Letter to the Editor: Dixie Regional Administrator Mitch Cloward on importance of social distancing

Composite image. An aerial view of the Dixie Regional Medical Center River Road campus with inset photo of hospital administrator Mitch Cloward, date and location not specified | Photos courtesy of Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George News.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR — As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, the everyday life of the average Utahn has been upended dramatically in the course of just a few days. Children are staying home from school, companies are having employees work remotely and large gatherings have been suspended. While some of these measures may seem drastic, these difficult decisions have been made with the good of our communities in mind — with a focus on halting the spread of this highly contagious virus.

Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare and others support the actions that have been taken by our state and local leaders to contain the outbreak. Because this is a new virus, we don’t know every detail about COVID-19. One thing we do know, however, is that because COVID-19 is highly contagious, decisive action was needed to mitigate the number of cases in our communities.

We are appreciative that our state and local leaders have made decisions in a swift and decisive manner. While the process has not been perfect, no one can question the dedication and commitment of Utah’s public health, education and other government leaders to do what is right for the well-being of Utah’s citizens.

Gov. Gary Herbert announced on March 24 a comprehensive COVID-19 response plan that works to address the public health crisis and economic recovery of the pandemic. This can help give health care workers the ability to address the spread while giving the needed help to the economy during the shutdowns.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Utah will continue to rise. Utah’s medical providers are preparing for a surge of patients, but it is imperative that the preemptive measures taken by our government leaders be taken seriously and heeded by Utah citizens. All of us must do our part to make sure there are medical supplies, staff and hospital beds for those who need them in the days and weeks ahead.

The way we accomplish this is through social distancing. There should be no public gatherings — stay at home.

There have been many preemptive measures instituted this past month. Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health have postponed certain nonurgent elective medical procedures. Many hospitals have new guidelines that restrict visits at hospitals, clinics and InstaCares. We understand that this can be inconvenient, and yet this decision was a necessary one. We have to protect patients and their families, as well as our caregivers.

Through social distancing, we can significantly reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. We have confidence that as we work together to treat the citizens of Utah in communities all across the state, we will eventually succeed in turning the tide on COVID-19. We believe it is making a difference here at Dixie Regional. Thank you for your help.

Submitted by MITCH CLOWARD, Dixie Regional Medical Center Administrator.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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