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Wesley Medical Center begins additional screening for coronavirus

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wesley Medical Center has started screening every hospital visitor as well as closing many of its entrances as a precaution for a potential coronavirus outbreak.

Each visitor will be asked a series of three questions as they enter Wesley including whether or not they have flu or respiratory-like symptoms and travel questions.

Hospital officials said there’s no need to panic, they are doing the screening to ensure protection for patients and staff.

“At the end of the day, our staff has to stay healthy and that’s the most important thing for us and our patients,” said Bill Voloch, president and CEO of Wesley Medical Center.

Out of the more than 50 entrances to the hospital, only five are open including the vendor entrance.

ICU and Emergency entrances, Birth Care Suites and the main entrance to the hospital are open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Only two entrances are open during the overnight hours.

Vendors will be screened as they enter the building.

“If they pass through that screening, they’re allowed to go in the facility,” said Dr. Lowell Ebersole, Chief Medical Officer of Wesley Medical Center. “If they don’t pass, then we ask them to wear a mask, and then, we would take them to our emergency department to be further evaluated.”

Hospital officials said two people at Wesley were under investigation for the Coronavirus, but both tested negative.

“Any patient that would screen positive would go into a designated area in our emergency department and then those high, expanded precautions would be implemented,” said Dr. Ebersole.

The Wesley Medical Center Team said it’s well-prepared with supplies and fully staffed at this point if there is an outbreak of coronavirus locally.

The hospital is working with KDHE and other agencies and is given daily updates.

Officials are now asking the public to be prepared to take a few seconds to answer the screening questions and if you are experiencing an illness, avoid visiting patients if possible.

“If you don’t have to come to the hospital, don’t come to the hospital,” said Voloch. “We’re already seeing our visitor traffic at Wesley slow down.”

Volunteers at the hospital have been asked to only work in non-clinical areas of the building, and a travel ban for business has been put into place for the next 30 days for staff and administration.

The hospital has asked employees to avoid travel in the near future if possible.

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