GLENDORA, Calif. — Dr. Sohan Bassi wears a tie with bacteria artwork on it and has a handshake he calls his 'infectious disease handshake.' Dr. Bassi is the director of infection control for Emanate Health Foothill Presbyterian Hospital in Glendora.
He says that while the coronavirus is a significant public health emergency in China, in the United States we have a very low risk to the general public.
“The only people that need to be concerned about exposure to coronavirus here would be travelers from China or family members or close contacts of these travelers,” Bassi said.
But if there was a person with symptoms who checked in at Presbyterian, they’d immediately be taken outside to a separate waiting area. Dr. Bassi showed Spectrum News 1 the area adjacent to the emergency room that is located outside where people with transferable illness are taken prior to being admitted to the ER.
Once inside the emergency room, the patient would be placed inside an isolation suite which provides negative air pressure. Any air the patient exhales will be vented to the outside of the hospital.
It’s connected to the anteroom where medical staff goes to put on protective gear to treat the patient. That includes a protective gown like the one emergency room RN Michael Rubio puts on over his clothes and gloves.
“It’s a disposable gown so it’s only meant for one time use,” said Dr. Bassi.
Goggles protect the health care official's eyes. Nurse Rubio puts on an N95 mask which has very fine filters. Dr. Bassi says it is a little bit difficult to breathe while you have the mask on but that’s the point of the mask — it prevents infectious particles from getting into the health care providers air supply.
But Dr. Bassi says it’s important to check into the ER using the Emanate Health website or app, that way medical officials can assess your symptoms online and be prepared once you get here.