News & Media Center

Barton Health Prepared to Address COVID-19/ Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted: 03/03/2020

Community Health and Safety are Top Priorities for Local Healthcare System

(South Lake Tahoe, CA) – Barton Health, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been planning and preparing for the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) since the emergence of the outbreak in late 2019.

The health and well-being of the community, in addition to that of staff and medical providers, remains the top priority. If cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in Lake Tahoe, Barton Health has the resources and expertise, along with emergency management preparation to provide appropriate care to patients.

Barton Health will continue to prioritize the safety of our community and work daily with the CDC, CDPH along with other local agencies and emergency responders until the threat of this viral infection has subsided.

According to the CDC, the current health risk to the general public for COVID-19 remains low and there have been no positive cases in Barton’s primary service area; however, the arrival of COVID-19 in the community is likely and preparation is essential to limit its spread. Barton takes COVID-19 seriously and remains proactive in managing the health and safety of patients and care providers. Heightened measures are being taken to minimize exposure throughout the healthcare system.

Patients with elective appointments are being contacted to screen for signs of respiratory illness, and Barton has elevated screening protocols in place in all clinical areas. Isolation protocols go into effect immediately if a patient presents with COVID-19 symptoms and meets CDC screening criteria. Should a patient screen accordingly, Barton Health has specially-trained staff and equipment to provide supportive care and will proceed under the guidance of state and county health departments.

Group classes and events have been temporarily suspended at the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness, with the exception of orthopedic appointments and some rehabilitation appointments. Visitation at Barton Memorial Hospital’s Family Birthing Center and Skilled Nursing Facility has been restricted to protect vulnerable populations. 

If you are experiencing respiratory illness symptoms, please call your health provider’s office or Barton’s COVID-19 Clinical Health Line at 530.600.1999. The latest CDC updates on COVID-19 will continue to be posted on Barton’s homepage,

Barton Health reminds community members and visitors alike that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19: wash 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. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipe. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when sick.