Open Accessibility Menu

Update: March 20, 2020

Updated 1:09 p.m., 3/20/20

  • As of 9:30 a.m., there are 479 cases in Louisiana across 25 Parishes. Livingston Parish has its first confirmed case. There are still none in Tangipahoa Parish.
    • Beginning tomorrow our visitor policy will change. If a patient is in isolation of any type, for any reason, we will not be allowing visitors in order to preserve our supply of PPE for our medical team. Nursing will be asking families to identify one family member as a contact person, and will be calling to provide updates to the family 2 X day.
    • Once Tangipahoa has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, we will not allow ANY visitors except for comfort measures at end of life. Permission for family visitation to be coordinated through nursing supervisor.
    • People accompanying same day surgery patients will be asked to wait in the patient room rather than in the waiting room. (Again, only one person per patient.)
    • Pediatric patients will be allowed one parent, but no switching out.
    • Patients who are laboring will be allowed one visitor.
  • Please, please, please be good steward of our supplies.
    • N-95 masks and PDI wipes are being distributed through administration and nurse supervisors. Please communicate with your supervisor if you have a need and we will get the supplies to you.
    • We expect to run out of shoe covers soon. Infection Prevention is working on a contingency plan for the OR. In the meantime, please reserve for use in the OR.
    • No one in the region has a huge supply of swabs for testing. We continue to screen patients to determine need for screening.
    • Dr. Peltier has worked with medical staff to identify a “trigger” volume for items that will indicate the need to begin reusing certain supplies. That plan is being finalized and will be communicated as needed. Our goal is to use the highest level of safety based on supply resources.
    • Northshore Technical Community College is rounding up their PPE supplies and dropping off to Hood and North Oaks today. Per Dr. Wainwright at NSTCC, “The North Oaks team are our heroes, and we are happy to support you however we can.”
    • Members of our community are starting to reach out to see if they can help with donations. Look for a “Be a North Oaks Hero” social media campaign letting them know that we will accept donations of some items (antibacterial wipes, soap), just in case we end up needing them. Infection Prevention staff will review donations and if approved, we will affix a yellow label saying “North Oaks approved for hospital use.”
  • Please know that the story in the Advocate and Times Picayune about Hood Memorial contains information that is simply not true. A physician who is an independent contractor with the company through which Hood provides physician coverage in their ED alleges that he contracted COVID-19 from a patient at Hood, that he potential spread it to patients and staff with whom he came in contact, and that he had no access to PPE. We cannot speak to why he made these allegations, but please know that all employees and patients have all been contacted and are being monitored. Hood is using the same protocols, on the same timeline, that North Oaks has been using to mitigate any potential exposure. Please continue to support our team at Hood Memorial (virtual elbow bump) and help us dispel any rumors.
    • On a related note – thanks to all of you who have forwarded Facebook posts, etc. with misinformation to the Communications Team. We are responding to those as appropriate. Remember that any media inquiries need to be referred to Melanie Zaffuto (x 6555) during normal business hours, or to the PR spokesperson on call after hours and on weekends. On call staff can be reached through the Hospital Operator.
  • Per the Louisiana Department of Health directive, medical facilities have stopped performing medical/surgical procedures that can be postponed through April 21. Beginning Monday, medically necessary procedures scheduled for the Surgical Center are being moved to North Oaks Medical Center.
  • HIPAA – remember that it is not appropriate to discuss any patient who has been screened for COVID-19 or is being treated at North Oaks unless needed to treat the patient. This includes sharing information with family members.
  • Remember that common illnesses and conditions are still happening – don’t be so focused on COVID-19 that other symptoms are overlooks. Stay mindful.
  • Nonclinical areas can pick up bottles of quat and cloths from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the basement. PDI wipes are being reserved for use in visitor control and ICU.
    • If you are out this weekend and see any disinfectant wipes (e.g. Lysol/Clorox) please purchase and we will reimburse you (save your receipts).
  • Michele is meeting with physicians who are not hospital-based to discuss a volume mitigation plan and determine where we can use their help.
  • As of 10 a.m., more than 70 people have donated blood through the blood drive. They will be taking donations until 3 p.m. Please consider donating if you are able.
  • The PTO and EIT policies have not been altered during this time of low census with one exception. EIT may be used on the 41st hour of missed work for any staff member sent home by Wellness to self-isolate until cleared to return to work. Those sent home for low census that wish not to use PTO and be unpaid for some or all missed hours are allowed to do so but need to communicate with their timekeeper.
  • 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.
  • Watch the Coupon Corner on Oaklink for special offers from vendors who want to help the North Oaks family.
  • Please continue to check with HR first before flexing off any staff.
  • Population health reports that call volume is down slightly, and they did 55-60 telemedicine visits yesterday. The department is working on a community “return to work” clinic to meet demand for that service. Stay tuned for details.

Again, a HUGE THANK YOU for the extraordinary effort being put forth. Please do all you can to stay healthy, get some exercise, rest when you can, and we’ll be ready to face whatever the future brings.