For expecting families, getting ready for a baby in the midst of a pandemic might seem nerve-wracking. But Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) is here to reassure you that we are continuing to provide the very best care for our pregnant patients and their families during these unique times.

Currently, recommendations for care of mothers and new babies during the pandemic continue to evolve. Based on the information that is available right now, it does not appear that pregnant women are at a higher risk from COVID-19 than the general public. That was initially thought to be true due to experience with H1N1 influenza, but there has been no new research to back up that concern with this new coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and various medical institutions have various protocols in place to try and further identify the potential affects that the virus might have on mothers and babies. For now, the precautions are the same as with the general public. Pregnant women should try to avoid groups and stay home as much as reasonably possible. Masks should be worn in public, hands should be washed frequently and items brought in from the grocery store for example should be either treated or quarantined for several days prior to bringing them into the home.

DCMH has implemented a number of protocols to further protect our pregnant patients. When arriving at the hospital, whether in labor or simply for an evaluation, you will be screened with questions to see if there is an increased risk for the viral infection. If you meet the criteria, testing may be offered.

If you do test positive for COVID-19, you will be directed to stay home on quarantine and to call with any worsening symptoms, just like what is done with non-pregnant individuals. The turn-around time for tests results can take up to several days, and if you have questions about your symptoms during pregnancy, please call your healthcare provider. If it is urgent, make sure to contact your physician’s office and if not available, the DCMH Emergency Department or Labor and Delivery department by phone first, before coming in.

Pregnant patients or those in labor that are positive for the COVID-19 virus will be placed in relative isolation and precautions will be taken to avoid contamination of other family members, friends or hospital staff. We ask that each laboring patient bring only one supporting person with them to the hospital. Extra personal protection equipment (PPE) will be utilized by the patient and hospital staff. A thoughtful discussion will be initiated by your baby's doctor to decide if you should nurse or if you and your newborn should be cared for by different family members.

All family participants involved will be carefully instructed on how to avoid possible infection of your newborn. Fortunately, even babies have shown relative resistance to the virus. It does not seem to be as dangerous for them as many other patient groups such as the elderly or those with chronic medical conditions.

At DCMH, we are constantly reviewing the medical literature for any new insights that will lower the risk of viral infection and its impact on our patients. We specialize in personal care at the DCMH and have decades of experience to make your stay as pleasant as possible.​

 If you have any questions or concerns please contact your Primary Care Provider or contact our Labor and Delivery Department, Stork’s Landing, at 970-874-2436.
As Colorado moves into the Safer at Home Phase, Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) has received a number of questions on what receiving care from DCMH and our clinics will look like moving forward. Sara Knutson M.D., DCMH Pulmonologist and Planning Section Medical Director for the Hospital Incident Command team, took a moment to answer your top questions.

With the “Safer at Home” phase beginning, can I still come to the hospital and the ER?

Dr. Knutson: DCMH encourages you to continue coming to the hospital and ER for your care whenever needed. It’s a bad idea to put off evaluation of symptoms that are new, unstable, or concerning to you or your family. We especially encourage you to keep in contact with your primary care provider to make sure that your health care concerns are addressed before any of your needs become more urgent. Some of those concerns can be addressed via a video or audio telehealth visit in the outpatient setting, but may require a physical trip to the clinic if necessary. It is very important to make sure that regular health care, preventative work and monitoring occur as they normally would despite the pandemic.

Is it safe for me to even consider going to the hospital or ER?

Dr. Knutson:  We are working extremely hard at DCMH to make sure that the hospital and ER environments are as safe as possible. Policies have been established that guide prompt detection of disease and diagnostic work-ups, supportive medical treatment and infection control measures. These measures include restricting the flow of outside visitors, having universal symptom screenings of all hospital staff and outpatients prior to entry and the requiring of face masks and hand hygiene practices. We have planned for the space and dedicated staff to care for COVID-19 patients, keeping those patients with suspected COVID-19 separate from other patients.

How about seeing my Primary Care Physician (PCP) or a Specialist during this time, is that safe?

Dr. Knutson:  Yes, it is still safe to see your DCMH Primary Care Physician or Specialist during this time. As you know, we have offered our patients the use of advice lines, patient portals and telehealth visits with their providers. These measures can reduce the risk of unnecessary health care visits and prevent the possible transmission of infection. We want our patients to feel comfortable knowing that you can still come to your clinic for all care involving non COVID-19 issues.

From a COVID-19 standpoint, procedures have been developed and made available to our staff to guide them through the care of symptomatic patients and to help us decide which patients can be managed over the telephone and which patients need to come in for an assessment. When patients do come in for evaluation of respiratory symptoms, they must call before arrival so that our staff can appropriately prepare for them to arrive in order to ensure the safety of all staff and patients. Patients may be directed to a private entrance of the clinic, for example, and will see the provider team dedicated to possible COVID-19 infection. These measures make the clinic experience safer for everyone. 

Will it look different when visiting the hospital or clinics? How so, and what can I expect?

Dr. Knutson:   Whether or not you call ahead, you should expect that upon admission to the clinic the front desk personnel will do a screening by asking you about any symptoms or exposures to disease you may have had. If you have symptoms, fever, or exposures, you may be asked to remain in your car until the best management of your symptoms or exposure can be determined. You should expect to keep your mask on even when you do not have symptoms, since we know that sometimes people can be infectious although asymptomatic. Your provider will wear a mask; this is for your protection as well as theirs. Other than that, your clinic experience will likely be very similar to what you might generally encounter.
Some hospitals have slowed down or stopped elective surgeries, what makes it safe for them to start back up now?

Dr. Knutson:  DCMH is proceeding very carefully to return to some elective surgeries in order to serve the needs of their patients. If there is evidence of an increasing trajectory of infection in the community, the return to elective surgeries may be further delayed at any time. The same measures to prevent infection described above apply to all elective surgeries; algorithms are in place to ensure appropriate screening occurs. Higher risk patients may need to wait longer for elective procedures.

Additionally, patients will undergo pre surgery COVID testing followed by quarantine before surgery to make sure their risk of being infected is minimal. Meticulous measures are in place to minimize perioperative risk. All of these measures are consistent with what is being done at many other hospitals across the country. COVID-19 infection will likely be around a long time; while we want to meet the needs of our community, we also want to make sure this is done in the safest manner possible going forward.

For more information visit

Delta County Memorial Hospital continues to restrict entry to the main entrance of the Hospital and the Emergency Room Entrance.
Main entrance hours:
Monday - Friday: 6 AM - 6 PM
Closed Saturday and Sunday
Emergency Center entrance is open 24/7

  • To reduce the number of people in the hospital and the possibility of spreading coronavirus to our patients and staff, visitors will no longer be allowed. DCMH has a limited number of exceptions, with appropriate screening, for a full list visit our visitation policy webpage.
  • DCMH education classrooms are also being suspended for use until further notice.
  • Ask your primary care provider about the Telemedicine option, available at all DCMH Clinics (except Urgent Care). 

We are recommending that community members take the CDC's recommended precautionary measures:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • For answers questions and concerns, please call the Delta County Call Center: 970-874-2172 (staffed 8:00 and to 6:00 pm, Monday through Saturday)
  • For DCMH updates, visit our website
  • Delta County Health Department website
  • Colorado Department of Health and Environment website
  • Sign up for the CodeRED West Region Colorado Emergency Notification System
  • Colorado State Help Line, CO HELP, at 1-877-462-2911 or email for answers in English and Spanish (Español)
It is Delta County Memorial Hospital's mission to be the people's first choice for accessible, high-quality health services and to enhance the well-being of those we serve.
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