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Update: March 19, 2020

COVID-19 Fact Check Portal: Click here to fast-track your questions to Administration for response.

Uploaded 11:35 a.m., 3/19/20
Infection Prevention Guidance (pdf)

Uploaded 2:00 p.m., 3/19/20

  • As of this morning at 9:30 a.m., there are 347 confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana across 17 parishes (an additional 107 overnight). There have been 8 deaths. While there are still no confirmed cases in Tangipahoa Parish, it’s all around us. As Dr. Peltier says, it’s a matter of when, not if.
  • Last night Michele Sutton and Dr. Peltier participated in a Parish-wide press conference, where details were shared about the parish’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. There is lots of communication between state, parish and local governments, first responders, the school system, and North Oaks, Hood and Lallie Kemp. You can see a recording of the press conference on AN-17.
  • Yesterday we received a directive from the state mandating that hospitals stop all medical/surgical procedures that are not necessary (in the judgement of the physician) through April 21, 2020. Clinics are working with our physicians to review schedules and notify the appropriate patients.
  • Local nursing homes have been made aware that we are not able to see non-emergent patients at this time.
    • Please use N-95 masks ONLY when appropriate. It is CRITICAL that we conserve masks to ensure a sufficient supply in the future.
    • Quat supply is good.
    • Shoe covers and impervious gowns should be used judiciously.
    • Gina McAndrews will be distributing quat buckets to facilitate cleaning of large surfaces, as supply of wipes is running low. Look for a plan this afternoon.
    • Be vigilant in use of all medical supplies – inventory looks good now, but we don’t know how long we’ll be in this extraordinary situation.
  • Infection Prevention is working on a handout clarifying what PPE to wear based on patient condition and the staff member’s role. PLEASE DO NOT ALTER WEARING OF PPE (e.g. twisting ear loops or adding an additional mask).
  • Scribing services in the clinics are being suspended for the time being.
  • Staffing is going well – thanks to everyone for their extraordinary effort over the last two weeks!
    • Before you flex staff, please check with HR to see if those employees can be reassigned to another area that could use extra hands.
  • Population Health doing well. Handled 170 calls yesterday. Drive through testing also going very smoothly.
  • The first medical staff call went well yesterday, with more than 50 providers participating. Minutes are available. Let Stephanie Kropog know if one of your providers didn’t receive them, and we’ll confirm email addresses.
  • BLOOD DRIVE ON FRIDAY: Please consider donating blood if you are able. Our supplies in the region are critically low. The Blood Center will be employing social distancing and enhanced disinfection protocols to keep everyone safe. The blood drive will be in the ODC from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • FRESH VEGGIES FROM COVEY RISE on Friday. With demand down at local restaurants, Covey Rise has an excess of fresh veggies. They will be onsite tomorrow (Friday) from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. behind the cafeteria with prepackaged bags of fresh veggie deliciousness. Bags are $30 and they accept only cash and Venmo. Please observe social distancing while in line.
  • Please call Michele Sutton with any questions you have about operations. We are trying to limit calls to Dr. Peltier and Newman about operational issues.
  • Dr. Peltier and Newman ask that caregivers not be so focused on COVID-19 that we overlook other disease processes. We have to stay mindful of each patient’s condition, as we always do.
  • All employee classes have been suspended with the exception of EPIC training for new staff.
  • New employee orientation will be conducted via WebEx for new employees.
  • Licensing boards have extended licensure expiration dates for 60 days.
  • Employee Wellness Update: We are monitoring several employees in three categories.
    • Symptomatic employees are at home and we are monitoring their condition daily.
    • Staff who may have had community exposure but are asymptomatic – they are allowed to work, but must wear a mask and report their temperature 2 x daily.
    • Staff who may have been exposed (while not wearing PPE) to a patient deemed to be a Person Under Investigation, but are asymptomatic. They are allowed to work, but must wear a mask and report their temperature 2 x day. We are tracking the medical records of those patients and as the test results come back negative, are notifying staff they no longer need to mask and report temps.
    • The employee wellness line will be manned from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 7 days/week. After hours you can reach the employee wellness staff person on call through the hospital switchboard.
  • The IRS has extended the tax payment date to July 15th, but you must still file by April 15th.
  • Bright Horizons is still open for child care and has some spots available. Beginning Monday they will begin curbside drop off for children. Temperatures screens will be employed and a Bright Horizons staff member will escort the children to their classroom.
  • Ask an Administrator questions are coming in. Here are answers to questions received yesterday…
    • Should patient care providers over the age of 60 take any extra precautions if treating persons under investigation or confirmed COVID-19 patients? No. Continue to wear the appropriate PPE . If we DO eventually have a positive case, we will absolutely make that announcement.
    • How are test results being shared? All COVID-19 test results are being shared with Drs. Peltier and Newman, the patient’s physician and entered into the patient’s medical record.
    • How do I handle PRN employees who cancel their shift? Please continue to follow our regular attendance policy.
    • Please let Michele know of any resource materials you may need created or posted to the web site/Oaklink.
  • Remember to track hours related to COVID-19 response on the disaster hours form (on Oaklink under Forms/Finance/Disaster Hours) and submit with payroll. COVID-19 related expenses should be billed to department 8600.
  • Visitor control is going well. Our pilot of taking temps at screening stations went smoothly, so we will be rolling out to other locations over the next 48 hours. The good news is that we only had to turn away a handful of visitors.
  • Communications reported that at another hospital a person in costume filmed video throughout their facility and posted a COVID-19 related video to social media. Please be vigilant about our cell phone policy.
  • Please refer the public to the 211 information line if they have general questions about COVID-19.