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LHS Update on Community Health & COVID-19

Lincoln Health System is closely monitoring all Coronavirus updates from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help keep our patients, employees, and community safe.

The United States has begun to see an increase in a respiratory disease, now named “coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated COVID-19, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, first detected in China. According to the CDC, information at this time suggests that most COVID-9 illness cases will be mild.  Symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, much like a mild upper respiratory infection (URI).  Most people with COVID-19 will not need to be hospitalized.

The CDC is controlling who can and will be tested for the disease. Lincoln Medical Center and most other hospitals do not have test kits and the availability of test kits in the state of Tennessee is very low.   If you suspect that you or someone in your family may have been exposed to or may have COVID-19, the Tennessee Department of Health has launched a Coronavirus Public Information Line.  The hotline number is 877-857-2945 and will be available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT daily. Call volume has been high and callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.  Patients with mild symptoms should not unnecessarily visit a doctor’s office or Emergency Room, but should first call the hotline or your primary care provider. You should follow the CDC recommendations for reducing the risk of spreading your illness to others by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-home-care.html.

LHS is following the recommendations of the CDC on preventative steps, including following strict handwashing procedures, visitor monitoring, personal protective equipment (PPE) allocation, and triage guidelines.  They have posted signs in public areas regarding visitors at our facilities.  In addition to staying up to date with the CDC recommendations, LHS is in close contact with the state health department and is following their guidance.

There is no reason for alarm or panic.  People are urged to use everyday preventative actions to protect themselves from illnesses such as avoiding contact with those who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  If you become sick, stay home, unless you require advanced care, cover your cough or sneeze, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

For more information and updates on the coronavirus, please visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov or follow them on Facebook.

2 Comments

  1. Diana on March 7, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    It would be helpful to know whether hospital staff have received training in responding to infectious diseases, whether you have enough PPE at your disposal, and how many ventilators and ICU beds the hospital has available for those infected.

    • Katie Stovall on March 9, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      LMC is taking all appropriate precautions to prepare for COVID-19 to enter our community. We are staying up to date with all updates from the CDC, TDOH, and EMA. Staff is constantly updated when new information is released and they have been trained on how to respond and care for patients should they present at our facility. We do have an appropriate amount of PPE and we have processes in place for when and how to use it. Hopefully, we will avoid and outbreak of COVID-19 in our area, but if not, we are taking all steps to be prepared.

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