Tidelands Health taking additional steps to help prevent spread of COVID-19 coronavirus

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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on March 06, 2020

Tidelands Health taking additional steps to help prevent spread of COVID-19 coronavirus

Tidelands Health continues to implement enhanced infection control measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in the region. On Friday, the health system initiated a screening process at its hospitals that restricts access by visitors with flu-like symptoms.

Any individual with flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, who enters a Tidelands Health hospital will be immediately screened. Patients seeking care will be directed to the appropriate care area. Visitors with flu-like symptoms will be restricted from accessing the hospital.

The enhanced screening process builds upon the health system’s longstanding policy to discourage visitation by family members, friends, vendors and others who are ill. The process has been implemented as part of the health system’s proactive efforts to protect the health and wellness of patients, team members and the community.

The health system has not received any patients with COVID-19.

 “As our region’s largest health care provider, we routinely care for individuals with potentially infectious illnesses and have comprehensive infection prevention processes and protocols in place,” said Chris Rees, vice president of safety, service excellence and physician services for Tidelands Health. “We continue to welcome visitors to our hospitals, but it’s important that we limit access by visitors with flu-like symptoms to help protect against the spread of illness in the community.”  

Among other coronavirus-related efforts, the health system is also screening patients at outpatient care locations for COVID-19 and coordinating with skilled nursing, assisted living, home health and hospice providers.

In addition, Tidelands Health has developed a coronavirus information center at tidelandshealth.org to provide area residents with important information about the prevention, symptoms and treatment of the illness, as well as how individuals can find help. The health system has also launched billboards in the community and signage in care locations promoting the benefits of proper hand hygiene.

“Perhaps the most important thing people can do right now is to follow good hand hygiene,” Rees said. “Although that may seem basic, it’s very important and effective.”

Individuals who feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or who have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, are encouraged to call their health care provider before visiting the provider’s office.

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Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners are working side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.