APRIL 29, 2020 – Rockcastle Regional, along with other Kentucky hospitals, began taking steps this week to return to normal pre-COVID-19 operations by the end of May, per guidance from the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA). The first stage of the three-phase approach includes the return of non-emergent outpatient procedures and services.
As part of this phase, Rockcastle Regional will be dismantling the “surge” tent that was staged outside the emergency department in late March out of an abundance of caution for a possible and rapid increase, or “surge,” in COVID-19 patients.
“Rockcastle County and our regional community did not experience a ‘surge’ in COVID-19 patients and the tented area was not utilized,” said Rockcastle Regional president and CEO Stephen A. Estes. “Staging this area was a step we took as part of our emergency preparedness plan so that we would be equipped to handle any situation that might have developed during the COVID-19 outbreak. Fortunately, we took this step and it wasn’t needed, which was our hope when it was established.”
The tented triage area is scheduled to be dismantled by Friday, May 1 as many others areas of the hospital continue the process of returning to normal operations. The community-wide drive-through testing is still ongoing and is scheduled each day this week until Friday, 12:00 noon until 6pm.
“We are continuing to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and the number of positive tests in our facility and the community,” said infection control coordinator Traci Bullens, RN. “Rockcastle Regional, who along with local and state health officials, will be keeping a close eye on any potential significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases. Our facility will ensure that with each step, every precaution is taken to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.”
For the duration of the three-phase return to normal operations, patients and visitors can continue to expect to be screened at every entrance. Screening includes temperature checks, masks provided, and education given about COVID-19 and handwashing. This will be a gradual return to normal, but Rockcastle Regional will remain steadfast in putting patient safety as its top priority.
If you have any questions about the steps Rockcastle Regional is taking to ensure patient safety or about what you should expect when you enter the facility, please contact Traci Bullens at (606) 256-2195.