Posted: March 10th, 2020
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) first detected in China in late 2019. It has now spread to a number of countries including the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the lead responding agency of the federal government and a valuable source for information on the spread, prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
At NRMC, we have a team in place to monitor daily updates from state health officials and CDC regarding the situation involving COVID-19. We are proactively taking steps to ensure our team has the training and resources needed to manage the situation should cases of the virus impact our region. This includes aligning with the CDC on screening, testing, and patient care recommendations; implementing additional infection control and prevention protocols; ensuring supply chain preparedness; and taking other measures to protect our medical staff, associates and community.
What can you do? Follow the CDC disease prevention guidelines. These include:
- washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds—the single most effective way to prevent illness;
- using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not readily available (always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.);
- covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue – then throw the tissue away and wash hands;
- keeping your hands away from your eyes, mouth, and nose;
- regularly cleaning your personal living and work spaces;
- avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
- staying home if you are sick.
Keep in mind that the CDC does NOT recommend for well people to wear facemasks in an effort to prevent infection. Facemasks are effective for ill individuals and properly trained care providers.
Testing for COVID-19 is approved and conducted by the Louisiana Office of Public Health Laboratory. Recently, two (2) private lab companies have announced the ability to test as well. Contact your provider or insurance company for more details.
Travel to CDC Health Risk Level 2 and 3 countries is strongly advised against.
For up to date information on COVID-19 please refer to the CDC website.
Sources of additional information:
Louisiana Department of Health COVID-19 Questions Hotline: 855-523-2652 (Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
Coronavirus Disease Fact Sheets (PDF)
CDC COVID-19 Situation Summary
CDC COVID-19 Prevention & Treatment
CDC COVID-19 Travel Health Notices
Louisiana Department of Helath Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information