Medical Center information

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 7:45pm

Dear Block Island Community,

At this time there has not been and there is no suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on Block Island. However, it is important to remain vigilant in practicing social distancing to minimize the risk of spreading the virus through community infection.

The Town of New Shoreham passed an Emergency Ordinance on March 18 to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the community from COVID-19. The Emergency Declaration is in effect through April 15 and enforces the guidance from Gov. Raimondo with additional precautionary measures for Block Island, given our limited medical resources.

It is imperative that we adhere to common-sense guidelines previously distributed and posted again below to prevent virus transmission. Emergence of COVID-19 on Block Island would quickly over-run our limited island medical resources. As tourism to Block Island increases with the season, the risk of exposure of the island community to COVID-19 increases.

It is safest for families and individuals to behave as if the virus is already here; to avoid non-essential outings and to practice social distancing. We know that COVID-19 is easily transmissible, even in the absence of symptoms, through the air and by direct contact. For this reason, at this time, social distancing applies to everyone, not just those who are ill.  Individuals who are ill, even with seemingly mild respiratory symptoms are urged to STAY HOME until their symptoms have completely resolved. All returning domestic and international travelers to Block Island are urged to heightened awareness and to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the island.

This week the Medical Center is deferring all non-essential and routine visits including physical therapy and ancillary services to a later date. A summary of BIHS current operations is as follows:

· The Medical Center will continue to respond to all acute care and urgent issues.

· We are conducting doctor’s visits by telephone or video-call whenever possible.

· BIHS behavioral health services will continue by telephone or video conferencing.

· PT services will continue for essential visits only and with special precautions.

· All BIHS Wellness and Risk Reduction Program visits are suspended.

· BIHS Women’s Health visits are postponed until late April.

· Please call the Medical Center for any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone or video visit for medical or behavioral health.

If you become ill with fever or flu-like symptoms, reach out to the Medical Center by phone; do not come to the Medical Center without calling ahead so that we can ensure the safety of all Block Islanders.

The Medical Center continues to receive and follow guidance and directives from the CDC and the RIDOH. We will continue to share these status and guideline updates with our community.