The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

DGH Chief of Staff discusses COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Twelve have been hospitalized for treatment since March

 

December 24, 2020



DAYTON—Dr. Kyle Terry, Medical Chief of Staff at Dayton General Hospital, touched briefly on vaccine distribution and safety protocols for patients and staff when he spoke to the hospital board of commissioners on Dec. 17.

Terry said COVID-19 vaccines would be distributed according to population numbers. With 2-percent of the national population, the state of Washington State will receive 2-percent of the vaccine. He thought Walla Walla County would receive the first distribution of the Pfizer vaccine.

He said the Columbia County Health System (CCHS) has a better chance of getting the Moderna vaccine.

Columbia County Health System and Public Health are working together on COVID-19 messaging to the community regarding vaccinations. There is no confirmed date of delivery of either of the vaccines.

CCHS CEO Shane McGuire said the Health System had been given the use of an ultra-cold refrigerator to store Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine needs refrigeration, however, it does not need ultra-cold temperature storage.

Dr. Terry said the ad hoc committee on COVID-19 had established new safety protocols for patients and staff when patients are admitted to the hospital. He said patients would be tested for the virus before and after they are admitted. Staff will wear N95 masks and use protective eyewear in any patient contact situation.

The COVID-19 statistics represent a worrisome picture in a county with a population of just over 4,000.

On Monday, Columbia County Public Health Director Martha Lanman said there had been 12 hospitalizations since COVID-19 began infecting people in the community, and four people have died.

Patients who need hospitalization are transferred to hospitals outside the county for treatment at one of four hospitals; Providence St. Mary’s Hospital in Walla Walla, Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, or St. Joseph’s Medical Center, in Lewiston.

 

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