COVID-19 Response

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COVID-19: CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System Information and Updates April 29, 2020

Universal Masking

Effective 5/4: To make sure we continue to follow the CDC's recommendation for Universal Masking; we are asking all patients, visitors and employees to wear a mask while visiting our facilities.

Homemade cloth masks are appropriate for visiting our clinics, you can follow instructions to make a safe mask here.

We are committed to ensuring that our clinics continue to be a safe place to receive care – we appreciate your continued support and understanding as we implement these guidelines.

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System to Resume Elective Surgeries April 22

CHRISTUS Health will certify all of its Texas facilities to resume elective care, and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System is preparing to resume elective procedures and surgeries on April 22, consistent with the provisions of the Governor Greg Abbot’s original order on April 17.

Our facilities have secured the personal protective equipment (PPE) and excess capacity necessary to safely care for the full spectrum of medical conditions and patient needs that we have worked so hard to address in our communities for more than 150 years.

We are working with physicians now to reschedule their patients for medical and surgical procedures they were forced to postpone due to the initial order. While we all understand the reason that these procedures had to be postponed, waiting has imposed a hardship on many of these patients, as many can no longer delay care for heart disease, cancer, pain, vision problems and other conditions. We are working to avoid a surge in illness and suffering as a result of deferred and delayed care.

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System is expanding its surgery scheduling to include evening and weekend availability for patients’ convenience and to ensure it is ready to provide care that has been delayed.

“The procedures that have been delayed or deferred are often issues related to quality of life,” said Todd Hancock, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System. “In some cases, these procedures will even help patients live longer. That’s why we have to get them back to our operating rooms when medically necessary as quickly as possible. But just as we’ve always done with our surgeries and other procedures, we must also ensure our patients, Associates and physicians are safe. That’s what we’ve done at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System for so many years,” Hancock said.

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System practices infection prevention every day. In addition, the system recently announced that is leading the Northeast Texas community, and the country, by offering antibody testing for some patients, Associates and physicians. This new screening tool allows the hospital to test these groups for antibodies related to the COVID-19 virus, helping it to identify how each patient should receive care and how to keep its caregivers safe.

Not only that, but CHRISTUS Good Shepherd has been steadily working and planning to continue providing necessary, non-COVID care to keep people safe and healthy. To keep all who enter our facilities safe, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd continues to have these following precautions in place:

  • Limiting visitors;
  • Screening everyone who comes through our doors;
  • Isolating COVID-19 patients to one area of the facility;
  • Random temperature checks for Associates;
  • Requiring everyone on our campuses to wear masks;
  • Using telemedicine to treat active COVID-19 patients, so their caregivers and support staff limit the number of times they enter their rooms.

This may be an unprecedented time, but we have experienced many of these since CHRISTUS was founded 154 years ago. In fact, the first three Sisters who started the CHRISTUS ministry in Galveston faced an epidemic of Yellow Fever within the first six months of opening the very first hospital. Epidemics and tragedies have been part of CHRISTUS’ history, and so too has the resolve, after each of those challenges, to move on in love and service to those in need.

“CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System is answering the call to help our community – today and tomorrow. In all that we do, we are devoted to keeping patients, their families, our caregivers and our Associates safe. And we are here when you need care. We are ready,” Hancock said.

April 14, 2020

CHRISTUS Health Offers ‘Game Changer’ Antibodies Test for COVID-19

CHRISTUS Health System is first in the communities it serves to offer new screening tool

CHRISTUS Health announced today it is now offering a new screening tool to some patients, as well as doctors, nurses and other CHRISTUS Associates on the frontlines to learn who has been infected with COVID-19—AND—who might now carry protective antibodies.

“CHRISTUS Health is a safe place to receive care, with high-reliability processes and procedures for infection prevention and mitigating the spread of illness,” explained Dr. Sam Bagchi, CHRISTUS Health’s EVP and Chief Clinical Officer. “Beginning today, we are adding the unprecedented additional layer of antibody screening to help survey for asymptomatic COVID-19 infections among patients and caregivers.”

For the last several weeks, the team has quickly assessed the test’s reliability and then deployed the kits to CHRISTUS hospitals and ambulatory sites across the United States and Latin America. The test produces results in approximately 10 minutes and has been validated internally for screening for COVID-19 infections.

“CHRISTUS is the first in our communities, and is leading the nation by using advanced COVID-19 antibody testing to screen people in our facilities to determine if they have had a COVID-19 infection in the past or have one now,” said Dave Benner, PharmD, MS, MHA, FACHE Vice President, Clinical Ancillary Services.

