St. John’s Health has responded to a request from the White House
to all hospitals to suspend elective procedures by alerting staff and
physicians to prepare to postpone elective procedures for the foreseeable
future, effective March 21st. No end date has been set.
In a briefing on March 18, Vice President Mike Pence said the action was
needed to preserve medical supplies and resources for the fight against
COVID-19. "We're asking every American, and our medical community
leaders, and hospitals to partner with us … to ensure that medical
supplies and medical capacity go where they're needed," said
Pence, who leads the administration's Coronavirus Task Force.
As COVID-19 mitigation efforts are being deployed throughout Teton County,
St. John’s Health wants to thank each individual and every organization
for their work and sacrifices to protect the most vulnerable from this
disease and “flatten the curve." This will help ensure that
our health infrastructure will maintain the capacity to care for our patients
throughout this unprecedented event.
“Our healthcare workers, from every area of the system, are deeply
grateful for the support of the community as they take care of COVID-related
patients as well as the important medical needs of all our patients,”
said CEO Paul Beaupre, MD.
Testing: St. John’s has installed a new medical tent on the hospital campus
as an additional site for physicians to send their patients for testing.
Once the tent is operational and staff is trained, staff will support
testing for patients deemed eligible to be tested by their physician as
per CDC's stringent guidelines. Because testing availability at labs
nationwide remains extremely limited, testing is not currently available
for everyone who would like to be tested. The great majority of people
with COVID-19 will not require medical treatment and should recover at
home while self-isolating.
Resource Planning: All U.S. hospitals are taking action to accommodate a patient volume
surge. St. John's continues to identify and procure supplies and equipment
that may be necessary. Ongoing planning for staffing and facilities needs
are underway. If the community continues to participate in mitigation
efforts such as social distancing, the peak patient volume on any given
day will be within a range where necessary care would be available without
overwhelming the local health infrastructure.
Visitor restrictions: Patients are allowed one designated visitor (over the age of 18) each
day, who will be screened upon entry. Both parents will be allowed to
visit a child. No visitors with fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms or
confirmed COVID-19 are permitted. Volunteering throughout the hospital
and Living Center is suspended at this time.
Campus and community safety: Patient care staff is evaluated each day for fever and respiratory symptoms.
Where possible, technology that allows remote participation, work at home,
and patient telehealth visits will be implemented. Public presentations,
group meetings, and support groups are cancelled until future notice.
Choices Café dining room is closed. “Grab and Go” items
and room service will continue to be available. Events of the St. John’s
Health Foundation are cancelled until further notice. (See
www.stjohnsfoundation.health for more information.)
Living Center is closed to visitors, family, and volunteers. All residents and staff
are evaluated daily for fever and respiratory symptoms. In addition, communal
dining and group activities have been cancelled. To read a letter from
our Director of Senior Living, visit
For information about what to do if you are ill with flu-like symptoms
or have concerns about your COVID-19 exposure due to travel or contact
with affected persons, visit www.stjohns.health/coronavirus.
Karen Connelly, Chief Communications Officer, St. John’s Health,