The North Bend Eagle


Fremont Health prepares for COVID-19

Published 4/8/20

FREMONT – In continued preparation for a possible patient surge related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Methodist Fremont Health will erect a temporary emergency preparedness tent on the southeastern area of the hospital parking lot. The white tent, which has previously only been used for emergency exercises, will be visible from 23rd Street.

According to Brett Richmond, president and CEO of Methodist Fremont Health, there is no immediate need for the tent and decisions are still being made on how it would be used in case of an influx of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unlike the flood last spring, we’re in a position to be able to prepare and plan for possible scenarios,” Richmond said. “The early focus on flattening the curve and the slower acceleration of cases here in Nebraska has given us a valuable window of time to learn from what’s happening in major hotspots throughout the country.”

With a highly contagious virus like the Coronavirus, negative air pressure isolation rooms become an important agent in containing airborne contaminants within a patient’s room. Isolation rooms prevent airborne contaminants from drifting to other areas, contaminating patients, staff and sterile equipment.
Methodist Fremont Health currently has five acute care isolation rooms. However, plans are underway to convert additional rooms on the third floor of the hospital to negatively pressured rooms. Some of this work may also be visible to the general public.

“We want everyone to know that we are working every day to prepare as best we can for what’s to come” Richmond said. “The surge is coming and there’s no doubt in my mind that we will get through it. I’ve seen what our staff – and what our community – is capable of.”

Donations appreciated

When we needed you, you answered the call. We have been astounded and so impressed with the members of our community. So many of you are asking, how can I help? We wanted to provide the following information for how Methodist Health System is accepting donations.

Currently we have a critical need for the following new/unopened items: N95 respirator masks; Face masks and shields; Goggles; Isolation gowns (impervious); Hand sanitizer (Ethyl alcohol 60%).
If you have any of the above items the drop off location is just inside the main entrance at Methodist Health System’s corporate office located at 825 S 169th St. in Omaha. In Fremont, please call 402-727-3566 to make arrangements. Methodist Fremont Health is also accepting cards, new/unopened snacks, and crossword and dot-to-dot books for the residents at Dunklau Gardens.

Due to the amazing response by the community, Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital are no longer accepting hand-sewn products at this time. If you have a hand-sewn donation that you would like to make and live in the Council Bluffs or Fremont communities, please use the contact information provided above for further instructions.

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