The country’s leading scientists believe antibody-based tests to be essential in the war against COVID-19.

“This would be a game-changer in restarting parts of the economy more quickly and safely,” Dr. Harvey Fineberg, a professor in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote in an April 1 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

CHRISTUS will first begin using the test on Associates and caregivers on the frontlines. The rapid screening tool will also be used on hospitalized patients that the clinical team believes may have been infected with COVID-19 as well as patients who are scheduled for an urgent surgery.

“People should not put off urgent and emergent procedures, and should continue to seek the care they need. We know that, regardless of COVID-19, heart attacks and strokes have not stopped. We need to be able to treat people who urgently need to be in an operating room,” said Dr. Bagchi. “With the availability of an antibody test, we can test anyone who comes in for an urgent surgery. This will allow us to reliably know if a patient has COVID-19 before they start having symptoms or might normally be tested.”

This innovative screening solution is in an addition to the ongoing PCR tests many providers, including CHRISTUS, are able to perform. PCR is a laboratory technique known as polymerase chain reaction, and is the current FDA-approved test for diagnosing patients with COVID-19.

This is part of the work that CHRISTUS continues to do every day to keep its facilities safe from the spread of infection. To keep all who enter hospitals and clinics safe we have added the following precautions:

  • Limiting visitors;
  • Screening everyone who comes through our doors;
  • Isolating COVID-19 patients to one area of the facility;
  • Random temperature checks for Associates;
  • Requiring all Associates and visitors to wear masks;
  • Using telemedicine to treat active COVID-19 patients, so their caregivers and support staff limit the number of times they enter their rooms.
  • Virtual medicine is now available in every one of the CHRISTUS ministries at

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System Visitor Guidelines

As the demands of the current COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve in our community, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System wants to keep our East Texas communities informed about updated visitor guidelines. Out of an abundance of caution, we are further limiting visitors to our hospitals and ERs.

Effective immediately and until further notice, we are restricting ALL visitors.

Exceptions will be made for:

  • Maternity patients – 1 visitor
  • Pediatric patients – 1 visitor
  • Surgical patients – 1 visitor
  • Patients on comfort/end-of-life care

In effort to adhere to the social distancing guidelines our waiting rooms are also closed until further notice.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shifted their guidelines and is advising everyone to wear a mask. This is to help prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others and is especially important in the event someone is infected but does not have symptoms. In an effort to continue our adherence to all CDC guidelines, we have updated our personal protective equipment (PPE) and masking policies accordingly. Effective April 7, all visitors must wear a mask at all of our CHRISTUS Good Shepherd locations. Each visitor will need to provide their own mask or may use a donated cloth mask if available.

All visitors, Associates and vendors will undergo a quick verbal screening, which will be available at the following locations. Only vendors who are essential to surgical procedures will be permitted and must have identification.

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center - Longview

  • Main Entrance (Hwy 80/6th St): Mon. – Fri: 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat. – Sun.: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • South Entrance – Closed
  • Emergency Department Entrance – 24 hours/day
  • Please note: CSC and Medical Plaza Crosswalks will be for Associates only and are not for visitor use.

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center - Marshall

  • Main Entrance (S Washington) – Mon. – Fri.: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat. – Sun.: Closed
  • University St. Entrance – closed
  • Emergency Department Entrance – 24 hours/day

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd NorthPark & Kilgore Campuses

  • Emergency Department Entrance – 24 hour/day

Symptoms & Seeking Care

We value your health and safety and are doing everything we can to minimize the risk of spread of infectious disease throughout our community, including the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are ill with fever or cough or shortness of breath and have had travel to any region that has known community spread of coronavirus or if you have any of the above symptoms and exposure to a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, call 1-800-458-4559 to be connected to our CHRISTUS COVID Hotline. For more information on COVID-19 and preventive measures, please visit

CHRISTUS Health Statement Regarding COVID-19

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd System wants to assure the people of our communities who trust in us for their health care that we are prepared and stand ready to care for our community. Because our goal is to ensure our hospital continues to be a safe place to receive care, we are following CDC guidelines and implementing new visitation restrictions. The goal of these updated visitor procedures is to limit the risk of exposure to our patients, visitors, Associates, physicians and volunteers.

We want to be perfectly clear – CHRISTUS Good Shepherd remains a safe place for all to receive quality care. While COVID-19 is new, our processes and procedures in place for infection prevention and preventing the spread of illness are not. From physicians and nurses, quality and safety experts to those responsible for ordering supplies and keeping the hospital clean — all of our Associates are involved in making sure we provide a safe environment for our patients. Every single day.