SSCH sets up COVID-19 hotline, implements stricter visitor guidelines

By FROM STAFF REPORTS,

South Sunflower County Hospital has implemented a COVID-19 hotline.

The hotline, 662-635-7269, will feature brief recorded information about the latest COVID-19 news from the hospital.

Meanwhile, SSCH has implemented even stricter policies on visitation to the hospital than were published in this week’s print edition of The E-T.

The following can also be found by clicking here.

In light of recent developments around the world, and most recently the state of Mississippi, South Sunflower County Hospital understands that there are many questions and uncertainties about the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. South Sunflower County Hospital is following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) to ensure our organization is prepared with the appropriate plans to detect, protect, and respond should anyone in our community contract or be exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, we are monitoring and updating our facility’s robust emergency operations plan.

With this rapidly evolving situation, South Sunflower County Hospital is prioritizing the health and well-being of our patients and community by taking several proactive measures to limit or reduce the further spread of COVID-19. For current information about the total number of confirmed cases in the United States, visit the CDC website.

What is South Sunflower County Hospital doing to help limit the spread of COVID-19?

There is a multidisciplinary team of health care providers, administrative leaders, and support staff that have been preparing to care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. We have taken every precaution to ensure that we can provide all patients, including those with possible COVID-19, with the highest quality care while protecting hospital staff, other patients and visitors. A number of proactive efforts are underway across the hospital, including activities related to:

• Enforced visitor safety restrictions in the hospital.

• Implemented safety screening processes for patients, visitors, and employees

• Restricted access at the hospital will be limited to the Main Entrance and the Emergency Department

• Launched a public COVID-19 Hotline that will have brief recorded information.

o SSCH COVID-19 HOTLINE PHONE NUMBER: (662) 635-7269

Hospital Patient Visitor Policy

As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, so does our hospital's response. In addition to measures we've taken including restricting visitors, limiting access to entrances, and adhering to MSDH and CDC guidelines, South Sunflower County Hospital is taking more precautionary steps to help ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, employees, and community.

Effective March 20, 2020, South Sunflower County Hospital has implemented a highly-restricted No Visitors policy.  No visitors will be allowed unless the patient meets the below exceptions. The policy will be in place until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer perceived as a threat to patients, visitors, staff, and the community.

• All visitors, sitters, and employees will be screened (temperature and upper respiratory symptoms) upon immediate entry to the hospital. ER patients will be screened upon arrival (temperature and upper respiratory symptoms) and triaged accordingly.

o Temperatures over 100.4 will not be allowed entry into the hospital

• Visitors under the age of 18 will not be allowed entry into the hospital

• No visitors will be allowed for Outpatient, Acute, High Acuity, Swing Bed, or Emergency Department patients

 

Exceptions: (only apply if you screen negative for symptoms of respiratory symptoms)

• Pediatric patients are allowed 1 guardian in the room. Once they have entered, the guardian cannot leave until the patient is discharged.

• Obstetric patients are allowed 1 support person in the room. Once they have entered, the support person cannot leave until the patient is discharged.

• Emergency Department patients, under the age of 18, are allowed 1 visitor in the room.

• Wound Care patients, that require total care, are allowed 1 caregiver to accompany them in the treatment room.

Hospital Entrances

• Main Entrance - employees, visitors, and outpatients

• Emergency Department - ER patients will come in through the ambulance door—not the sliding glass door.

Should I be tested for COVID-19?

If you develop symptoms (fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath) and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with the ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider/local ER. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether or not you should be tested.

What happens if you are diagnosed with COVID-19?

There is no vaccine for COVID-19. Treatment is symptomatic which means you’ll need medications to reduce fever, lessen cough, etc. Your healthcare provider and public health staff will evaluate whether you can be cared for at home. If it is determined you do not need to be hospitalized then you will be isolated in your home and follow self-monitoring guidelines and precautions.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus and is a strain of the Coronavirus. Coronaviruses have been around for years. Example: the common cold. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue. Similar to the flu, but COVID-19 is connected with travel to a country with widespread community transmission OR close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

How is COVID-19 spread?

Through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Similar to how the flu and other respiratory illnesses are spread. These droplets infect during close contact—about 6 feet.

How can we prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Wash your hands often, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home if you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue away, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes

Hand Washing Tips

• Use soap and water

• Wash for at least 20 seconds

• Wash hands especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

• Cover all surfaces of your hands with hand sanitizer and rub them together until they feel dry

• Get a flu vaccination every year

Additional Resources

Mississippi State Department of Health

• Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline (8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday): 877-978-6453

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