Camarena Health gears up to fight COVID-19

March 21, 2020

For The Madera Tribune  

Camarena Health has established a testing area for COVID-19 infection outside of the location at 344 E. 6th Street in Madera. The outdoor testing facility is available Monday through Friday for individuals who meet the symptomatic criteria and/or have traveled outside Madera County. Hours are currently 1-4 p.m., and will be adjusted as needed.

As the community faces the challenges of COVID-19, Camarena Health is on the front line of fighting the virus. 

 

“Where appropriate, we are setting the example for how to address this challenge from both the positions of a healthcare provider and an employer,” says CEO Paulo Soares. “As the largest primary care provider in Madera County, it is both our mission and responsibility to ensure that our communities, patients, and employees are safe and healthy at all times.” 

 

Camarena Health has been working closely with the Madera County Public Health Department to assess the situation related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Camarena Health is making changes weekly — even daily — in an effort to adapt and overcome. “This is due to increasing cases both in the State and across the country,“ says Camarena Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joel Ramirez. “Fortunately, Madera County still only has one known case as of March 18, and this case was directly related to travel. As we know, the virus is displaying community spread in nearby vicinities, and we want to be sure to recognize this and put in to place processes that are appropriate to address this spread.” 

 

One of the principal changes made at Camarena Health was the development of a COVID-19 Task Force. This committee meets regularly to review efforts and introduce changes as needed. The following changes were presented to and agreed upon by Camarena Health’s COVID 19-Task Force on Tuesday. Effective immediately, the company is cancelling all non-Camarena Health meetings from the conference room reservation schedule. This will prohibit non-Camarena Health groups from accessing our buildings. We are cancelling all non-urgent Camarena Health meetings. All student, intern, extern, and volunteer activities have been suspended for the next 30 days. 

 

Camarena Health is providing the option for employees 65 and older to voluntarily (and temporarily) withdraw from work. 

 

Camarena Health is cancelling all visits for any patients 65 and older and have a diagnosed chronic condition. (Acute sick visit appointment requests from these individuals will still be available). 

Call Nichole Mosqueda at 664-4339 or  232-0242 (cell text or call) for more information.

 

Camarena Health is monitoring its supply of personal protective equipment regularly and diligently tracking usage to anticipate need for replenishment. Staff and patients are being asked to be considerate in usage of face masks and personal protective equipment. 

 

Camarena Health appointments staff is reminding patients to withhold from bringing in any unnecessary visitors to their appointments.

 

Camarena Health has established a testing area for COVID-19 infection outside of the location at 344 E. 6th Street in Madera. The outdoor testing facility is available Monday through Friday for individuals who meet the symptomatic criteria and/or have traveled outside Madera County. Hours are currently 1-4 p.m. and will be adjusted as needed. 

 

Another qualifying factor includes contact with an individual known to be infected with Coronavirus. A patient must meet criteria to be screened for COVID-19. 

 

Camarena Health will continue with signage and easels outside of all facilities to alert patients not to enter the building if they have symptoms, but to call instead “This is where we ask for our community’s support,” says Dr. Ramirez, “We need the community and patients to follow this guidance and screening process before entering the building so we can safely and appropriately provide individuals the appropriate care they need without exposing other patients and employees who are tirelessly providing care.” 

 

Effective Monday, March 23, Camarena Health will re-arrange its scheduling structure for appointments. All appointments before 2 p.m. will be reserved for “well” visits only. No acute sick visits between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. All acute sick visits will be scheduled from 2 p.m. on. This will help prevent co- mingling of acute sick individuals with non-sick individuals. 

 

Camarena Health is committed to keeping all of its  facilities clean, safe, and open during normal business hours. Locations, hours, and services can be found on the Camarena Health website. www.camarenahealth.org. Camarena health continues to run all three Urgent Care facilities in Madera and Oakhurst at their normal hours.

 

Almond Urgent Care

 

720 E Almond Ave.

 

Madera, CA 93637

 

Country Club Urgent Care

 

1159 Country Club Drive 

 

Madera, CA 93628 

 

Oakhurst Urgent Care

 

49165 Road 426

 

Oakhurst, CA 93644

 

• • •

 

About Camarena Health: Camarena Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving residents of Madera County for 40 years. Camarena Health currently provides comprehensive medical, dental behavioral health, optometry, chiropractic, and health education services to the communities of Madera, Chowchilla, Coarsegold, and Oakhurst California. In 2019, Camarena Health served close to 47,000 patients and had more than 250,000 patient visits through a network of 16 health center sites. For more information, visit www.camarenahealth.org

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