KEYSER, W.Va. — The WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital emergency room has taken steps to assure the highest level of safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the medical director of emergency services at Potomac Valley Hospital, I make it my personal responsibility to assure our patients that our emergency department is utilizing the highest level of safety and most current evidence-based practice,” said Dr. Michael Gould. “While these times are uncertain with the pandemic, it’s important patients do not ignore their health problems until it’s too late, especially in emergency situations.

“From the moment you walk in the door until the time you leave, extra precautions are being taken,” said Ralph Gumbert, director of the department. All patients are screened by a nurse immediately upon arrival. Patients who exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are placed in dedicated negative pressure rooms. All staff members wear personal protective equipment and follow strict infection prevention procedures, including enhanced cleaning and tracking.

Chairs in the waiting area are separated to encourage social distancing.

The most recent publicly reported patient ratings for the emergency department show that 91% of patients surveyed gave an overall rating of 9 or 10 out of 10 possible points. A temporary COVID-19 drive-thru testing site is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Seneca Lane parking lot across from the hospital.

The service allows symptomatic patients who have a valid order from a licensed practitioner to be tested in their vehicle.

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