Southeast Health continues to combat coronavirus

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama increasing daily, including a case at a Dothan rehabilitation facility announced Monday, Southeast Health is continuing to implement additional restrictions and is facing a shortage of basic surgical masks.

The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Alabama increased Monday evening, including one from Houston County, bringing the state total to 196. Two other Extendicare residents have tests pending.

Southeast Health is requiring all staff members and patients to wear surgical masks to curb the coronavirus. Visitors essential to a patient’s care will be allowed, but will not be provided a mask.

“All staff and all patients are wearing masks,” said Steve Pearce with Southeast Health Public Relations Department. “We are not handing masks out to any well visitors. If a visitor is sick, they are not allowed in the facility. Each visitor is screened by a staff member and only essential-care visitors are allowed.”

With the number of patients visiting the health care facility, Southeast Health is seeing a shortage on basic surgical masks worn by staff and patients.

“We are OK on the N95 masks,” Pearce said. “However, we are seeing a shortage on the basic surgical masks worn by staff and patients.”

With the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, Southeast Health is hoping to receive a shipment of basic surgical masks in the near future, but until that shipment arrives, the facility is turning to the support of the community.

Flowers Hospital is monitoring its supply of mask and reviewing its inventory and protocols regularly.

Any business, industry, or organization wishing to donate any basic surgical masks to assist Southeast Health may do so by contacting Jamie Weeks at 334-793-8122, or to donate to Flowers Hospital call 334-793-5000.

As of March 20, visitors are no longer allowed at most Southeast Health Medical Center locations (except essential-care visitors).

According to Southeast Health media relations, the new policy will be in place until the transmission of coronavirus is no longer a threat to patients, staff, and the community.

Other restrictions are:

» Visitors who are not essential to the care of the patient will not be allowed.

» Obstetric patients may have one partner or birth-support person accompany them.

» Minor patients under age 18 may have one visitor (parent or guardian).

» Patients who are at the end of life may have one to two visitors at a time.

» Patients who have altered mental status, behavioral health needs, or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.

» A “healthy visitor” policy is in place, which prohibits those with a cold, cough, respiratory illness, or fever from visiting hospitalized patients or accompanying patients to visits.

The following rules apply to all visitors:

» Patients and visitors will be screened for symptoms of acute respiratory illness upon entering the hospital.

» No visitors will be allowed for patients who are a person under investigation for COVID-19 or have a pending or positive COVID-19 test.

» The hospital strongly encourage no visitors over the age of 70 with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease as these persons are at higher risk of contracting and having consequences from COVID-19.

» Visitors who are allowed must stay in the patient room.

» Waiting rooms are closed.

» Children under the age of 18 will not be permitted to visit hospitalized patients unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

» Anyone with flu-like or respiratory illness symptoms must wear a mask while they are at any Southeast Health facilities.

» Exceptions to these restrictions can only be granted by the patient’s care team in extenuating circumstances.

Patients and visitors can enter the hospital through the main entrances and the emergency room entrance.

People who believes they need testing should call the ADPH hotline at 1-888-264-2256 for information about where and when to go.

ADPH also recommends anyone with symptoms like fever, cough, and other respiratory issues to contact their physician, rather than showing up at a hospital ER or a doctor’s office.

For latest information available on the coronavirus, visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

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