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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Preparation and Prevention

As the situation regarding COVID-19, known as the novel coronavirus, continues to evolve, St. Bernarnds Medical Center has prepared tirelessly expecting a potential influx of individuals with the disease. St. Bernards has a dedicated team of medical experts implementing a specific plan preparing to offer Christ-like healing to each of these patients, while avoiding exposing hospital patients with other ailments as well as visitors and employees. 

MOST RECENT UPDATES

ST. BERNARDS URGENT CARE

In an effort to serve our community best, we are temporarily combining our resources, and we'll only have ONE Urgent Care Location open in Jonesboro for the public. Please use our Red Wolf Boulevard Urgent Care for any urgent care related need. We are ready to serve you.

St. Bernards Urgent Care clinics in Paragould and Kennett are still open. 

As always, a great option is virtual care on St. Bernards Go. If you think your illness is COVID-19 related, you can use the coupon code: COVID on the St. Bernards Go app to waive the $49 fee. For COVID-19 related questions, call 870.336.5651 or 870.336.5671 for more information. 

HOW TO HELP 

In this crazy time, patients are scared and staff members are doing their absolute best to provide Christ-like healing to people across Northeast Arkansas.

To assist, the St. Bernards Foundation has set up a COVID-19 Support Fund, which will be used for patient care including testing, medication, medical supplies and staff support. It will enable our clinical staff to sustain their resilience while continuing to provide safe, high-quality care to our patients and community. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, needs may increase or change.

The COVID-19 Support Fund is designed to provide assistance as needs continue to be identified. If you would like to contribute, please visit stbernards.info/foundation/donations or call 870-207-2500.

In addition, with a high national demand for face masks, we've received overwhelming community support to provide our healthcare professionals with homemade, reusable face masks. We thank every person volunteering to help and consider you a vitally-important St. Bernards team member.

We've attached criteria below that guide our volunteers to best keep our healthcare professionals safe. Excluding the elastic bands, the masks must be 100% cotton. We ask our volunteers to deliver the masks to the St. Bernards Foundation, located at 400 East Street, Jonesboro, AR 72401. Foundation operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reusable Fabric Face Mask Instructions

Reusable Fabric Face Mask - Regular Sewing Machine Instructions

Together, #WeAReStrong.

ST. BERNARDS SENIOR HOUSING

At this time, St. Bernards Senior Housing is not accepting new residents at St. Bernards Village, St. Bernards Villa and Benedicting Manor. For more information, call St. Bernards Senior Housing at 870.336.4300.

ST. BERNARDS HEALTH & WELLNESS CLOSURE

Per CDC recommendations and a mandate from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, St. Bernards Health & Wellness has closed all nonessential operations until further notice. This mandate was issued to prevent community spread of COVID-19.​ Please note Jonesboro Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine (JOSM) and St. Bernards Physical Therapy will continue normal operations for the time being. St. Bernards Cardiac Rehab, however, has closed.

VOLUNTEER SERVICES

St. Bernards Healthcare Volunteer Services has been suspended until further notice. This policy is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health of our volunteers.

STUDENT INFORMATION

Unless you have been specifically notified, all student rotations have been postponed until further notice. Please check with your advisor for more information.

PREGNANT MOTHERS INFORMATION

(Updated 3/24/2020) If you are in labor the best entrance for you to use is our Main Tower Entrance on Washington Ave. This entrance is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

One visitor, age 15 and older, may join you. Visitors will be screened upon entry at the Main Tower. To see the letter from SBMC Administrator Michael Givens with more information, click here.

To view a letter from our OB physicians helping answer some questions and updated clinic visit guidelines, click here.

In addition, St. Bernards Pregnancy Clinic patients can view their updated clinic visit guidelines here.

VISITOR GUIDELINES

  • Three publicly-available entrances.
    • Main Tower Entrance (open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.).
    • Emergency Department Entrance for emergency patients only (open 24/7).
    • "Red Level" Entrance in Parking Garage (open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.).
  • Screenings for individuals entering Medical Center.
    • Short questionnaire related to COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Temperature screening.
  • One visitor allowed at a time per patient.
    • Visitors must be at least 15 years of age.
  • HeartCare Center and Cancer Center operate separate entrances for their patients during weekday business hours.

With the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Arkansas, St. Bernards Medical Center has revised its entrance policy in efforts to prevent potential disease spread in Northeast Arkansas.

The Medical Center has limited the number of publicly-available entrances to three while allowing only one patient visitor at a time. Visitors must be at least 15 years old to enter the medical center. To provide even further protection, individuals will undergo screenings at each entry before receiving admittance. Visitors will receive a short series of questions upon arrival as well as a temperature screening. Any individuals with risk factors, such as a fever or symptoms of a respiratory illness, will not be allowed to visit at this time.

St. Bernards will operate one 24/7 entrance at its Emergency Department for patients seeking emergency care. In addition, the main tower entrance open, located at 225 East Washington Avenue, and the parking garage’s “Red Level” leading to the long hall known as the “History Hall” will stay open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to these daily entrances, the St. Bernards Cancer Center and HeartCare Center will remain open for patients and visitors on weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patients arriving for Labor and Delivery should use the Main Entrance located at the New Tower on Washington Ave. Entrants at these locations will also receive screenings.

