DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE: Friday, October 23, 2020
NCH also wants to remind the public that if you are sick, please feel confident you can safely come to any of our facilities. Don’t wait. We don’t want patients to experience an unnecessary personal health crisis. To date, and after thousands of COVID-positive patient interactions by staff and over 20,000 tests administered, only 1 employee has ever tested positive from workplace exposure, and that employee fully recovered and returned to work months ago. Most notably, however, is the fact that there has been 0 patient to patient COVID-19 exposures at NCH, all because of our diligent processes to keep our team and our patients safe throughout the pandemic.
Friday, October 23, 2020: DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE
NCH has sent a total of 34,069 specimens for testing and our COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 11.05%, but as we continue to see a decline in hospitalizations, the positivity rate for the last 7 days at NCH stands at 3.77%.
NCH is currently treating 17 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. That is the same number as we were treating as of our update yesterday.
NCH discharged 3 patients yesterday for a total of 1,203 COVID-19 inpatients discharged with directions to self-isolate as they continue to improve since the onset of the pandemic.
There has been a total of 21 COVID-19 positive pediatric patients admitted to NCH since the onset of the pandemic. NCH has admitted 0 pediatric COVID-19 positive patients since our last update on October 2.
NCH has 0 employee quarantined due to workplace exposure.
7 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and remain isolated due to family or community related exposure.
The number of individuals who have passed away at an NCH facility due to COVID-19 stands at 85 since the onset of the pandemic. Our thoughts and prayers go out to friends and families of these individuals.
Note: We will no longer be reporting bed capacity and ventilator usage as part of this report as COVID-19 admissions continue to decline and hospital bed capacity returns to typical levels.
UPDATES ON VISITOR POLICY
NCH to Expand Visitation Beginning Tuesday, September 29
As we have learned more about the virus and the effectiveness of mask-wearing, we have reviewed our protocols and determined that we can safely lift visitor restrictions and allow adult visitation to patients within our hospitals from 9am to 6pm effective Tuesday, September 29th.
Guests to the hospital must be visiting a loved one already admitted, or be a caregiver escorting a patient seeking care at either the Baker or North Naples Hospitals. Only immediate household members will be permitted for visitation.
Visitors should be in good health and symptom-free of any illness, and a screening process to include a good-health attestation and temperature check, will be required upon entry.
We ask guests to refrain from visiting if they are ill, have a fever, or have been exposed to COVID-19. All visitors are required to wear their face masks at all times while visiting our facilities and must follow physical distancing practices. Ventilated masks are not allowed.
With the exception of our Pediatric department and compassionate care circumstances, two visitors will be allowed per patient and will be restricted to the patient room and hospital lobby. Visitors under the age of 12 will not be permitted.
To eliminate the risk of disease transmission, no visitation will be allowed for COVID-19 patients except under compassionate care circumstances.
Watch NCH CEO Paul Hiltz's Message to the Community
There have been some questions surrounding PPE and whether or not NCH is seeing a shortage. At this time, NCH is not facing any immediate challenges securing PPE. Further, NCH is always reviewing its supply chain to insure that we can continue to get adequate supplies to safeguard our staff and care for our community.
There have been many questions surrounding bed capacity at NCH and we want to assure the community that our hospitals are prepared in that regard. Under normal, typical operations, NCH has 715 total beds available with 48 of those being designated as critical care beds. However, in the event that NCH had to enact its emergency COVID surge plans, we have the capability of expanding to 1000 total adult beds with 143 of those being designated as critical care.
It is important to continue to be diligent with wearing PPE. Not just at work, but in our community too. We have seen the results at our healthcare system when we follow the proper process and continue to social distance, wear our PPE and wash our hands. Please encourage your fellow community members to follow these practices and continue to be diligent to help avoid the spread of this virus.
Drive-thru COVID-19 PCR testing at the NCH Baker Hospital has ended as testing supplies become more commercially available allowing physicians to be able to offer testing at their own practices. NCH has been pleased to offer this service for our residents since March 16.
Samples may be collected in most providers’ practices and sent to commercial laboratories, and in most cases, there are no out-of-pocket expenses to patients.
Community members can call their primary care physician to schedule COVID-19 testing or call the Florida Department of Health in Collier County, 7 days a week from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., to learn about other local testing sites. Their phone number is 239-252-6220. For the most recent list of testing sites, please click HERE.
NCH recognizes national and state guidance in regard to performing elective surgeries while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We also have processes in place for urgent or emergent procedures as well. We will continually evaluate whether Collier County remains a low risk of incidence and will be prepared to cease non-essential procedures if there is a significant surge. Patients are segregated into COVID-19 care and Non-COVID-care (NCC) units and our workforce will avoid working in both COVID-19 and NCC units simultaneously. NCH will monitor supplies and resources regularly to care for COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.
A proactive approach to scheduling elective cases has been adopted, which will allow for stratification and testing of higher risk patients. Screening for possible COVID-19 infections is a continuous process that starts at the office visit with the surgeon or proceduralist. Last minute scheduling requests will not be honored in order to adequately screen all patients. PPE will be worn by all staff and physicians conducting the surgeries.
Patients with any symptoms will have their elective procedure postponed until consultation with their provider for possible COVID-19 testing. The surgeon/proceduralist will assess the patient’s ability and willingness to self-isolate to avoid infection before the scheduled procedure. When indicated COVID-19 PCR testing should be arranged such that the patient is tested 3-5 days in advance of the procedure to allow results to post. Again, NCH has other processes in place for urgent or emergent procedures so that those patients can be seen immediately if there is a threat to life or limb.
DRIVE-THRU TESTING AVAILABLE IN FORT MYERS
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is sponsoring Drive-Thru Testing (no order needed) at the CenturyLink Sports Complex (4100 Ben C. Pratt/Six-Mile Cypress Parkway) in Fort Myers. Testing is available everyday, from 9am - 5pm and individuals over the age of 18 can be tested regardless of symptoms. For more information, please visit floridadisaster.org.
Watch the COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall with Collier County Community
NCH Physician Group providers are using telemedicine to provide access to care to patients in their practices. Please use the coupon code “NCHVC” in order to have the visit at no charge.
Telehealth: NCH has partnered with AmericanWell (Amwell) to provide Virtual Care services to the community. Those who would like to check in with a provider any time of the day or night are able to log on to a visit. Providers will escalate the virtual care to one of our Immediate Care locations if additional services are needed. The community is able to access our virtual care visits for $0, at no cost, during this time of our COVID pandemic.
Virtual Care is able to help with ailments such as:
- Back Strains
- Cold Sores
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Common Cold
- Influenza (Flu)
- Minor Burns
- Sinus Infections
- Stomach Flu
- Upper Respiratory Illness
- Yeast Infections
The AmericanWell providers can also screen patients for symptoms of COVID-19 and will refer those who may need testing for this virus to NCH Immediate Care. Patients who need Immediate Care services are able to gain access to care 7 days per week and are encouraged to save their place in line, avoiding long waits in our lobby areas, through our “wait at home” queue.
Telemedicine: NCH Physician Group has contracted with SecureVideo to extend virtual provider visit invitations. These telemedicine visits are documented in Cerner and are considered the same as an office visit during the COVID emergency. In an effort to continue to care for our patients, and acknowledging efforts to social distance, providers are evaluating the needs of the patient to have as much care as possible completed remotely.
More Telehealth/Telemedicine Information: