AGH Press Release 6.18.2020


ARTESIA — Artesia General Hospital has implemented new safety procedures in order to protect the health of Artesia, Carlsbad and Eddy County.

“Even before COVID-19 was discovered in our area, our hospital went to work protecting patients and staff,” says Marshall Baca, Jr., DO, the COVID-19 Incident Commander and Emergency Medicine Director at Artesia General Hospital. “We’ve taken every possible step to ensure the hospital is a safe and comfortable environment for everyone.”

Patients and visitors to the hospital will see the following protocols in place:

  • Screenings: When you call for care, a staff member will screen you over the phone and again in person when you arrive. Behind the scenes, all employees are screened daily, and patient care staff are screened twice a day.
  • Masks: If you have any respiratory symptoms, you will be asked to wear a mask at all times. Otherwise, you are encouraged to wear a mask consistent with CDC and NMDOH guidelines. You may notice, though, that all hospital employees with patient contact are masked at all times.
  • Handwashing: Frequent, thorough handwashing is one of the most effective things you can do to avoid catching infectious diseases, so it’s always a good practice.
  • Physical Distancing: New signage and directions will minimizeunnecessary gathering and physical contact in hallways, waiting rooms and other public areas. Patients with COVID-related symptoms will be physically separated from those who do not have symptoms.
  • Cleaning: The hospital receives regular and thorough cleaning, with enhanced measures for high traffic areas, such as waiting and exam rooms. Frequently touched surfaces are disinfected regularly.
  • Visitor Restrictions: Visitor access to the hospital is temporarily restricted, to limit the potential for unnecessary exposure.
  • COVID-19 Testing: Every outpatient surgery patient will receive COVID-19 testing before their procedure. Every patient admitted to the hospital will be tested as well.
  • Limited Personal Contact: We’ve configured our processes from preregistration forward to eliminate unnecessary close contact. We are also encouraging telehealth appointments.

Most clinics associated with Artesia General Hospital have expanded their telehealth capabilities to connect providers with patients who can remain comfortably at home. For those who do need to come into the hospital, Artesia General Hospital has successfully, and safely, resumed elective surgeries under these enhanced protective protocols.

This new plan meets or exceeds the guidelines put forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and the American Hospital Association. These stringent new safety measures are in place to ensure that all those in our community need not delay in seeking the care they need out of fear or anxiety.

More information about these ongoing efforts to keep our hospital as safe as it has ever been is available at

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