Coronavirus Update (COVID-19)
- St. Claire HealthCare COVID-19 Updates – www.st-claire.org/coronavirus
- Kentucky COVID-19 Hotline: 1.800.722.5725
- Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH) - www.kycovid19.ky.gov
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html3/19 -
St. Claire Regional Medical Center Begins Loosening Restrictions on Hospital Visitation
In early April, St. Claire Regional Medical Center announced it was suspending visitation for hospital patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much like Governor Andy Beshear’s phased approached to reopening the state, St. Claire is now taking a phased approach to loosening restrictions on hospital visitation.
Beginning Friday, May 15, patients admitted to the hospital's med-surg units (3 Center or 3 North) and post-operative patients will be allowed one visitor between Noon and 5 PM. Patients in the Intensive Care Unit or Progressive Care Unit (PCU/ICU) will be allowed one visitor from 9-11 AM. Visiting hours will be strictly enforced.
All visitors will be required to sign in and out with security at the hospital’s main entrance. A member of the security team will check temperatures and screen all visitors for symptoms of COVID-19. No one will be permitted inside the facility with a temperature of 100.4 or higher. Masks must be worn at all times and visitors will be required to provide their own cloth mask.
COVID-19 Testing is Available, Even if You Don't Have Symptoms
“Until this week, testing in our area had been limited to individuals with COVID-19 symptoms,” said Will Melahn, SCH Chief Medical Officer. “St. Claire has been identified by Governor Andy Beshear as a regional testing site which provides us access to additional testing capacity and authorization to test anyone who wants to be tested.”
Pre-screening and appointments are required. The screening can be completed online at www.st-claire.org/covidscreening or by calling 606.780.5227. After your screening, a member of the St. Claire team will contact you by phone to schedule your testing appointment.
St. Claire Regional Medical Center Strives to Keep Patients and Loved Ones Connected
St. Claire HealthCare understands the worry you might have about a loved one that has been admitted as a patient at St. Claire Regional Medical Center as we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic. To reduce the stress and worry, a patient support team has been created to give you regular updates on your loved one’s condition throughout their stay.
SCH Expands COVID-19 Testing Capacity
We are happy to announce, beginning Thursday, April 9, St. Claire HealthCare will begin offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing (by appointment only) for those who meet criteria determined by the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH). Individuals throughout St. Claire’s 11-county service region can complete an online screening questionnaire at www.st-claire.org/covidscreening to determine if they meet the testing criteria. Those who qualify will be contacted by phone to schedule an appointment.
St. Claire Regional Medical Center Restricts Visitors for Hospitalized Patients
In St. Claire HealthCare’s continued efforts to protect our patients, staff, and community, St. Claire Regional Medical Center will only allow hospitalized patients to receive essential visitors effective Saturday, April 4, 2020. Additional actions have also been taken to reduce traffic inside the Medical Center.
4/2/20 - St. Claire HealthCare Answers Questions About COVID-19 Testing
Many have asked if St. Claire HealthCare is testing patients for COVID-19. The answer is, yes.
St. Claire HealthCare (SCH) is collecting samples for COVID-19 testing when approved by the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH) and began testing when they received their first Patient Under Investigation for COVID-19 (PUI) on March 10. However, not every patient who presents with symptoms will be approved for testing. The reality is national testing capabilities are limited and in some cases, it is taking up to 10 days or more to receive results.
Some private practices are advertising testing on-demand and even drive-thru testing, but they’re only collecting samples. In most cases it still takes up to 10 days for results to be received, often after symptoms have resolved.
“These locations are adding volume to an already overloaded system, and potentially holding up results for patients with severe symptoms and those with a high risk of complications,” said Dr. Will Melahn, SCH’s Chief Medical Officer. “At SCH, we continue to follow the testing recommendations outlined by KDPH and out of necessity, KDPH must conserve and prioritize COVID-19 testing for those at greatest need.”
The good news is, the majority of patients with the virus only have mild symptoms and many never need to seek medical care. Others may have the virus, but not show any symptoms at all. That’s why Dr. Steven Stack, KDPH commissioner, continues to say “Assume everybody you see has the coronavirus.”
“We ask that you all continue your commitment to reducing the spread of illness through social distancing, proper hand hygiene, and staying healthy at home,” Melahn added. “We all have to be diligent to protect the more vulnerable in our population including the elderly and those with underlying conditions.”
There is a lot of information circulating about COVID-19 as well as a lot of misinformation. If you have any questions, please call the State COVID-19 Hotline at 800-722-5725 or visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov.
4/2/20 - St. Claire HealthCare Offers Virtual Visits to Ensure Patients Get the Care they Need
St. Claire HealthCare (SCH) is working to ensure that patients are able to continue their medical care during this uncertain time by offering virtual visits. This innovative system allows patients to connect with their healthcare provider from the convenience of their home through a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
“One of our biggest concerns is that patients in need of medical care for chronic health conditions are putting that care off because they are afraid of contracting the coronavirus,” said Caren Daniels, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Hospital-Based Services at St. Claire. “While their concerns are valid, we don’t want our patients to wait until they are in an emergency situation to seek the care they need.”
