March 27, 2020
A Letter to our Community from Rockcastle Regional Hospital
To our patients and community:
As the spread of COVID-19 impacts the health of many communities around us and throughout the nation, and upends our daily living, we want to assure everyone that Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center remains committed to our mission of delivering the highest quality of care to those we serve. Our focus continues to be on the safety of our patients, employees, and our community.
At this time, Rockcastle Regional doesn’t have any cases of COVID-19 in the facility, nor do we have them our community; but since the organization serves the entire state of Kentucky and many surrounding states, we are being ever so vigilant.
Here are some of the things we’ve done so far:
- We have implemented infection control protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our facility, including restriction of visitors to our acute care hospital and our Respiratory Care Center, with visitation limited to patients receiving critical care.
- All visitors to our facility are met by a healthcare professional who conducts a screening upon entrance that includes a temperature check, a questionnaire, and education on hand washing and COVID-19.
- In response to the Governor’s recommendations, we have rescheduled non-emergent medical procedures or appointments. For those appointments that can be completed by phone or video chat (telemedicine), our care providers have worked with our patients to establish the means to do so.
- We have activated our emergency preparedness plan to stage areas throughout the facility if our community begins to see positive cases of COVID-19. In the event patient volumes grow beyond our typical threshold, or what is referred to as a “surge,” we can immediately initiate the next level in our emergency preparedness plan. An example of this is the tented triage area that has been staged outside our emergency department. The area consists of several tents and stands ready to serve as a triage area to allow those who present to the emergency department with respiratory symptoms to be routed to a different area than potential patients who are in need of traditional emergency care, should a “surge” in COVID-19 cases occur locally.
We encourage everyone to be vigilant in not only caring for yourself during this time, but also thinking about how your actions can affect others and the further spread of this outbreak. The CDC provides recommendations on how you can best do this:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- Practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet between you and others.
If you suspect you might have COVID-19 or have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, please call Rockcastle Regional’s Hotline at (606) 256-7385. Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, body aches, runny nose, or sore throat. A medical professional answering the call will assess your symptoms and advise you of the steps you should follow.
Calling in when symptoms are mild, rather than coming in to see the doctor, will prevent potentially exposing healthcare workers and others to the virus. If you are unsure what to do based on your symptoms, please use these guidelines recommended by the Kentucky Department of Public Health and Rockcastle Regional:
- Stay Home: If you are worried-well, please stay home, call the Kentucky State Hotline at (800) 722-5725, or the Rockcastle Regional Hotline at (606) 256-7835. Going to a hospital or doctor’s office adds to a higher concentration of people and further overwhelms the healthcare system.
- Call for Advice: If you are ill, but would not have sought care if not for COVID-19, do not seek in-person care at an emergency department, hospital, or doctor’s office. Instead, please call your healthcare provider or Rockcastle Regional’s Hotline at (606) 256-7865.
- Seek Care: If you are sick and feel you have an emergency, please call your healthcare provider or seek medical care. Rockcastle Regional stands ready to serve you.
We encourage everyone seeking additional information about COVID-19 to refer only to reliable sources such as the CDC at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019, the Kentucky Department of Public Health at kycovid19.ky.gov, or our website at rockcastleregional.org.
Even as we each do our parts to social distance and remain isolated, we must remember our family, friends, neighbors, and the community that we are all fighting to protect.
Board, Administration, Physicians, and Staff of Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center