LONDON, Ky. (March 12, 2020) – CHI Saint Joseph Health is actively monitoring new developments related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Kentucky and across the United States. As the situation evolves, Saint Joseph London is making changes related to visitation and operationally.
Since the beginning of the flu season, Saint Joseph London has implemented seasonal restrictions and those are still in place. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the hospital is reinforcing those restrictions and taking additional precautionary steps. Only two immediate family members will be able to visit patients in all units; in the maternity and NICU areas, visitors will be limited to parents and grandparents without a fever or runny nose.
In addition, people with a fever, cough, sore throat or other flu-like symptoms will not be permitted to visit. Anyone who has traveled to a high risk area for COVID-19 or had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 will not be allowed to visit patients in the hospital.
“Our top priority at CHI Saint Joseph Health is the safety of our employees, patients, visitors and communities,” said Dan Goulson, MD, chief medical officer for CHI Saint Joseph Health. “Considering all of the recent recommendations and information, as well as the safety and well-being of our volunteers, we have made the decision to temporarily pause our volunteer programs. We are making these changes out of an abundance of caution.”
With this change, the gift shops run by volunteers at Flaget Memorial Hospital in Bardstown, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East will close temporarily. Many volunteers at CHI Saint Joseph Health are over age 60 and are particularly vulnerable should they be infected with COVID-19.
Similar to instances involving Ebola, SARS and MERS in the past, CHI Saint Joseph Health is working with CommonSpirit Health and public health departments at the state and local levels, as well as with local governments on community response.
CHI Saint Joseph Health advises patients to avoid emergency rooms unless symptoms are severe, such as high fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Patients should contact their regular health care provider by phone first if they are experiencing symptoms like cough, low-grade fever or other respiratory issues.
Goulson offered standard precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands frequently; it’s one of the most important steps in avoiding not only COVID-19, but also other illnesses, including the flu. And if you’re sick, stay home. If you develop a fever and lower respiratory symptoms such as a cough, talk with your physician or care provider.
For more information on how to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, visit www.chisaintjosephhealth.org/novel-coronavirus.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of Catholic Health Initiatives, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 135 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to building healthier communities by elevating patient care through an integrated physical and behavioral health delivery system. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
About Saint Joseph London
Saint Joseph London is a 150-bed full service hospital located in London, KY. Established in 1926, the facility serves patients from southeastern Kentucky, including those from Clay, Laurel, Jackson, Whitley, Knox and Pulaski counties. The current $152 million regional hospital opened in 2010, and offers all private patient rooms, with most overlooking a small lake and garden on the 52-acre healing environment.
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Mary Branham, Director, Communications