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Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 4/29

Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 4/29

Testing and Confirmed Cases

To protect patient privacy, DCH has established a minimum threshold of five for reporting numbers of inpatients with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

DCH internal counts as of 2:20 p.m. on 4/29/20:

  • 30 inpatients are being treated for COVID-19.

  • 12 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.

  • Six inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.

  • 237 (cumulative) have tested positive for COVID-19 including individuals from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.

  • 3,689 (cumulative) have tested negative at DCH sites.

  • 47 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.

  • Eight inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died at DCH.

The total number of inpatients with COVID-19 went down as 6 were discharged since the last update. In addition, since DCH began tracking, 47 inpatients who were positive with COVID-19 have been discharged. This does not count ER visits where the person was well enough to go home without further hospitalization.

The chart system is undergoing some maintenance so only the numbers (for COVID cases) are being included today.

Also included is a chart showing the percent positive among those tested both in the state and at DCH locations. This chart reflects totals by the end of each day (except today).

covid graph

Same Day Surgeries
Governor Kay Ivey has stated that as of this Friday, May 1, hospitals in Alabama may resume elective medical and surgical procedures. In anticipation of this possibly happening, the DCH Health System has been, over the past few weeks, formulating plans for a measured resumption of elective procedures once allowed. Beginning this Friday, DCH will resume same day surgery procedures.

The availability of necessary resources, such as anesthetic medications, PPE, staffing capacity and surgical supplies will be monitored carefully during this gradual resumption of procedural services. Limitations in any of these areas, particularly any supply chain challenges, may necessitate reduction of services at any time, as would a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to the hospital.

As a safeguard, the results of a COVID-19 test will be obtained on each patient prior to proceeding with the surgery. In addition, the current no visitation policy and processes will remain in place for now.

New Mask Conservation Process
To further help extend our supply of masks for frontline workers, we are asking those who come to DCH for an appointment, Emergency Department care, or as a visitor to bring and wear their own face covering.

Following is a summary of the staff plan.

Starting this Monday, May 4, DCH staff members will no longer receive a mask upon entry. Those who do not have direct patient contact are being asked to wear cloth masks (many of which have been provided by the community).

Non-clinical staff members are being issued medical-grade sterilization wrap masks (which were also made by the community, thank you!). They are to wash them at home and reuse them until damaged, and then seek a new one.

Staff members in clinical areas, or who go into clinical areas, will also use sterilization wrap masks. However, these masks will not replace the N95 mask needed for patients in Airborne Precautions or for COVID-19 positive patients receiving aerosol-generating procedures.