PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center prepares for COVID-19

Posted March 20, 2020 at 6:27 pm by

PeaceHealth Peace Island - Update archive photo

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash., March 20, 2020–While no pos­i­tive cas­es of COVID-19 have been report­ed in San Juan Coun­ty to date, (Cor­rec­tion: Since receiv­ing this 1 res­i­dent of Orcas has test­ed pos­i­tive with COVID-19), offi­cials lead­ing response efforts expect to see this change as these num­bers increase across west­ern Wash­ing­ton.   Lead­ers with Peace­Health Peace Island Med­ical Cen­ter have been plan­ning for the poten­tial increase in pos­i­tive cas­es and devel­op­ing health care strate­gies in prepa­ra­tion of meet­ing the unique needs of island com­mu­ni­ties. These efforts have been coor­di­nat­ed with San Juan Island EMS, San Juan Coun­ty and oth­er com­mu­ni­ty partners.

Mer­ry-Ann Keane, chief admin­is­tra­tive offi­cer with Peace­Health Peace Island, has been antic­i­pat­ing those needs and the asso­ci­at­ed chal­lenges result­ing from increased patient vol­umes that may occur with pos­i­tive cas­es of COVID-19. While work­ing to ensure the con­tin­ued safe­ty of patients, care­givers and vis­i­tors com­ing into and leav­ing the med­ical cen­ter, she said,  “It isn’t ‘busi­ness as usu­al.’ The safe­ty and well-being of our com­mu­ni­ty is always a pri­or­i­ty, but it is of para­mount impor­tance at a time like this. We are imple­ment­ing process­es and mak­ing dai­ly changes to pre­pare to meet com­mu­ni­ty needs when they occur.

Peace­Health Peace Island – like oth­er health care orga­ni­za­tions across the nation – is active­ly plan­ning for an increase in pos­i­tive cas­es of COVID-19 which will like­ly bring greater need for pro­vid­ing acute care in the med­ical center’s 10-bed inpa­tient unit. To meet this, the med­ical cen­ter and med­ical group clin­ics have tak­en steps to ensure their pre­pared­ness by imple­ment­ing vis­i­tor restric­tions that lim­it non-essen­tial indi­vid­u­als to reduce the risk of trans­mis­sion; con­duct­ing sup­ply inven­to­ries and con­ser­va­tion plans for per­son­al pro­tec­tive equip­ment to meet ongo­ing demands; can­cel­ing or post­pon­ing elec­tive surg­eries to con­serve hos­pi­tal resources; post­pon­ing out­pa­tient ser­vices to pro­mote social dis­tanc­ing and open appoint­ments for high-risk indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­enc­ing symp­toms; and estab­lish­ing plans for com­mu­ni­ty­wide respons­es includ­ing sup­port from Peace­Health St. Joseph Med­ical Cen­ter to meet the need for sup­plies, high­er acu­ity care and surges in patient volumes.

The COVID-19 sit­u­a­tion changes quick­ly, often by the hour, and we will con­tin­ue to swift­ly make changes and adapt as need­ed,” Keane said. “We want to assure the com­mu­ni­ty that our med­ical cen­ter and med­ical clin­ics remain open for care. Any­thing that must be imple­ment­ed to ready the med­ical cen­ter and its 100 staff mem­bers to care for patients is being addressed.”

For impor­tant resources and infor­ma­tion, please vis­it PeaceHealth’s Know Coro­n­avirus at the San Juan Coun­ty COVID-19 page at

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