The fear of patients prolonging their routine medical care is the driving factor for St. Claire HealthCare to begin offering virtual appointments. Patients are able to receive the care they need how and when they need it.
“I began testing virtual appointments mid-March and am now seeing most of my patients virtually,” said Family Medicine physician Cory Yoder, DO. “With today’s technology, St. Claire has the ability to offer virtual appointments for many specialty practices, including gastroenterology, cardiology, general surgery, and more.”
Virtual visits offer patients a secure way to connect with their healthcare provider for routine appointments and follow-ups from the safety of their home. To request a virtual visit, call 606.784.6641 or visit www.st-claire.org/appointment.
3/26/20 - St. Claire HealthCare Takes Action in Response to COVID-19 Operational Crisis
This has been a difficult day for everyone at St. Claire HealthCare. Today, we announced we will be temporarily furloughing 300 members of our St. Claire family. Our team has been working tirelessly to keep our patients safe and prepare for the predicted surge of COVID-19 patients, but over the past 10 days we’ve experienced a drastic decline in patient visits, and we’re expecting the numbers to get worse before they get better.
“We realize that our actions will have a tremendous impact on our staff and our community,” said Donald H. Lloyd, II, SCH President/CEO. “It’s not a decision we wanted to make nor do we take it lightly, but we have to take immediate action to ensure that we can sustain our clinical operations during and after the COVID-19 crisis ends.”
We ask our community to keep St. Claire HealthCare in your thoughts and prayers, especially our staff who are making tremendous sacrifices to make sure we can continue to live our mission and care for our patients in this time of uncertainty.
3/20/20 - Pediatric and Adult Outpatient Therapy Appointments Canceled
At this time, any in-person appointments for Pediatric and Adult Outpatient Therapy (physical, occupational, and speech) have been canceled until further notice.
As technology rapidly changes the way we provide care, we are able to offer electronic appointments via telehealth services for those that are clinically appropriate. With this option, we can continue to meet the therapy needs of our patients while also minimizing possible exposure to illness and following social distancing recommendations.
3/19/20 - St. Claire Family Medical Supply Limits Services
Effective 3/20/2020, St. Claire Family Medical Supply will be limiting their services to home deliveries, medical equipment servicing, and curbside pick-up by appointment.
For questions or to schedule a pick-up appointment, please call 606.784.6747 during our regular business hours of 8 AM – 4:30 PM.
Oxygen support is available 24/7 by calling 606.784.6747.
3/19/20 - St. Claire HealthCare Postpones Certain Elective Surgical Procedures
St. Claire HealthCare continues to take appropriate steps to prepare for the possible surge of patients experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This latest announcement, in response to Governor Andy Beshear’s urge that hospitals postpone elective procedures, will provide additional flexibility to reallocate staff and resources to care for patients where they’re most needed.
3/17/20 - St. Claire HealthCare Temporarily Closes Morehead-North Location
St. Claire HealthCare announces the temporary closure of its St. Claire Family Medicine – Morehead, North location (next to the high school) effective Tuesday, March 17.
“We’re carefully analyzing our operations and making thoughtful, strategic decisions to maximize our resources as we prepare to care for a potential influx of patients with COVID-19 symptoms,” said Donald H. Lloyd, II SCH President/CEO.
During the closure, Wendy Fletcher, DNP, APRN, will join the primary care team at the St. Claire Medical Pavilion, located on St. Claire HealthCare’s main campus and Kelly Butler-Vise, PA-C, will join the team at St. Claire Family Medicine – Morehead, Downtown. Any currently scheduled appointments will still be held at the same day and time or you may opt for a virtual visit from your home. St. Claire staff will be in contact with you to provide any necessary details.
“Temporarily closing this location and relocating our providers is not a decision we take lightly,” added Lloyd. “We don’t want to disrupt patient care, but in this time of uncertainty, we are confident this is the right decision.”
3/16/20 - St. Claire HealthCare takes action to reduce the spread of COVID-19
St. Claire HealthCare (SCH) continuously prepares for the possibility of public health emergencies and has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation since it began in late 2019. SCH’s COVID-19 Task Force has been planning accordingly in case the virus were to hit our area and is now taking action.
3/16/20 - St. Claire Regional Medical Center implements new visitor restrictions
During this critical time, St. Claire Regional Medical Center has implemented temporary visitor restrictions to protect the health of our patients and staff. Anyone with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath will be asked not to visit. Visitation is being restricted for anyone who is not an essential family member or primary caregiver, and anyone under the age of 12. We are allowing only one visitor per patient. See below for additional restrictions.
- Emergency Department (ED): One visitor per patient (18 years of age or older)
- Transitional Care/Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (TCU/IRU - 5th floor): Closed to all visitors until further notice
Compassionate visitation exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
“We have infection prevention protocols in place to protect our patients, but we also need the community’s cooperation to reduce the spread of illness,” says Donald H. Lloyd, II, SCH President/CEO. “We understand you want to see your loved ones who have been hospitalized, but if you’re feeling ill, we ask that you please stay home.”
