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.
ANTIBODY TESTING UPDATE
NCH has initiated antibody testing of our staff, starting with those employees closest to the front lines such as those working in our COVID units and emergency departments. Community antibody testing will be done in phases beginning in July, and we will be sharing more information on those dates in the latter half of June.
Data collected from antibody testing will help the medical community and researchers to better understand the virus that causes COVID-19 virus, and we will share those results with our associates and our community. We will also continue to communicate our processes with instructions on how residents can get tested for antibodies as we get closer to our anticipated date in July when testing for the community will start.
WELLNESS CENTERS NOW OPEN
Governor DeSantis has given the green light to reopen gyms and we are happy to report that the NCH Briggs Wellness Center in downtown Naples reopened on Tuesday, May 26. The NCH Whitaker Wellness Center at Greentree Plaza is currently undergoing a renovation and will reopen upon completion in the fall.
The Wellness Center will be adhering to state Department of Health and CDC guidelines for physical distancing and disinfection protocols, and we ask our members to also follow basic gym courtesies, like wiping down equipment after each use, to help us meet those objectives. Visit our website for details about our reopening and exercise class schedule.
DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE
- NCH has sent a total of 9,121 specimens for testing since the onset of the pandemic.
- NCH is treating 52 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- NCH has discharged 227 COVID-19 inpatients with directions to self-isolate as they continue to improve.
- NCH Baker Hospital has 0 employees quarantined.
- NCH North Naples Hospital has 1 employee quarantined.
- 8 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and remain isolated due to community or travel related exposure.
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.
*Update* NCH’s mobile testing site remains open this week at the NCH Baker Hospital campus with appointments offered daily from 8am-12pm. We require a physician’s order, a photo id and updated insurance information when making the appointment. These tests will be billed through Quest Diagnostics.
Phone: 239-624-4443, OPTION 1
Stay Home for Our Healthcare Heroes
A Message of Hope from Our CEO
PRICE FOR COVID-19 DIAGNOSTIC TESTING
Diagnostic tests for COVID-19 performed at an NCH Hospital location will be billed at $69 per test. This excludes mobile testing which is billed through Quest Diagnostics. Testing is limited to hospital patients due to availability of test kits.
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:
Troubleshooting Tips for Patients
We have restricted all visitors effectively immediately, however we recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath). Exceptions include the following:
- Pediatric visitors are limited to parents and/or guardians; maximum of 2 people per patient. One parent/guardian may sleep in the room overnight.
- Birthplace visitors are limited to one support person per patient.
- Emergency Room visitors are encouraged to wait outside the hospital. Visitors who cannot wait outdoors will wear a surgical mask and wash their hands. Visitors who cannot/will not wear a surgical mask properly will be politely excused from the building.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) may have one birth parent plus one significant other.