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Bay Area hospitals prepare for patients amid coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus

SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KRON) — Five hospital workers in Santa Clara County are in self-isolation until next week due to an abundance of caution of the coronavirus.

Hospitals across the Bay Area are preparing for patients. They want to work safely to protect both patients and workers.

The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is not treating anyone with the coronavirus as of now, but its 50 isolation rooms are ready to go in case that changes.

“The things that we would need to do to take care of a patient with coronavirus are to employ strategies that are familiar in health care settings,” Dr. Lisa Winston said.

In the ICU, the isolation room differs from the other rooms in that it has an anteroom in between the patient room and the corridor. Additionally, it has negative air pressure to keep germs from flowing out.

“When you walk from the corridor into the anteroom and the door is closed, the air is flowing into the anteroom. So if there are any germs in the anteroom, they are not flowing out to the corridor,” Winston said. “Then when you walk from the anteroom into the patient’s room and you close the door, the air is flowing into the patient’s room from the anteroom. So if there’s any germs in the patient’s room, they’re not flowing out the door.”

Winston said keeping medical staff healthy is a key component. 

In the anteroom are gloves, N95 respirator masks, goggles, and gowns. Staff gown up in the anteroom and then remove the gown before heading into the corridor. That should prevent exposure.

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital said in addition to that, if their medical staff come into contact with people with the coronavirus, even if gowned up, they will be monitored for at least 14 days following the last time they’ve been in contact with someone with the virus.

At this point, they are following CDC guidelines and believe all the precautions they’re taking should prevent all medical staff as well as the patients in the hospital from getting the virus.

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