COVID-19 Update – Daily
Visitor Policy Update
Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC) has revised its COVID-19 Visitor Policy. Beginning May 11th, patients will now be allowed one designated visitor during their hospital stay or procedure. This is in accordance with Governor John Bel Edwards’ proclamation on May 4, 2020, along with the Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH) guidance, to allow healthcare facilities the ability to restart time-sensitive procedures.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NRMC has remained proactive in ensuring the health and safety of our community. We have had stringent safety measures in place to protect our Medical Staff, Associates, patients, visitors and our long-term residents at the Courtyard of Natchitoches and Natchitoches Assisted Living,” explained Kirk Soileau, Chief Executive Officer. “Through the years, NRMC has created a culture of safety which has earned our team national recognition including being recognized as a Top 100 SafeCare hospital in the nation for three out of the last four years. As a team we train, plan and prepare for adverse circumstances such as mass casualty events, natural disasters, and even pandemics. I am extremely proud of our team’s response to COVID-19 and the work they have been doing for the well-being of our patients and the community,” Soileau noted.
“When the President of the United States and the Governor stopped all elective and non-emergent testing and procedures they did so, because they wanted to ensure hospitals throughout the nation and state would be prepared for a patient surge during the pandemic. They did not stop key services over safety concerns of spreading the COVID-19 virus,” noted Soileau. “Today, our community has a relatively low transmission rate. In part this is due to the proactive steps taken in our parish to encourage COVID-19 screenings and testing, social distancing, good hand hygiene, and stay-at-home orders. We want to encourage people to keep practicing these important measures. Going forward, NRMC will continue to adhere to all safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and LDH to continue to keep our community safe.”
As the hospital begins to re-open time-sensitive services, procedures and surgeries, all patients and visitors must do their part by adhering to the updated Visitor Rules.
Effective May 11, 2020, Limited Visitation Allows
- One (1) dedicated caregiver per inpatient stay regardless of time of admission. Caregivers may not switch out.
- One (1) dedicated parent/caregiver for pediatric or mentally/physically disabled patients who cannot be left alone.
- One (1) dedicated caregiver/driver for outpatient surgery and/or testing.
- One (1) dedicated family member for those where end of life care is being given. All others per administrative approval.
- One visitor for an Emergency Department visit and surgery procedures.
- Visitors to The Courtyard and Natchitoches Assisted Living will continue to be restricted.
- No visitors under age 15.
- No visitors to Insights.
- COVID patients are not allowed visitors, but virtual visits are available. (At this time, all COVID patients are located in a designated unit separate from other non-COVID patients.)
Visitors will be required to wear a mask during their visit and be screened on arrival and each day thereafter. Personal cloth masks will be acceptable.
- All visitors must enter NRMC through the Isadore first floor entrance Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., and through the Emergency Department entrance on Saturday and Sunday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. No visitors will be allowed entrance after 5:30 p.m.
- Visitors to the Pain Center and Wound Center will continue to enter through the Keyser entrance.
NRMC is following CDC recommended protocols that may necessitate further changes to our visitation policy.
Drive Through Testing in Natchitoches – Discontinued
Over the past eight weeks, a skilled team of Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC) Associates volunteered their expertise to provide community drive-through screenings and testing for COVID-19 at the campus of Central Louisiana Technical Community College campus. This site is now closed since the need for drive-through screening is no longer needed, but more than 299 cars came through the site with 348 people tested. COVID-19 was detected for 29 people with 18 results still pending.
“I’d like to extend my sincerest thanks to the outstanding healthcare professionals for their efforts and dedication in making this drive through testing possible,” explained Kirk Soileau Chief Executive Officer. “Also special thanks to Campus Dean of CLTCC Laurie Morrow, City of Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey, Parish President John Richmond, Senator Louie Bernard, Natchitoches Chief of Police Mickey Dove and Captain Brad Walker, Natchitoches Sheriff Victor Jones, Northwestern State University Police Chief Craig Vercher, Homeland Security Officer Mary Jones, Natchitoches Fire Department Chief John Wynn, and many volunteers for their assistance. This testing was truly a community effort as only Natchitoches can do it! “ Soileau noted.
