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WEB EXTRA: Chief Medical Officer with YRMC talks coronavirus test kits

Dr. Bharat Magu addresses what the hospital is doing to prepare for a worst-case scenario

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY)- As the number of positive Coronavirus cases in Yuma rises, Yuma Regional Medical Center officials (YRMC) sit down with Sunrise anchor Gabe Salazar to answer the most common questions asked from viewers.

Chief Medical Officer with YRMC Dr. Bharat Magu joined him on Sunrise to answer those questions.

1. Does YRMC have test kits?

“We do have limited test kits and are working with the Mayo Clinic to get them performed. We continuously are looking to source more test kits. We are testing a limited number of patients, only those who are in critical condition."

2. If the number of cases continues to rise, is the hospital prepared?

"We want to avoid a surge as much as we can, we call in flattening the curve. The key is not to overwhelm healthcare facilities. So we are looking at our resources every day, if we have enough ventilators and if we are at capacity including Personal Protective Equipment, masks, gowns, and everything we need."

3. Has there been any guidance from the State or Federal level informing you of any sort of treatment available for these patients?

"As of now, the treatments are not fully vetted. There is evidence that a few treatments decrease the transmission, but we are looking at some new treatments in Japan, they are in the final phases of a clinical trial. We hope to have that by this summer. But there is no guidance as to treatment at this time. "

“We want to stress the importance of staying at home. This is something humanity has never seen in 100 years. It is absolutely critical to stay at home. I will go on a limb and say if you care about your loved ones, you would stay at home especially for the elderly people 60+ they should hunker down. As well as limiting any visitors. As well as people with chronic health conditions." 

4. Are visitors still allowed at YRMC?

"No visitors are allowed to visit patients at YRMC except the end of life patients or very young kids, overall no visitors allowed."

5. Will the yellow tents outside the emergency center continue to be used as a preventative measure?

"Tents will remain there, and its purpose is to keep the people who do not need to enter the hospital. We can identify those with minor symptoms without having them enter the main building."

6. Does weather play a factor in the spread of the Coronavirus?

"There has been evidence from Harvard studies saying that with warmer temperatures and low humidity levels, the numbers of cases of the Coronavirus in those areas."

As Seen on TV / Coronavirus: Important Information / News / Top Stories / Yuma County

Gabriel Salazar

You can catch Gabe Salazar reporting on Sunrise at 6 a.m and 7 a.m.

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