The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Q&A: Drew Dostal PRMC Administrator


Last updated 4/14/2020 at 4:22pm

CLOVIS — Plains Regional Medical Center Administrator Drew Dostal, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has agreed to regular discussions with The News. Here are parts of a Q&A conducted Monday:

Q: Are there any COVID-19 patients in the Clovis hospital?

A: No.

Q: How many hospital employees have been tested? How many total employees does the hospital have?

A: I do not know how many have been tested. There are people who are tested I don’t know about. (Dostal estimated PRMC has 610 employees.)

Q: Have any hospital employees tested positive? What are the operating procedures for this instance?

A: No. If we had somebody who was a positive or screened positive, we would send them home and have them quarantined (and they would follow the state guidelines).

Q: What criteria must a hospital employee meet to be tested?

A: We treat them exactly like we would any other patient. There would have to be a travel history, which is becoming less of the issue, and an exposure history dealing with symptoms.

Q: What precautions are you asking employees to take when they're off the clock?

A: We’re asking for them to try to model social distance. A lot will cover their face when they’re in public. The (Centers for Disease Control) has said that’s not a bad idea to do. We’re asking them to report if they’ve traveled. For employees who live just over the Texas border, we don’t expect them to report that they went home every day. But if, say, they went to Lubbock for a birthday party, we ask them to report those kind of things. If they have symptoms, even if those symptoms go away before their shift, we ask them to call in.

Q: Are you seeing any specific trends, more/fewer patients with flu-like symptoms, more people simply avoiding the hospital?

A: There’s a lot of people who aren’t coming to the hospital, and part of that is the governor is asking us to decrease or halt non-emergent care. We’re naturally going to see fewer people. As far as influenza goes, we’re at the end of the normal season anyway, and I would expect that to taper off.

Q: How many empty beds does PRMC have as of Monday?

A: This morning, we have 40 empty beds.

Q: Are there any specific hospital policies that may change in the coming days or weeks? If so, what/why/when?

A: I can’t think of any. If COVID-19 goes away, policies will change immediately. But I don’t foresee any changes coming.


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