Important COVID-19 Update From Harry Weis, President and CEO, Tahoe Forest Health System

Monday, March 30, 2020

This is to inform you of important updates about the fight against COVID-19 in our community, so you and your family hear information straight from the local healthcare source.  

We continue to see a growing number of positive COVID-19 cases in our region, and the numbers change every day. The regional area referred to includes Nevada, Placer, El Dorado and Washoe Counties. For specific information on trends and number of cases, please visit the county websites listed below.  

As with most other healthcare organizations, we too have several team members with positive test results, and they are recovering at home, with none requiring hospitalization. It's common for healthcare workers to become infected when caring for the ill, and we’re grateful to our strong team of caregivers and support staff who are working hard daily to keep our communities and health system as safe as possible. Our team is putting everything we have on the line to provide our community with the best healthcare during this crisis.    

Because the COVID virus is highly contagious, we strongly suggest everyone follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for prevention, including hand washing, not touching your face, staying at home and social distancing when going out for essentials. 

Here are some of the most important new measures we are taking to fight COVID-19 at Tahoe Forest Health System now:  

There are restrictions for patients coming to any of our physician offices, unless there is an urgent medical condition. If you have a medical issue that cannot wait and is not COVID-19 related, please call our central phone number to schedule an urgent provider office visit at (530) 582-6205.  

All of our staff members are being screened daily before each shift for any type of illness, and employees will wear masks.  

We have implemented telemedicine services with many of our clinical providers, and this access is growing daily. If you need to see a healthcare provider for a non-COVID issue, your visit may be scheduled using telemedicine technology, which allows for remote medical diagnosis and evaluation. This allows us to treat patients remotely for your health and safety. Please note that our Emergency Department continues to be open 24/7.

We are screening every patient we see, anywhere, for any illness symptoms, and we ask that even patients wear a mask. This is for everyone’s safety. We are continuing to restrict elective surgery, lab visits and radiology visits in the hospital as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

We’ve created a new curbside drop-off and pick-up process at our retail Pharmacy, located in the Medical Office Building directly across from the hospital at 10956 Donner Pass Road, Suite 100.  Call the Pharmacy at (530) 587-7607 for details.

There’s also a location change for the outpatient Laboratory, now temporarily located at 10956 Donner Pass Road, Suite 240.  They are open M-F from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm (closed from 12:30-1:00 daily).  This change is to decrease entry into Tahoe Forest Hospital.

The virus is growing rapidly, and it will continue in our region at least through the month of April.  We’re hopeful for a higher volume of testing to occur everywhere, and we’re working very hard and in innovative ways to make this more accessible in our community now.  We strongly encourage everyone to follow the State of California and CDC guidelines, and practice good habits such as limited alcohol intake and healthy eating as much as possible. Specially trained nurses are available to answer your questions and direct you to treatment if needed.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported us through these very challenging weeks. The pandemic causes a major financial impact to our organization, and we are committed to being a strong resource for encouragement and recovery to our community in the months ahead. I feel optimistic that we’ll get through this crisis with new ways of thriving together. 

Your health and safety is our number one priority.  

Web Resources

The most accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 can be found on the following websites.