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St. Claire HealthCare Taking Action to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

Monday, March 16, 2020
exterior photo of hospital

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.

“We are well prepared,” said Donald H. Lloyd, II, SCH President/CEO. “The entire St. Claire community is working diligently to protect and treat our patients and we are confident we can effectively screen, identify, and treat COVID-19 patients if needed.”

St. Claire HealthCare is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for screening, risk assessment, evaluation, treatment, and infection control,” said Will Melahn, MD, SCH Chief Medical Officer. “We have a mandatory screening process in place and have created ‘sick’ and ‘well’ waiting areas in the Emergency Department and all Family Medicine locations to reduce the spread of illness, and are now screening patients by phone when calling to schedule appointments for care at all locations.”

St. Claire Regional Medical Center is tightening its visitation policy and asking that you DO NOT visit if you are not an essential family member or primary caregiver. Only one visitor will be allowed per patient and visitation is restricted for anyone under the age of 12. All visitors are required to enter through the hospital’s main entrance where they will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone with fever, cough, or shortness of breath will be asked not to enter the hospital. Additional restrictions apply in the Emergency Department where only one visitor 18 years of age or older is allowed, and all visitation is being restricted until further notice in the Transitional Care and Inpatient Rehabilitation Units.

“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,” said Lloyd. “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.”

With school closures and cancelations of public events across the state, many are left wondering if they should keep their scheduled doctor’s appointments.

“Please know we are doing everything we can to protect our patients and our community during this time of uncertainty,” said Lloyd.

“We don’t recommend avoiding or postponing necessary medical treatment because of concerns over the coronavirus,” added Dr. Melahn. “We are taking every precaution to protect the health and safety of our patients, but if you are unsure if you should keep your upcoming appointment, call and talk with your healthcare provider before canceling to discuss the best options for you and your health.”

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), the CDC recommends you remain home, prevent unnecessary public contact, self-isolate, and monitor your symptoms. If you feel that you require medical attention, please seek treatment based on the severity of your symptoms. St. Claire encourages you to call ahead and let your healthcare provider know about your symptoms before you arrive so precautions can be taken to avoid the spread of illness.

St. Claire HealthCare’s Emergency Department is prepared to manage medical emergencies and Family Medicine locations in Frenchburg, Morehead, Olive Hill, Owingsville, and Sandy Hook are prepared to treat non-urgent cases. Visit www.st-claire.org/locations for contact information.

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.

For the latest updates from St. Claire HealthCare, visit www.st-claire.org/covid-19.