CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)
Conway Regional continues to closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We continue to follow the latest guidelines on preparation and prevention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we are working closely with the Arkansas Department of Health for local and state guidance. As always, our highest priority is the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and staff.
- What is COVID-19?
- What to do if you are sick with COVID-19
- Hospital visitor policy
- Information for area pastors and their congregations
- Drive-thru screening and testing information at Conway Regional
- Information for those with diabetes and the risk of COVID-19
- Information related to smoking and COVID-19
- Arkansas Department of Health Guidance
- Arkansas Department of Health COVID-19 Status Updates (Updated daily by ADH)
- The President's Coronavirus Gudielines for America
- CDC recommendations regarding cloth face coverings
VIDEOS AND PODCASTS
- COVID-19 informational videos from Conway Regional
- April 6, 2020 COVID-19 podcast with Matt Troup and Dr. Darren Freeman
- March 19, 2020 COVID-19 podcast with Matt Troup, Dr. Greg Kendrick, and Dr. Mallory Smith
WHAT IS COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SICK:
If you have traveled to an affected area and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, here are helpful steps to ensure your safety and the safety of our community.
- Know the Symptoms:
- Fever, cough, and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Stay Home Except to Receive Medical Care:
- Social distancing is important. Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- Call Ahead BEFORE Visiting Your Doctor
- Your provider will supply you with a face mask before you enter the building. You may see our healthcare workers with gowns, masks, gloves, and goggles on—this is for your safety and the safety of our employees.
- If Your Provider Orders a Test:
- A healthcare worker will swab your nose and throat. If you have a productive cough, you may be asked to provide for a sputum sample.
- Next Steps:
- Your healthcare provider will give you instructions on how to manage your care at home. If your symptoms are severe and you need hospital care, your provider will arrange admission to the hospital.
CAN I VISIT THE HOSPITAL?
In an effort to minimize possible infection from outside the hospital, Conway Regional Medical Center is limiting the number of entrances to the facility. We ask that all visitors and patients enter through the East Lobby, the Emergency Department, or the Medical Plaza/Ambulatory Surgery Department. All other entrances will be closed.
Times of Entry:
- East Entrance: 4:45am to 10:30pm
- Emergency Department: 24 hours
- Ambulatory Surgery Department: 5am to 5pm
To ensure the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and employees, we are updating our visitor policy. Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020:
- No visitors will be permitted into the hospital unless it is an end-of-life situation, to be determined by the provider.
- No visitors under the age of 15 or over the age of 65 will be permitted into the hospital.
Only the following exceptions will be made:
- ONE visitor per patient room, per stay, will be permitted in Labor and Delivery.
- ONE visitor will be permitted if the patient is a minor.
From 4:45 AM to 10:30 PM, all visitors to the main hospital will need to enter through the East Lobby entrance, unless they are an Emergency Department patient.
From 10:30 PM - 4:45 AM, while the East Lobby is closed, all visitors may enter through the Emergency Department. The Emergency Department entrance will remain open 24 hours, but should only be used for Emergency Department patients while the East Lobby is open.
Visitors will be screened upon arrival for recent travel, symptoms, and temperature. We are committed to protecting the health of our community, and we appreciate your cooperation during this time.
IF I HAVE AN ELECTIVE SURGERY, DOCTORS APPOINTMENT, or OTHER TEST IS THIS STILL SCHEDULED?
March 23, 2020: Elective surgeries have currently been suspended. If you have an elective surgery scheduled, you will be contacted by the appropriate staff for information regarding your case.
HOW TO HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF ILLNESS:
The best method of infection prevention is proper hygiene.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Avoid close contact with others who are sick.
WHAT LOCATIONS ARE AREAS OF CONCERN FOR TRAVEL?
The CDC has identified these countries with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (widespread, ongoing transmission):
- South Korea
- Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City
The CDC has identified Washington state, California, and New York within the United States as areas with ongoing community transmission for COVID-19.
This information continues to evolve as more information is shared.
CONWAY, Ark. (March 10, 2020) – As the country continues to monitor the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Conway Regional Health System has spent weeks preparing for a potential influx of the virus to Central Arkansas and the River Valley. The health system has protocols in place for staff, providers, and physician partners to address potential patients who may be at risk for COVID-19. With the plan in place, at-risk patients will receive prompt treatment and isolation from other patients and visitors in order to reduce the risk of transmission.
Conway Regional President & CEO Matt Troup said the organization has been preparing extensively to address the virus and provide the best possible care to its patients.
“We are closely monitoring the spread of this virus, and we are prepared with protocols in place should a case of COVID-19 arise,” said Troup. “As always, our highest priority is the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and staff. We are following the latest guidelines on preparation and prevention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we are working closely with the Arkansas Department of Health for local and state guidance.”
The health system is committed to ongoing communication with healthcare leaders at the national and local level, as well as working with leaders in the community and throughout Arkansas. Conway Regional is providing dedicated resources to an Infection Prevention Response Team who are on-call to address concerns and potential cases. Mallory Smith, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist, says that the health system has implemented protocols should a patient at risk for COVID-19 enter a Conway Regional facility, including a screening of travel history and current symptoms.
“If a patient is concerned that they may have COVID-19, or may have been exposed, they should consider calling their local provider before coming in for evaluation in order to reduce the risk of exposure for others,” said Dr. Smith. “Those experiencing symptoms who do come in for evaluation are given a face mask and taken to an isolated room to reduce the risk of transmission to other patients and guests. They are then connected with our Infection Preventionist who takes the appropriate steps to care for the patient.”
For patients with mild symptoms, such as a low-grade fever, cough, or other respiratory problems, Michael Fahr, M.D., Emergency Medicine, says the best method of action is to call their health care provider in advance of leaving their home.
“To help protect our most vulnerable community members, at-risk patients should avoid visiting the hospital or emergency room unless their symptoms are severe, such as high fever, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, and should instead call their health care provider for guidance,” said Dr. Fahr. “Our health system is prepared to answer phone calls and direct patients to the best method of care.”
In addition to these screening steps, Conway Regional staff are staying up to date on current guidelines and recommendations with frequent taskforce meetings and weekly phone calls with the Arkansas Hospital Association.
While these steps are crucial to preparing for COVID-19, the best method of infection prevention is proper hygiene.
To help prevent the spread of illness, individuals should wash their hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds; stay home when sick; avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth; cover their cough or sneeze; and avoid close contact with others who are sick. If you think you may have COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms of the virus, contact your regular health care provider, or call Conway Regional at 501-329-3831 to be connected with a member of our Infection Prevention Response Team.