Daily Update – March 23, 2020 – 4:00 p.m.
- The clinical situation remains the same at Forrest General Hospital. We have three inpatients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 illness. Two patients are in the ICU and one patient is on the medical floor. Highland Community Hospital has four inpatients currently hospitalized.
- Testing for COVID-19 illness remains difficult due to insufficient supply of testing kits. We expect new kits from different companies to be available this week. We also expect to have the ability to do onsite testing in our lab in the next 3-4 weeks. Until testing kits are more available, we are only testing two groups of patients in the Emergency Department:
- Patients who are ill enough to require hospitalization.
- Healthcare workers who are symptomatic for COVID-19 illness.
Other patients who have symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19 illness are being sent home for home quarantine and they can proceed to the Cough and Fever Clinic to be tested for COVID-19 illness.
We have developed a treatment protocol following current guidelines. Not all patients who test positive for COVID-19 illness will be treated. Only those ill enough to require hospitalization require treatment. We are working with the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure (MSBOML) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDOH) to try to keep physicians within the appropriate prescribing guidelines. There is no data to suggest that treatment of outpatients improves outcomes.
- Updated Visitor Policy
Due to the increase of COVID-19 in our state, we are implementing a visitor policy for the protection of our patients and staff. The new policy will be in effect until further notice.
Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. a ZERO visitor policy will be in effect.
The only exceptions and limitations to have only one visitor include:
End-of-life (immediate family members – spouse/parents/siblings)
Critically ill patients as determined by the treating physician (immediate family members – spouse/parents/siblings)
Patients with special needs identified by the clinical care team (example: dementia and mobility impairments with increased risk of injury)
We appreciate your patience as we transition to this policy. Please continue to use hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently with soap and water if visiting a patient. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the hospital. Please make sure that you apply hand hygiene before and after patient contact
- Spanish Translation
We have collaborated with Iglesia Vida and Pastor David Martinez to produce a Spanish language informational video, thanks to Dr. Eduardo Soto. Please see the link on our website on the COVID-19 information page. We are also going to provide a Spanish translation of our daily update for our Spanish speaking community.
- Supplies of PPE (Protective Personal Equipment)
Supplies of PPE remain adequate, but stressed and we continue to search resources to find adequate supplies to protect our staff. At present, we are continuing to meet the needs of our staff for PPE.
- Thank you for your Blood Drive Support!
Due to your tremendous support we were able to collect the following at our blood drives this weekend:
Friday, March 20, 2020 – 164 Red Blood Cell Units
Saturday, March 21, 2020 – 174 Red Blood Cell Units and 6 Plasma
Sunday, March 22, 2020 – 56 Red Blood Cell Units and 2 Plasma
Monday, March 23, 2020 (OI Location) – 28 Red Blood Cell Units (Update on Pine Grove location to follow after completion today at 6:00 p.m.)