Cartersville, GA; March 19, 2020 –
Cartersville Medical Center has protocols in place to care for patients with infectious diseases, and we have been working diligently to ensure we are prepared for potential issues related to COVID-19. Since March 9th, there have been 32 positive COVID-19 patients (with twelve who currently remain as inpatients). Overall, there have been 15 patients who have tested negative to date. There are currently 39 patients in house awaiting test results; 31 patients, including inpatient and ER patients, have been discharged home following CDC and Public Health guidance for self-quarantine. We are following infection prevention protocols for COVID-19 patients, including isolation, to help ensure the safety of our colleagues, patients and visitors, and we continue to work closely with the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health.
We continue reinforcing infection prevention protocols and screening procedures at hospital entrances as a proactive measure. We have positioned supplies at points of entry, so that any potential symptomatic patient who arrives can be properly masked and immediately isolated to protect our colleagues and other patients.
Currently, a “No Visitor” policy is in effect with the following exceptions and allowances:
- Pediatric Patients – 1 Parent or Caregiver
- OB Patients – 1 Birthing or Care Partner
- Outpatient Surgery or Outpatient Testing – 1 Caregiver
Other exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis. Cartersville Medical Center encourages alternative communication with patients such as phone, FaceTime, text or email during this time.
While we currently have the bed capacity, staffing, and supplies and equipment we need at this time, we recognize this is a fluid, ever-changing situation, and we continue to plan by accessing the resources, support and best practices across HCA Healthcare, our parent company, to help ensure we remain able to meet the needs of the communities we serve as the situation continues to evolve:
- To ensure we are prepared for an influx of patients, we have staffing contingency plans, and those include the use of HCA Healthcare’s in-house staffing agency.
- To help ensure our caregivers and patients continue to have enough supplies and equipment, we are asking staff to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) by following, but not exceeding, the guidelines for infection prevention. In addition, HCA Healthcare is working to identify other sources of important supplies and equipment to help ensure the continued protection of our colleagues and patients.
- We currently have the ability to add bed capacity to certain areas of our hospital, if needed, and we are reviewing best practices of other HCA Healthcare hospitals.
Like other hospitals in our area, having enough testing capabilities is an issue we continue to monitor, and we appreciate the Georgia Department of Public Health’s diligent work in this area. We also look forward to receiving a distribution of PPE supplies from GaDPH to support our hospital’s needs.
Maintaining a safe environment for our patients, colleagues and community is of the highest priority.