What St. Joseph’s/Candler is doing to prepare for COVID-19?
St. Joseph's/Candler is actively monitoring and preparing to screen and treat patients. St. Joseph’s/Candler is following the CDC’s recommended infection prevention and control practices including:
- Minimizing the chance for exposure
- Placing any patient with suspected of known COVID-19 in a separate location
- Providing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks and gowns, to our co-workers
- Educating staff, patients and the community on proper hand hygiene
Our co-workers are prepared year round to handle infectious diseases and an influx of patients, should that occur. At both St. Joseph’s Hospital and Candler Hospital, we stock PPE specifically designed to treat patients suspected of having an infectious virus. The emergency room staff is trained regularly on guidelines for putting on and taking off PPE.
If a patient comes through one of our emergency departments with respiratory symptoms, they will be masked by the intake nurse. The patient will be asked about their travel history, exposure to others who have traveled recently and their symptoms will be assessed. We rule out all other potential causes for symptoms first, like the flu or RSV.
If a patient is symptomatic enough for hospitalization, we consult with the Department of Public Health, who will help determine if testing is necessary. The results can take three to four days to return.
During this time the patient is in isolation and treatment for symptoms is provided. Family members and those who have been in contact with the patient are asked to self-quarantine at home pending the results of the test.
We encourage patients who show symptoms but are not sick enough to require an emergency room visit, to see one of our virtual healthcare providers before calling or going to your primary care office.
Through St. Joseph’s/Candler Smart Care 24/7, you can talk to a healthcare expert when and where you need it – over the phone or via your computer. And you can do this all from the comfort of your home eliminating the risk of spreading the virus if you are infected with COVID-19.