We appreciate your help in protecting the health and safety of our patients!
3/13/20 - St. Claire Regional Medical Center begins visitor and patient screening at entrance
Effective at 4:30 PM today, all patients and visitors of St. Claire Regional Medical Center will be required to enter through the hospital’s Main Entrance or through the Emergency Department. To help reduce the spread of illness within our community, we will be screening for fever, cough, or shortness of breath at those entrances.
If you are feeling ill … we are following current CDC recommendations and encouraging individuals with mild symptoms to remain home, prevent unnecessary public contact, and self-isolate. If you feel that your symptoms require medical attention, please seek treatment based on the severity of your symptoms.
Our Emergency Department is prepared to manage medical emergencies. Our Family Medicine locations in Frenchburg, Morehead, Olive Hill, Owingsville, and Sandy Hook are prepared to treat non-urgent cases. Our Express clinic in Morehead provides non-urgent, walk-in care Monday through Friday 8 AM – 8 PM and Saturdays 9 AM – 5 PM. Please call ahead before arriving if you are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Visit www.st-claire.org/locations for contact information.
3/12/20 - St. Claire Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department creates "sick" and "well" waiting areas
To reduce the risk of spreading illnesses including COVID-19 and the flu, “sick” and “well” areas have been created in the Emergency Department of St. Claire Regional Medical Center. Any patient who arrives with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath will register in the “sick” waiting area at the Emergency Department’s exterior/north entrance and will be evaluated and treated in an isolated area. All other patients will enter through the hospital’s main entrance and register in the “well” waiting area.
If you believe you may have symptoms of coronavirus, or other flu-like illnesses, stay home to reduce the spread of the illness. Most people only experience mild symptoms and are able to isolate at home without medical care. If your illness gets worse, seek prompt medical attention. Prior to arriving at your healthcare provider’s office or the Emergency Department, please call ahead and tell them you have, or may have, coronavirus so they can take steps to keep other people from being exposed to the virus.
We encourage everyone to protect themselves by avoiding contact with people who are sick and washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3/10/20 - St. Claire Regional Medical Center evaluates first patient meeting possible criteria for COVID-19
St. Claire HealthCare, in partnership with the City of Morehead and Rowan County Government, has issued the following statement:
St. Claire Regional Medical Center evaluated its first patient meeting possible criteria for coronavirus infection (COVID-19) this evening before transferring the individual to another facility. We have been preparing for this situation and want to alleviate any concerns. Please be assured St. Claire has the facilities and the expertise to care for patients, while protecting the safety of all of our patients, visitors and staff. Our staff is trained and has maintained a state of continual readiness. In addition, staff is given personal protective equipment when caring for any patient suspected of having an infectious disease.
A number of St. Claire staff members and first responders were in close contact with this individual. While this patient is not yet confirmed to have COVID-19, we are taking all necessary precautions as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If members of our community have any questions related to COVID-19, please call the State COVID-19 Hotline at 800-722-5725 or visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
3/10/20 - When to Seek Medical Care
To ensure the sickest people receive care, help minimize the spread of infection, and maintain resources, please follow the guidelines below when considering whether to seek medical care.
- Stay home: If you are worried-well, please stay home. Going to a hospital or doctor’s office adds to a higher concentration of people and further overwhelms medical staff.
- Call for advice: If you are ill, but would not have sought care if not for COVID-19, do not seek care at an ER, hospital, or doctor’s office. If you want advice, call the Kentucky COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725 or call your doctor’s office.
- Seek care: If you are sick and feel you have an emergency, please call your doctor or seek medical care. St. Claire HealthCare, along with hospitals and medical staff across the Commonwealth, stand ready to serve you.
3/9/20 - A message from St. Claire HealthCare regarding the coronavirus
We understand there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the coronavirus and what your risk may be. Our coronavirus task force is diligently monitoring virus activity and is in continuous contact with local, state, and national agencies as necessary. At this time, we believe the risk of contracting the virus in our community is low.
To protect the health and safety of our patients, St. Claire HealthCare has implemented a mandatory screening process for all patients registering for care in all of our locations. Patients should not avoid or postpone medical treatment because of concerns over the coronavirus.
We encourage everyone to take steps to protect themselves from illness. The best way to protect yourself is by avoiding contact with people who are sick and practicing good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If you believe you may have symptoms of coronavirus, stay home to reduce the spread of the illness. Most people only experience mild symptoms and are able to isolate at home without medical care. If your illness gets worse, seek prompt medical attention. Prior to arriving at your healthcare provider’s office, please call ahead and tell them you have, or may have, coronavirus so they can take steps to keep other people from being exposed to the virus.
3/6/20 - First case of coronavirus confirmed in Kentucky
This afternoon, Kentucky's first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID19) was reported in Lexington. Cases were also confirmed in Indianapolis today and in Nashville yesterday. St. Claire HealthCare’s COVID19 Task Force is monitoring the situation closely. St. Claire HealthCare has implemented a mandatory universal screening process for all patients registering for care in all of our locations and we encourage everyone to protect themselves from illness, including the flu and coronavirus, by practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding contact with people who are sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.