COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE – January 12, 2021
What to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine? See the link below for more information …
COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE – January 7, 2021
At this time, all available vaccination appointments have been filled. NRMC receives limited number of vaccines in the periodic disbursements.
We do not know when NRMC will receive the next disbursement of the vaccine. When we are notified that we will receive our next disbursement with vaccines available to the public, we will post a notice on this website and our Facebook page.
The call volume in response to the limited vaccines has been very, very large. Unfortunately, we are unable to return every call. Please like and follow our Facebook page to be kept informed. Thank you for your patience during this process.
Update December 7, 2020
Central Louisiana Hospitals Encourage COVID19-Safe Holiday Activities
Once again, our community is facing a resurgence of COVID19. For ten months, our community has been fighting this pandemic, and we are all ready for life to get back to normal. The good news is that safe and effective vaccines will soon be available. But not before we face a third wave of COVID19. Models show this third wave will be close to the size and impact of the COVID19 wave we experienced in July. The restrictions that accompanied the second wave affected us all. Nevertheless, our community worked together, followed the necessary restrictions and saw COVID numbers fall.
By working together as a community, we can still suppress the third wave of COVID19 here in Central Louisiana and reduce its impact. Limiting the size of gatherings, maintaining social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks in public are all effective strategies in limiting the spread of COVID19. None of us wants to be separated from our loved ones during the holiday season. Setting aside the gathering of friends and family is a sacrifice. However, it is a sacrifice communities all over the country and world are being asked to make. If we can tolerate these inconveniences for a few more months, we can limit the spread of COVID19 long enough for vaccines to be approved, distributed and administered.
As representatives of the Central Louisiana medical community, and as your friends and neighbors, we ask you to join us in the fight against COVID19. Together, we can accomplish extraordinary things. We can suppress this third COVID19 wave and look forward to gathering with our family and friends in the future.
See the list of Medical Professionals & members of the Healthcare Community who have signed this pledge at the link below:
Open Letter to Our Community – November 19, 2020
TO: The Greater Natchitoches Community
FROM: Kirk Soileau, MHA, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Phyllis Mason, MD, MPH/ACA, FACHE
Chief Medical Officer
RE: COVID-19 Pandemic
Fellow Community Members,
This morning, Dr. Mason and I participated on a statewide call with the Governor, the LA Secretary of Health and the Louisiana Hospital Association Tier 1 facilities, of which NRMC is one, regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare organizations today.
As the pandemic progressed throughout the state starting in February, the Greater Natchitoches Area did not experience the rate of transmission, as did other regions during the first phase. However, with more community movement and an increase in social gatherings, we were impacted in the second phase with an increase in hospitalizations and deaths directly attributed to the virus. However, what is concerning is the fact that our state health region, region 7, starting at Natchitoches Parish progresses north to encompass all of Shreveport and Bossier, to the Texas line and east, basically splitting the upper part of the state with Monroe (region 8), continues to have one of the highest positivity rates in the state.
Now, since Halloween weekend and numerous large social gatherings, the case rate throughout the state is growing faster than at the onset of the pandemic last winter. Compounding this concern is the fact that we are in the middle of a national nursing shortage affecting every hospital in Louisiana. Today COVID-19 hospital admission growth throughout the state is at an all-time high. If this trajectory continues, the health system will be overwhelmed. The state and national concern with Thanksgiving next week, followed by Christmas, we will see continued positivity growth due to indoor family gatherings.
Together, we can slow the spread of the COVID-19 Virus. But, we must continue to maintain the basic principles established by the CDC: Social Distancing, Wear a mask at all times in public and frequent hand washing and hand sanitation.
As you may have heard, we anticipate two vaccines becoming available for distribution before the end of the year. (see attached FAQs) This is great news! However, it will take nearly all of 2021 to have the nation vaccinated at numbers large enough to mitigate transmission spread. Thus, we anticipate that the pandemic will not be in our rear-view mirror until this time next year.
If you have questions or comments, please refer to our website at www.nrmchospital.org or ask your questions on a Facebook page.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine
- Does the vaccine protect against COVID-19?
- It appears to be 95% effective protecting people ages 18 and older with at least one symptom.
- Out of 170 subjects who developed Covid-19 with a symptom, 162 were on a placebo. Only 8 had received the vaccine.
- This result was consistent across ages 18 years to 85 years, races and ethnic groups.
- Is the vaccine safe?
- So far, it looks generally safe.
- The most frequent severe side effect was fatigue in 3.8% of the volunteers who fell ill, while 2% reported headaches.
- But that data isn’t enough to establish the safety of the vaccine.
- When will the vaccine become available?
- As soon as next month.
- It is estimated that 50 million doses globally can be produced by the end of the year. This is enough for 25 million people because the vaccine requires 2 doses.
- This means that only the highest-risk groups, such as front-line health care workers, could be inoculated this year.
- When can I get it?
- A National Academy of Medicine panel recommended:
- First in line – doctors, nurses, and other front-line workers
- Second in line – people whose health conditions put them at high risk of developing severe Covid-19, elderly people in nursing homes and people in prisons.
- Third in line – teachers and transportation workers.
- Health authorities expect the general public could get vaccinated in the spring or summer.
- What don’t we know?
- Aside from an incomplete safety profile, it is not known how long any protection the vaccine provides will last.
- A National Academy of Medicine panel recommended:
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Update September 18, 2020
Effective September 18, 2020, Limited Visitation
- One (1) visitor per patient allowed until 8:00 PM.
- All visitors must check-in at a screening location, receive clearance, and wear a facemask correction covering nose and mouth during the visit. Symptomatic visitors will be turned away.
- Visitors may switch out during the patient’s stay, maintaining only (1) visitor at a time.
- 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.
- Visitors to The Courtyard of Natchitoches will continue to be restricted.
- No visitors under age 12.
- 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.)
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.
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.