Going forward, any community member needing screening and testing can visit the Walk-in Clinic on Keyser Avenue from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, or at the North Natchitoches Clinic in Campti from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Within the next 30 days, NRMC will be offering rapid Antibody Serum Testing and rapid PCR viral testing through NRMC’s main hospital laboratory. Results will be available within one hour. If in the future should there be a resurgence of COVID-19 or other viruses, NRMC will be ready and able to offer immediate testing locally without relying on an outside testing laboratory.
Again, thank you to everyone for working together to protect the health of our community. We are Natchitoches Strong!
Where can I get more COVID-19 Information?
The Louisiana Department of Health is partnering with the 211 hotline to answer questions related to the virus. It’s easy as 1-2-3 to get the most current information available for COVID-19.
- Simply dial 211
- Text LACOVID to 898-211
- Visit www.LA211Help.org
NRMC is here to CARE for YOU!
NRMC’s Walk-In Clinic, Emergency Room, and North Natchitoches Medical Clinic in Campti are open and ready to provide the quality healthcare our community has come to expect. If you are concerned about being infected with COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider, the state 211 line, or NRMC for pre-screening. Remember, our hospital is still operational and here to address your critical health needs.
Further Guidance on Essential Personnel
Please refer to the following Additional Guidance from the Office of the Governor in regards to essential personnel and the stay at home order. It is critical that the members of our community that are not in essential positions stay home and discontinue gathering together. Only go out for quick trips to meet needs and keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. If you are sick – stay home and ask someone to run your important errands for you. Help your family and neighbors while complying with social distancing.
Governor Edward’s Stay at Home Order
LDH Directive to Limit Visits & Procedures
The Louisiana Department of Health has issued a directive limiting patient visits and procedures. In accordance with this direction, NRMC will be seeing patients for visits and procedures deemed medically necessary by the patient’s physician that cannot safely wait for 30-days. Those visits and procedures that can wait will be rescheduled.
While COVID-19 is new, our processes and procedures in place for infection prevention and preventing the spreading of illness are not. NRMC remains a safe place for all to receive quality care. Over the past four years, NRMC has been nationally recognized for its infection prevention and safe care.
NRMC is fully operational providing services 24/7 just limiting those procedures that can be delayed for 30-days.
Rest assured that we are following both CDC and LDH guidance with support from CHRISTUS Health in managing our resources and protective equipment in order to protect the safety of our patients and our associates.
NRMC is working in solidarity with the healthcare community; city, parish and state leaders; and community benefit organizations to ensure we are all well prepared.
NRMC’s associates and physicians remained dedicated to fulfilling our core purpose: Care for Our Community.
Dealing with COVID-19 Stress
If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress, fear and anxiety about the uncertainty surrounding this public health emergency, there is a special Keeping Calm through COVID Hotline you can call. This connects you to trained, compassionate counselors who can offer support and who can direct you to mental health and substance abuse counseling services.
Call 1-866-310-7977 24/7
Trained counselors available 24/7. All calls are confidential.
Please practice social distancing. Social distancing is the practice of reducing close contact between people to slow the spread of infections or disease. Please refer to the attached social distancing graphic.
Individuals with symptoms or concerns are advised to first contact their primary care provider or call 211.
Natchitoches Regional Medical Center will use a triage system to evaluate and test patients with COVID-19 symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
The triage team will determine if individuals meet guidelines for testing based on travel, contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19/Coronavirus, and symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.
When criteria are met, cases will be escalated to a designated health care provider for further evaluation and/or testing.
Every person who enters an NRMC facility will undergo screening. This includes all patients, associates, physicians, essential personnel and vendors.