Daily Update – March 20, 2020 – 4:30 p.m.
- We have 2 patients in Forrest General Hospital and 3 patients in Highland Community Hospital who have tested positive for Coronavirus per the MS State Department of Health Lab.
- We have procured an order of 1500 test kits for Forrest General to arrive and be in use on Monday, March 23, 2020.
- Change of Location and Additional Day for Emergency Blood Drive!
Due to the wonderful turnout today for the blood drive, we have added an additional day and changed the location to provide quicker service. On Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22, 2020, the blood drive will be held at Hattiesburg’s Lake Terrace Convention Center located conveniently off Highways 49 and 59. See info below.
We are in critical need of blood. Although we understand the need for social distancing, this has created a shortage in blood supplies due to fewer donations. We have a big need for Type-O specific blood, but all types are needed. See dates, times and locations below:
Forrest General Hospital – Friday, March 20, 2020
Adeline Parking Lot (across from Forrest General Parking garages on Adeline Street)
7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Lake Terrace Convention Center – Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22, 2020
1 Convention Center Plaza, Hattiesburg, MS
Saturday: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.
The Orthopedic Institute –Monday, March 23, 2020
OI Parking Lot
7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services – Monday, March 23, 2020
Pine Grove Campus Parking Lot
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
At the drive, there will be personnel to let you know if there is a wait. If there is a wait, they will take your cell phone number and text you when it is your turn. This will allow you to wait in your vehicle, in order to keep appropriate distance. We want to thank the public for the response and for their patience as we navigate new processes to handle our recent environment due to COVID-19. Please spread the word about the blood drive that continues tomorrow, Sunday and then at additional locations on Monday.
Special thanks to the Lake Terrace Convention Center for assisting us by providing the location for Saturday and Sunday!
- Forrest General Coordinates Child Care for FGH Staff:
In anticipation of daycares and schools closing, beginning Monday, March 23, the Family Y in Hattiesburg is offering childcare services, to Forrest General staff only, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, for school ages 5-12. School age 5 means they turned age 5 prior to September 1, 2019. Forrest Health will cover the expense of this service temporarily through this crisis. The Y is asking anyone who wishes to utilize their service to, if possible, fill out the attached form (form was sent out to staff internally today) in advance of bringing their child(ren) in order to expedite the process. They are also asking staff to email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your child’s attendance in order for them to adequately prepare. The information they will want emailed is: parents’ names and phone number, children’s names, children’s birthdate, children’s age, current grade, and which days you will need the service. The service will run until further notice. We are currently working with a local daycare to provide services for ages 0-5. We will communicate further as soon as details are available. Directors, where appropriate, are encouraged to allow staff to work from home. However, staff should be available, if called, to work in the clinical/non-clinical labor pools or elsewhere as needed.
- Please note that Forrest Health still has adequate personal protection equipment (PPE) for staff. We are not without PPE as some rumors have indicated. This includes, N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns and gloves. Staff should continue to protect PPE so that it is available for staff and patients.Please see information below regarding staff use of PPE from Dr. Steve Farrell, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Forrest General:
Our policy at Forrest Health is to utilize our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in accordance with our established policies and protocols (PP). These PP are built on sound medical and scientific information intended to provide the highest level of protection to our staff and the patients under our care while meeting a very significant demand with a severely restricted supply of PPE. Current policy is to allow any direct care provider to utilize a surgical protective mask and gloves when caring for any patient. Patients who are considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI) require a higher level of protection and in the care of those patients, we utilize full PPE including mask (N95 type), eye protection, gloves and gowns. N95 masks are not allowed for routine patient care due to the severe shortage in this type of mask. These guidelines are in accordance with all accepted standards the CDC has disseminated as well as the MSDOH. The leadership at Forrest Health is keenly aware of the value of our medical staff and personnel which enable us to continue to accomplish our mission of delivering care to our citizens/patients. In this regard, we will continue to provide our staff with the necessary equipment to accomplish their mission with the highest possible level of safety to the staff.
- Elective Cases:
The MS State Department of Health has announced that physicians, hospitals and medical centers must defer elective surgical and diagnostic procedures until COVID-19 spread has been diminished and the supply of protective medical equipment is restored. Physicians and providers will be rescheduling non-urgent medical appointments for a later date. Likewise, patients should reschedule any non-essential procedures, surgeries or medical visits until the threat of COVID-19 is diminished.
In light of the MSDH announcement to defer elective surgical cases and non-urgent medical appointments, many clinics will be offering telephonic and telemedicine (video) appointments to insure that patients have access to their physicians for chronic disease management. These visits are necessary to keep patients healthy even when they are unable to physically visit the doctor’s office.
- Cough and Fever Clinic:
The Cough and Fever Clinic continues to see in excess of 100 patients a day. This continues to be a very productive and helpful service.
Please remember that the Cough and Fever Clinic, a partnership of Forrest General Hospital and Hattiesburg Clinic, is now open at Hattiesburg Clinic’s Immediate Care Cloverleaf location. The clinic is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 7 days a week.
Individuals who visit this clinic are not required to call ahead; however, individuals that have symptoms and plan to visit their primary care physician, an emergency room or an immediate care facility are still asked to call ahead.
IF INDIVIDUALS HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR SYMPTOMS, THEY SHOULD CALL THEIR PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER FIRST. IT IS IMPORTANT, IN ORDER TO HELP US CONTAIN THIS VIRUS, THAT IF PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS, THEY CONTINUE TO USE THEIR CURRENT HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS FOR CARE.
- Additional Updates:
- Controlled access at hospital entrances continues to be in place. A tab has been added on our website to give quick access to information regarding our current visitor policy system-wide.
- Forrest General Hospital employees should enter and exit from the two designated employee entrances only. (See 3 /16/20 update below for details.) Make sure you have your ID Badge.
- Effective Monday, March 23, the FGH Support Services Building, 125 South 28th Ave., will implement a controlled access process. Only the 28th Avenue entrance will be available for entry into the building. Employees and visitors will be evaluated at the door. Thank you for your cooperation.