LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Two days after the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Gregg County, Longview Regional Medical Center has set up a dedicated area to help contain and treat potential COVID-19 patients.
A white tent set up outside the medical center’s emergency room warns hospital staff and guests of the isolation area inside the tent.
Longview Regional Medical Center released a statement regarding the hospital’s protocol concerning COVID-19 and its patients:
Our hospital continually works to be prepared for all types of infectious diseases such as measles, flu or new viruses like coronavirus (COVID-19). We are taking proactive steps to prepare for the protection of patients, our caregivers and the community, and monitoring ongoing COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are using the screening guidelines for symptoms and risk factors and have a response plan to protect patients and our staff should it be needed. If a physician determines a patient meets the risk criteria, they will coordinate testing and the patient’s ultimate disposition, coordinating with the department of health, as necessary. We understand the sensitivity at this time and want to reassure the community that we remain alert and ready to provide such care if necessary.
Patients are being screened for known risk factors – fever, cough and shortness of breath, travel to areas with many identified cases, or close contact with someone known to be infected with COVID-19. When a patient meets these criteria, they will be given a medical mask to wear, isolated in a private room or separate area away from other patients, and attending staff will wear personal protective equipment.
Part of our preparedness includes setting up a dedicated site outside of our ER as a precautionary measure in the event of a surge of patients who may have the symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19. The site will be staffed with a small team of providers experienced in appropriate infection prevention protocols and securing samples for testing.
Modified visitor protocols are in place to protect our patients and caregiving team. These include: posting signage informing people with fever or respiratory symptoms that they may not visit patients; limiting visitors to two immediate family members, partner or significant other. Other providers in the area are implementing similar practices and we are asking for the community’s understanding and compliance.