergent needs of our non-COVID patients.
First and foremost, we can affirm and assure our community that patient care is being provided 24-7 in a safe environment where patients, physicians and staff are protected against the danger of the virus reaching into our facility. We discussed on Monday the Respiratory Evaluation Tent which serves as a freestanding and safe patient assessment site exclusively for COVID-19 symptomatic patients who have been referred by their primary care physician. Thanks in large part to this innovation, our Emergency Department remains available and accessible to anyone needing immediate care.
We reviewed in detail many of the specific facets of our planning process which was formulated with a view toward managing a potential surge, or multiple surges, should they occur at our hospital. Relatedly, we described the ways we have collaborated with other regional hospitals for the greatest collective effect. We also discussed the hospital’s recent expansion of our COVID testing to augment our physicians’ diagnostic capabilities for symptomatic and high-risk patients in the hospital, the Emergency Department, and in the Respiratory Evaluation Tent.
Perhaps most importantly, Monday’s meeting afforded us yet another opportunity to express appreciation for the extraordinary efforts of our physicians, nurses and staff who show up every day, putting themselves (and their families) at risk during this difficult time. Our sentiments echo those of the community who have demonstrated their deep appreciation through donations of food, PPE, money, and countless other ways — including, for example, the heartwarming signs that were anonymously placed at the parking entrance thanking our staff and encouraging them to stay the course, and the heartwarming gesture of noise-making by our immediate neighbors every evening. These gestures of support have meant a great deal to our dedicated caregivers and to all of us who support them.
Finally, we expressed on Monday, and do so again here, our appreciation to all of you for standing up to the virus and helping stem the spread of its deadly effects through adherence to stringent stay at home orders, social distancing strictures, and other personal measures. It is vitally important, a matter of life or death, that we all continue to do our part. Please don’t let up.
Our community has shown remarkable unity and resilience. Our board is proud to be a part of the efforts of the hospital and our remarkable community as we look forward to a healthy future that lies ahead.
The Board of Directors of Aspen Valley Hospital
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS
- If you have symptoms including cough, fever and shortness of breath, and are able to manage your symptoms on your own, please stay home.
- If you are over 60 and have underlying conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, contact your doctor to discuss your risk.
- If you need help managing your symptoms, but are not in need of emergency care, please call your doctor. In order to prevent the spread of illness, it is important to call ahead before going to see a doctor.
- If you do not have a primary care physician, call Aspen Valley Primary Care at 970-279-4111.
- Your physician can refer you to Aspen Valley Hospital’s respiratory evaluation tent for an in-person visit and further evaluation.
- If you experience severe respiratory distress and/or need immediate attention, present to AVH’s emergency department or call 9-1-1 and let them know you are concerned you may have COVID-19.
- For operational and access updates from Aspen Valley Hospital, including ways to help during this crisis, visit our website.
- To answer COVID-19-related questions and concerns, please call the Aspen to Parachute Coronavirus Hotline at 970.429.6186 (staffed daily from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm).
- Sign up for Pitkin Alerts: Text “CVIRUS” to 888-777.
- Visit the Pitkin County Public Health website.
- Visit the Pitkin County Public Health Facebook page.