Beutel Health Center is taking new precautions to ensure the health and safety of both students and healthcare workers as they continue to navigate COVID-19.
Beutel has divided its center into two different clinics: one for people with respiratory problems and one for people without. Appointments are now scheduled over the phone and students are screened for a fever, cough and travel activity before walking into one of the clinics.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tiffany Skaggs said if students answer yes to any of the questions asked, they go through the blue respiratory clinic. If students answer no to all of these, they go through the green nonrespiratory clinic. When students enter the blue clinic, there is another set of precautions in place, said Skaggs.
“The blue clinic has a separate entrance away from all other incoming and outgoing patients and staff,” Skaggs said. “Once students are led inside, they immediately put on a mask and gloves, and are led into an exam room. They do not have contact with any other students, and stay in the room with the door shut for the whole time.”
When students leave the blue clinic, there is about a two and half hour wait between each patient to allow for several air exchanges, said Skaggs. After a few exchanges, nurses go inside in full personal protective equipment (PPE) and clean down all the surfaces, said Skaggs.
Psychology senior Kaylee Buchanan, who recently returned from Breckenridge Colorado, a place with known positive COVID-19 cases, said she called Beutel when she developed a fever that wouldn’t go away.
“I explained to them that I only had a fever and fatigue, but that I have asthma, so if it were to develop, and I did have coronavirus, there is a good possibility that it would be severe,” Buchanan said. “Based on those things, they decided to test me.”
Before she arrived, Buchanan said her doctor called her to let her know the new precautions that were in place, such as changing his PPE after each interaction with patients. When she did arrive, Buchanan went inside the blue clinic and said the staff did a great job of keeping everyone separated and not cross contaminating.
“They are doing a great job,” Buchanan said. “Definitely the best resource for students who want to get tested.”
After getting her test results back in less than 12 hours, Buchanan tested negative for COVID-19.
Allied health junior Savannah Silvestry, who recently went to the green clinic to pick up a prescription, said she was met with similar precautions as those going to the blue clinic.
“I had to go to the back of Beutel where the ambulances are and there were three people with a mask on,” Silvestry said. “There was a sign at the bottom of the ramp that said stop, and once I stopped, an employee approached me and asked if I had a fever, cough or had traveled outside the U.S. Once I said no to all of those and confirmed I did not have a fever, he let me in.”
Skaggs said while Beutel is still operating under normal hours, they are encouraging people to visit only if necessary.
“We are trying to discourage people not to come,” Skaggs said. “It needs to be something that is fairly urgent because when people come out, they are maximizing their exposure to other people.”