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Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 3/26

Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 3/26

Testing and Confirmed Cases
To protect patient privacy, we have established a minimum threshold of five for reporting numbers of inpatients with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. At this time we have inpatients with COVID-19 being treated, but there are still five or less. DCH internal counts as of noon today:

  • 10 have tested positive for COVID-19 including individuals from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 463 tested negative ​​​​​​

N95 Masks Needed

As our Coronavirus team conducts its ongoing evaluation of our supplies, a need is emerging for N-95 masks. We will gladly accept donations of masks sealed in their original packaging at The DCH Foundation office, located in the Marie Bloodworth Building at 1110 Edward Hillard Blvd., Tuscaloosa, 35401. Please call 759-7106 if you have a donation and we will meet you here.

Please share all you can – keeping our clinical staff safe is going to be a key issue in West Alabama’s ability to weather this crisis and help limit COVID-19’s damage to our community.

Call 205-759-7106 with any questions, or simply drop off the masks at the above address.

Additional Isolation Area
The Emergency Department at DCH’s Regional Medical Center has added more isolation space to place patients who present with respiratory symptoms similar to COVID-19. A wall was put up to isolate four rooms from the rest of the Emergency Department. Patients who come in with respiratory symptoms are taken through a separate entrance into one of these four rooms until they can be evaluated.

Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center have also instituted isolation areas and practices for their Emergency Departments.

Surge Preparations
We will need the support of all DCH staff should we see the sustained and widespread community transmission of COVID-19. Groups of employees are being identified now that could be redeployed to other areas. For example, since nonelective surgeries are on hold, OR nurses may be called upon to help with patients at the bedside.To prepare for these situations, staff members are getting updated MEDITECH training on essential tasks like charting, rounding or physical assessment.Redeployment will only be used when demands upon our system warrant it.