Doug Faus mug

Doug Faus

Guest columnist

To the Albany County community,

This past year has not been an easy one. In the time spent apart from one another, we have continued to build a community that stands together.

I cannot express enough thanks to the brave men and women that are responding to the nearby wildfires that have consumed our wilderness areas. My thoughts are with the countless personnel that are battling in our mountains and all those displaced by the Mullen Fire. I urge our community to take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves from wildfire smoke that can cause other underlying conditions to flare up in harsh environments.

COVID-19 continues to spread in our community and throughout the state of Wyoming. In the last week, there has been a spike in positive cases. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations are climbing at local and state levels and serve as a reminder to us all that COVID-19 is not over. It continues to be as important as ever to keep each other safe. We need to keep washing our hands, wearing a mask in public places and monitoring our own health.

As flu season approaches, it is highly encouraged to protect your health by receiving the influenza vaccine. Flu shots are available at the hospital, at your healthcare provider’s office, the pharmacy, the grocery store and at Albany County Public Health. There are countless easy and affordable options for you to protect yourself from flu illness. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities in our community and don’t delay in getting your flu shot.

If you do find yourself feeling under the weather, give yourself time to recuperate. If you are having cold or flu symptoms, stay home, stay hydrated and stay rested. Call your healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms. If you require emergent care, call 911 or go to the emergency room. We often try to power through days when we feel unwell which can result in feeling worse and potentially spreading illness to others. Take care of yourself — it will benefit you and all those around you.

Ivinson continues to take extra precautions for the safety of our patients, staff and community. Public entrances remain limited to the East Patient entrance, the parking garage and the Emergency Room. Visitor restrictions also remain in place. We have been adjusting operations to continue drive-up COVID-19 testing throughout the winter months and are working on processes to ensure your experience is as efficient as possible. We are now asking all patients planning to be tested in our garage to spend a few minutes before they arrive and call 307-755-4355 to pre-register in order to reduce wait times.

In good times and bad, we have come together to face the many obstacles that 2020 brings. I’m asking you to keep fighting the good fight. There is still much to be done and we are not finished yet.

Doug Faus is the chief executive officer at Ivinson Memorial Hospital.

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