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Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 3/14

Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 3/14
DCH’s multidisciplinary coronavirus (COVID-19) task force is setting up a remote screening facility in the large parking area just west of Dr. Edward Hillard Drive on its Regional Medical Center Campus near the DCH laundry facility.

Starting Monday, March 16, screening services will be offered from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., seven days a week, until the need diminishes. Community members who think they may have contracted the virus will be able to pull up and speak to a provider directly from their own vehicle. Providers will conduct a verbal and visual screening based on the most recent CDC guidelines including:

  • Flu-like symptoms including fever and/or respiratory illness
  • Close contact with a laboratory-confirmed coronavirus patient within 14 days of symptom onset
  • Travel from an affected geographic area within 14 days of symptom onset

Based on the screening, individuals will either be directed to the Emergency Department or their primary care provider for routine or emergent care or to the tent for additional evaluation which could include coordination with the Alabama Department of Public Health for specimen collection and testing of symptomatic individuals.

“DCH is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the community,” said Blake Lovely, MD, emergency room physician and medical director for the emergency department services at DCH. “DCH felt it was important to offer resources for educating the community, responding to questions and concerns and facilitating the testing process.”

DCH’s COVID-19 task force is made up of leadership, physicians, nurses, infection prevention, safety and other experts and has been meeting several times a week to plan and stay up to date with the latest information surrounding the coronavirus.

Other than limiting patient visits, the DCH campuses remain open and are operating normally.

As of right now there has been one confirmed COVID-19 case in Tuscaloosa County. The individual was not admitted to DCH.

In the interest of public health, DCH suggests a few tips to help stop the spread of this virus.

  • Frequently wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
  • Stay away from others if you are sick and only come to the hospital if they need medical care.
  • Limit visits to individuals in the hospital, even if you think you are well.
  • Avoid travel, especially to areas that have laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • Sanitize high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, keyboards and desks.
  • Look to the Alabama Department of Public Health or the CDC for accurate and up-to-date information.