The region’s health care facilities have announced policy changes to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Appalachian Regional Healthcare in South Williamson, Kentucky, is offering a separate screening area for patients experiencing respiratory symptoms such as coughing, fever or difficulty breathing.
The goal of the separate screening area is to limit the exposure of patients with respiratory symptoms to other patients with similar symptoms, and to separate them from other emergency department patients who are not experiencing respiratory illnesses.
Patients will see signs directing them to these separate screening areas — some ARH hospitals have erected tented areas while others will have designated areas away from the Emergency Department.
As part of the CDC recommendation of social distancing, in some locations, ARH staff onsite in the screening areas will utilize video consultations with physicians as part of the patient evaluation and screening process.
“As the region’s largest health care system, our top priority is the health and well-being of our patients, caregivers and the communities we serve in Eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. We are focused on limiting the spread of illness, treating patients who are ill and protecting people in our community,” ARH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Maria Braman says. “We want our communities to know that it is safe to come to our ARH hospitals and Emergency Departments, and that this is an additional step we are taking to protect them when they come to our hospitals seeking care.”
The ARH COVID-19 Hotline is open from 7 a.m to 11 p.m. seven days a week to field questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, testing and prevention. The Hotline can be reached at 606-439-7100 or visit www.ARHCOVID19.com.
Williamson Memorial Hospital announced Saturday afternoon that no visitors will be allowed at the hospital.
“Thank you to our patients and families for your cooperation and understanding with our temporary visitation policy. Williamson Memorial Hospital’s focus is to deliver high quality, safe care to our community.”
West Virginia residents can stay up to date on COVID-19 by visiting coronavirus.wv.gov or calling a toll free hotline at 1-800-887-4304.
Pikeville Medical Center has updated their visitation policy, as well.
Any patient who is in any of PMC’s inpatient hospital areas are only allowed one visitor at a time. Required visitors passes are available at the second floor information desk. Normal visiting hours will still be imposed.
Additionally, guidelines for the hospital’s clinics and emergency department were changed.
Any patient who is coming to the hospital for a visit is encouraged to do so alone. If necessary, no more than one person may accompany a patient.
Also, no more than one person is permitted to accompany a child to an appointment.
If any food is ordered from an outside restaurant, the delivery must be picked up at the Second Floor Clinic Information Desk.
Patients with questions about COVID-19 should call 1-800-722-5725. If symptoms are severe and emergency care is recommended by a physician, patients should call the hospital’s emergency department prior to arrival.