SPOKANE, Wash. - Sacred Heart has reassured the community that their patients and their staff are completely safe with four confirmed cases of Coronavirus isolated in a special pathogens unit at the hospital.
The Spokane Regional Health District confidently said in a press conference on Thursday that the risk to the public is "zero."
Even so, that confidence isn't swaying some.
We spoke with one woman in Spokane Valley on Friday, Gloria, who has been undergoing chemotherapy for her cancer since October. So far, she's responding well to treatment, but an upcoming appointment next week at Sacred Heart has her concerned.
"I'm considering canceling my appointment, which is a pretty important appointment because I just had my CT scan to see what my cancer is doing," Gloria said.
With her immune system in a compromised state, the news of four patients infected with Coronavirus coming to Sacred Heart for treatment has her looking for an alternative.
But it's an alternative that Sacred Heart doesn't think is necessary, saying in a press conference on Thursday that all of their patients in the hospital have nothing to worry about.
"Caring for people with infectious disease is not new to hospital care teams," Peg Currie, RN, Chief Executive of Sacred Heart said on Thursday. "The capability of our teams to be able to care for all who are in our hospital today, who might come tonight or who might deliver a baby is that we know they will be safe and we are intent on that promise to our community."
Hospitals are where people who are dealing with illness go to get better and there have been a lot more people coming to the hospital with the flu than the Coronavirus in the United States.
A lot more.
Millions of flu cases have been diagnosed in the United States this year, with 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths.
Worldwide there have been approximately 76,000 cases of Coronavirus with around 2200 deaths and only 14 confirmed cases in the United States, according to the latest numbers from the CDC, and zero deaths.
Statistically, the flu is more worrisome to health professionals, with 5 deaths in Spokane County this year alone, according to the latest numbers from the Washington State Department of Health.
However, it's the virus that's been making worldwide and now local headlines that has Gloria concerned as she considers her next step in her battle against cancer.
"Is this something that you're not willing to get treatment for because of this?" I asked Gloria when talking about her concerns with the Coronavirus in Spokane.
She paused for a moment.
"I don't know. Maybe. Maybe."
Gloria said so far she is responding well to treatment, but her appointment next week, if she keeps it, should involve receiving the results of a CT scan to see what exactly her cancer is doing. She said she was going to talk to her doctor about switching her appointment to another location, but as of Friday afternoon, it was unknown if she was able to switch it.
If you have questions or concerns about the Coronavirus, perhaps you'd like to check on something you've heard about the virus, or maybe you're in a similar situation as Gloria and are looking for some guidance, the Washington State Department of Health has a Coronavirus has a call center set up for anyone with general questions about the virus, how it's spread or possible symptoms. Just call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.