On December 17, 2020, BMC received its first supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. It was delivered for distribution to frontline healthcare workers and to BMC’s Continuing Care Center residents. Those doses were all administered, in a timely fashion, to our hospital staff and Continuing Care Center residents within 48 hours. BMC received its second supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on January 5th, 2021 and have administered it to those who received the first dose three weeks prior.
As we move forward, BMC is partnering with Polk County and Burnett County to conduct a COVID-19 Drive-Thru Vaccination Clinic. This is available by appointment only and you must pre-register. If you have questions or need to pre-register, please contact Polk County Health Department at 715-485-9258 or Burnett County Health Department at 715-349-7600.
BMC recently installed an ionization system into our HVAC systems. This technology uses specialized tubes that take oxygen molecules from the air and convert them into charged atoms that then cluster around microparticles, surrounding and deactivating harmful substances like airborne mold, bacteria, allergens, and viruses. They also attach to expelled breath droplets and dust particles that can transport viruses, enlarging them so they are more easily caught in filters. It is an active process that provides continuous disinfection on surfaces and in the air. The ionization system has been installed in all of BMC's roof top units and in the Continuing Care Center.
Negative Pressure Rooms
Last fall, BMC also installed three more negative pressure rooms, also called isolation rooms, in the Medical/Surgical Department. BMC now has a total of four negative pressure rooms. These rooms keep patients with infectious illnesses, or those susceptible to infections isolated to prevent airborne diseases from escaping the room and infecting other people. A machine pulls air into the room then it filters the air before moving it outside. Two more negative pressure rooms will be installed in the Emergency Department this spring.
BMC’s Laboratory will also be upgrading the COVID-19 testing platform to a molecular test, also known as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. This COVID-19 test is very accurate and detects genetic material of the virus if you are currently infected. COVID-19 variants and other infectious diseases can also be detected with the PCR test and is one of the many reasons BMC has selected this platform of testing. Up to 12 samples can be processed at a time and results will be available in about 60 minutes. This new testing will be available at BMC in the upcoming months.