SeHealth announces coronavirus preparations are in place; daily operations continue as normal
Southeastern Health has been closely monitoring local and national developments related to coronavirus, or COVID-19, and is prepared to respond appropriately.
“I assure the community Southeastern Health is immensely prepared for coronavirus, should we need to implement protocols within our health system, while continuing to meet the everyday needs of our patients,” said SeHealth President/CEO Joann Anderson.
If a patient were to present at Southeastern Regional Medical Center and meet the criteria for a potential COVID-19 patient, SRMC clinicians would follow guidelines and recommendations of state and national health authorities, such as the N.C. Epidemiologist, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),
These guidelines are designed to protect the caregiver, patient and anyone the patient may encounter in the healthcare setting. They include: use of fit-tested NIOSH-approved N95 mask; use of gowns, gloves and eye protection; use of negative-pressure airborne infection isolation rooms; requiring patients to wear a surgical mask as soon as they are identified as having symptoms of respiratory illness; and placing a surgical mask on a patient with known or suspected COVID-19 if they must be moved from their room.
SeHealth announced travel guidelines for its employees and associates on Tuesday in an effort to track and evaluate current or future travel plans by anyone affiliated with the medical system.
Visitation restrictions at SRMC, which were announced in December 2019 due to influenza, remain in place. Each year around flu season, visitors to the medical center are limited so that the risk of exposure to patients and employees from viruses, like influenza and, now, COVID-19, from outside visitors is reduced.
The visitation restrictions allow for two visitors, ages 18 and older, per patient except in the emergency department, where only one visitor is allowed per patient. Any pastor/clergy who has registered with Pastoral Care Services and has an SeHealth clergy badge is allowed to visit. Some areas, such as ICU, may have a stricter policy as part of their normal operations. Exceptions will be made in extreme medical circumstances only.
Any individual who is sick, especially with flu-like symptoms, is asked not to visit patients at SRMC. Instead of visiting, the public is encouraged to use alternate methods of communicating with patients at the medical center, such as calling or sending cards or letters. Most patients may be reached by calling (910) 671-5000 and asking for the patient by name. Please be aware of patients’ need to rest by limiting phone calls during evening hours. Letters may be addressed to Southeastern Regional Medical Center, Patient Name, Room Number, PO Box 1408, Lumberton, NC 28359.
The CDC recommends practicing everyday preventive behaviors to protect yourself and the community including: staying home when you are sick; covering coughs and sneezes; frequently washing hands with soap and water; and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
For more information on coronavirus, visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or call the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 hotline at 866-462-3821.