Texas Health Resources, including Texas Health Presbyterian in Kaufman, on Friday announced a series of screening measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The hospitals are restricting the number of entrances at its facilities across North Texas to funnel traffic to screening stations. At those access points, everyone – including patients, visitors and anyone with them – will be screened for symptoms of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Anyone who shows any symptom of the virus will be required to put on a medical mask before entering the facility. Also, Texas Health is limiting to two the number of visitors allowed per patient.
“To efficiently and thoroughly screen everyone who comes into our facilities, we have to reduce the number of entrances on our campuses,” said Dr. Andrew Masica, chief medical officer for Reliable Health at Texas Health. “We realize this will be an inconvenience in some cases, but we think these are important steps in containing the spread of this virus in our community.”
The system will also continue to emphasize the importance of hand washing and hand hygiene to patients and visitors. “We think that’s one of the main things individuals can do to keep themselves and others safe,” Masica said, adding that being around large groups of people adds to a person’s chance of contracting the virus. “And individuals who are sick should stay home except to seek medical care.”
Texas Health also announced that it is cancelling all community events on its campuses, including support group meetings, fitness center classes and health lectures.
Additional steps taken by Texas Health, which serves more North Texans than any other system:
• A consumer information hotline (682) 236-7601 and hub have been set up on TexasHealth.org that provide information for the general public and patients, along with regular updates about the virus from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• The system is having daily planning and operations meetings that include executive leaders, hospital operators, physicians on the system’s medical staffs, and nurses. “And we are regularly updating employees about the developing situation,” Masica said.
• Clinicians are being given guidance on proper screening steps for people who might screen as potential COVID-19 patients.
• The system continues to work with public health officials to ensure that it has the latest information on the global spread of the disease and any changes to clinical protocols and screening measures.
• Staff are being given detailed instructions for the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
• Employees are being encouraged to work from home if their jobs allow.