If you are checking in before 7 a.m. for a procedure at the medical center you can bring one support person with you. Both of you will be screened upon entry. As a reminder, the medical center is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for visitors. Each patient can only have one visitor at a time. 

 

CORONAVIRUS FAQs

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

COVID-19 symptoms often appear 2 to 14 days post exposure, most commonly expressed with fever, persistent coughing, and shortness of breath. Less common symptoms include diarrhea, runny nose, sore throat, and aches and pains.

I THINK I MIGHT BE SICK. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Call before visiting your doctor. The healthcare provider, in turn, can make necessary arrangements to properly care for you and protect others from exposure. If you have an appointment, alert your healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19.

Severe cases of COVID-19 may require medical attention, including hospitalization. You may recover from non-severe cases, however, at home. If you are at home, get plenty of bed rest, stay hydrated, and take over-the-counter medications to treat your symptoms.

WHAT'S THE SAFEST WAY TO SEEK CARE?

If you're sick and worried you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), use St. Bernards Go for a FREE virtual care appointment. Once you're on the app/site, sign-up or log-in. In the "Payment" window, use the coupon code COVID to waive the $49 visit fee.

Visit your mobile app store and search "St. Bernards Go" to download or visit us at stbernardsgo.com to start using this online service today. Our normal operating hours are Monday-Friday 7AM-8PM, Saturday 9AM-8PM, and Sunday 12PM-8PM.

 

WHO IS AT THE HIGHEST RISK FOR COVID-19?

According to the CDC, data shows that some people are at a higher risk for getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older Adults (65+) 
    • Main Tower Entrance (open 24/7).
    • Emergency Department Entrance for emergency patients only (open 24/7).
    • "Red Level" Entrance in Parking Garage (open 4:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.).
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems 
    • Short questionnaire related to COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Temperature screening.
  • Individuals who have serious chronic medical conditions like: 
    • Heart Disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung Disease

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or health condition, it is important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease, including:

  • Isolate at home and practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or having been in a public place.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay away from large gatherings and crowds.
  • Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social or commercial networks. 

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COVID-19 AND CORONAVIRUS?

COVID-19 belongs to the coronavirus group, which includes seven other human coronaviruses like SARS and MERS. Specifically, “CO” stands for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” and “D” for “disease.” The number 19 denotes the year 2019 of its outbreak.

The coronavirus group derives its name from the Latin word “corona,” meaning “crown” or “wreath.” This viruses resemble a crown when placed under a microscope.

HOW DOES THE VIRUS SPREAD?

Initial infections trace back to live animal markets in Wuhan, China, but the virus quickly gained the capability of spreading person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others, but how long they remain capable of exposing others remains on a case-by-case basis. Before COVID-19 patients are rendered safe to leave isolation, they must have no fever without using fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, show no symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, and receive two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests collected at least 24 hours apart.

HOW CAN I STAY WELL?

Good hygiene is key, similar to other viral preventions. The CDC recommends you wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, have a hand sanitizer readily accessible with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Furthermore, it is imperative you do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Consider using non-contact methods of greeting to avoid handshaking, and make sure high-touch surface—doorknobs, tables, desks, handrails, countertops, toilets, light switches, handles, faucets, sinks, phones, and keyboards—receive proper disinfecting regularly.

Lastly, stay home if you are sick or have a sick family member living with you to avoid exposing others to illnesses.

Mother Johanna Marie Melnyk

MAY I TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY?

The U.S. State Department issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory, advising citizens to avoid all international travel because of the global impact of COVID-19. In addition, federal authorities recommend that travelers should immediately return home if commercial departure options remain available.

Lastly, all cruise ship and long airfare travel are discouraged, particularly for individuals with underlying health issues. Due to prolonged close contact, these travelers are at a particularly high risk for communicable diseases like COVID-19.

MAY I TRAVEL OUTSIDE ARKANSAS?

(Updated 3/30/2020) Arkansas received its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020 and has since seen 449 confirmed cases. COVID-19 is present in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. currently has more than 140,000 confirmed cases nationwide.

SHOULD I STAY HOME?

You should always stay at home if you feel sick or have a sick family member living with you. Federal authorities currently recommend avoiding groupings of more than 10 people.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "QUARANTINE" AND "ISOLATION"?

The term “quarantine” refers to an individual exposed to an infected person and, consequently, practicing social distancing. “Isolation” meanwhile, describes a sick individual. For COVID-19, the quarantine period lasts 14 days from the last exposure date

SHOULD I WEAR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)?

Personal Protective Equipment, referred to as PPE, includes items like masks, gloves and eye-wear. We need to reserve the PPE we have here at St. Bernards for the medical professionals caring for people in our facility. We do not have any masks for public distribution.

If you are well, you do not need a facemask. If you are sick, however, we ask that you do not come to visit patients in the hospital at this time. For your health and the health of others, please stay home and recover.  

If a facemask is needed due to a family member being sick or if you have a doctor's appointment, a disposable surgical mask is appropriate, as you do not need an N95 respirator. If you do not have a facemask, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

ARE MY PETS IN DANGER?

Despite the virus likely originating from an animal, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. Consequently, research suggests your pets are not at risk for COVID-19 infection.

Animals can spread other diseases to people, so remember to wash your hands after caring for them.