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COVID-19: CHRISTUS Spohn Health System Information and Updates

June 30, 2020

Elective Surgeries CHRISTUS Spohn Announcement

CHRISTUS Health is aware of Governor Abbott’s order to restrict elective surgeries in Nueces County, effective 11:59 p.m. on July 1. While we fully appreciate the concerns raised by the increased rate of cases in South Texas, we also want to ensure that those in need of care from CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – Shoreline and CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – South are not unnecessarily harmed or forced to delay needed procedures. 

The governor’s order allows all elective procedures to continue at facilities that can ensure they would not “deplete any hospital capacity needed to cope with COVID-19.” Therefore, we expect elective outpatient procedures to continue at CHRISTUS Spohn, as they will not deplete hospital capacity for COVID patients. In addition, since the start of the pandemic, we have designated physician review teams at all our CHRISTUS facilities to closely consider proposed elective procedures to determine what course of action is in the best interest of the patient. That vital work will continue.

We completely understand and support the governor’s efforts to preserve critical hospital capacity needed to treat possible COVID-19 positive patients. Indeed, for the past several months and continuing today, we have made extensive efforts to ensure the availability of hospital capacity throughout the pandemic. It is also critically important to avoid delaying certain procedures related to heart disease, cancer, vision problems and pain management that could cause undue medical hardships for many patients. In many cases, such procedures not only help to improve quality of life, they actually extend the patient’s life. Delaying or deferring these procedures for an extended period of time may also have the adverse effect of causing a surge in non-COVID-19 related illnesses.

It is always our priority to ensure the safety of our patients, Associates and physicians. Our COVID-19 Safe Care Program has played a vital role in promoting safety during the resumption of elective surgeries and procedures. Under this program, our staff have been properly screened and tested as appropriate for COVID-19. We also screen for asymptomatic COVID-19 infection among our Associates, physicians and surgical patients through antibody testing.

For the safety of all patients, Associates and physicians, and in the interest of limiting exposure to respiratory illness associated with COVID-19, we limit visitors at our CHRISTUS Spohn hospitals. We require everyone entering our facilities to wear a mask. And we have been able to secure the capacity of PPE needed to safely treat the full spectrum of medical conditions and patient needs.

There is critical work that needs to be done in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in Nueces County, and CHRISTUS Spohn is here to answer the call to help our community – today and tomorrow. In all that we do, we are devoted to keeping our community, our caregivers and our Associates safe. We are here and ready when you need care.

 

June 26, 2020

CHRISTUS Spohn Response

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System has been in close contact with Nueces County, state and federal officials as we have seen an increase of COVID-19 cases throughout the state and in Nueces County. We understand and fully appreciate the concern that this spike has caused with regard to hospital capacity. Our CHRISTUS Spohn facilities are working diligently to ensure that the number of available patient rooms and beds are sufficient for those needing inpatient care.

Prior to our first confirmed case in Nueces County, we began putting processes and systems in place to protect our patients, Associates and physicians. For the safety of all patients, Associates and physicians, and in the interest of limiting exposure to respiratory illness associated with COVID-19, we require everyone who enters our CHRISTUS Spohn facilities to wear a mask and to undergo screening. We have limited the number of entrances into our facilities, as well as visitors to our hospitals.

Another major component in our COVID-19 response is having a proper amount of PPE on hand. We have been able to secure the excess capacity of PPE needed in order to safely treat the full spectrum of medical conditions and patient needs.

Our treatment of positive COVID-19 cases has evolved over the months since this pandemic began, and we have seen promising results from the use of convalescent plasma treatment, and the drug Remdesivir.

There is critical work that needs to be done in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in Nueces County, and CHRISTUS Spohn is here to answer the call to help our community – today and tomorrow. In all that we do, we are devoted to keeping our community, our caregivers and our Associates safe. We are here and ready when you need care.


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 Spohn Health System to Resume Elective Procedures and Surgeries

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is preparing to resume elective procedures and surgeries on April 22, consistent with the provisions of Governor Greg Abbott’s original order on April 17.

Our CHRISTUS Spohn 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 114 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 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 Spohn 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.

“Our job is to offer this community, real-life stories of hope and healing. We have done this for 114 years. Our mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ drives this deep commitment,” said Osbert Blow, MD, PhD, FACS, President & Chief Medical Officer, CHRISTUS Spohn Health System. “Caring for the Coastal Bend is our privilege. We will overcome this Coronavirus and continue the legacy of Dr. Spohn, our Sisters and Bishop Dubuis.”

Although this may be an unprecedented time, Dr. Blow explained how CHRISTUS Spohn and its founders have experienced epidemics before like Yellow Fever and natural disasters like Hurricanes. It is part of CHRISTUS Spohn’s history, so too is the resolve to move on in love and service to those in need.

“CHRISTUS Spohn 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,” Dr. Blow said.

CHRISTUS Spohn practices infection prevention every day. In addition, the system recently began providing antibody testing. Scheduled surgery patients will be screened prior to their procedure. Patients who screen negative for the antibodies will proceed with surgery. Those testing positive for antibodies will require additional evaluation and confirmatory testing.

Not only that, but CHRISTUS Spohn has been planning over the last several weeks to be ready to continue to provide necessary, non-COVID care to keep people safe and healthy. To keep all who enter our facilities safe, CHRISTUS Spohn continues to have these following precautions in place:

  • Limiting visitors (one visitor per patient, per stay)
  • Screening all visitors, physicians, associates, and vendors who enter the facility
  • Isolating COVID-19 patients to dedicated care units
  • Comprehensive cleaning and sterilization;
  • Universal masking for everyone on our campuses
  • Using telemedicine technology to actively communicate with our COVID-19 patients, so their caregivers and support staff limit the number of times they enter their rooms.

EFFECTIVE APRIL 20,2020

Effective Monday, April 20, 2020, all Essential Visitors will be required to present a physical, government-issued identification card during the screening process. Individuals who have been listed as an Essential Visitor will gain entry to the facility. 


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 christushealth.org/virtual-medicine

EFFECTIVE APRIL 15, 2020

The health and safety of our patients, visitors, employees, and our communities remain a top priority at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System. Therefore, in line with the latest guidelines issued by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission related to COVID-19, we have revised our visiting policy. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Visitor Guidelines

  • Essential Visitors: All hospital inpatients, at the time of admission must identify their designated visitor/caregiver. Each patient will be allowed:
    • one (1) Medical Power of Attorney and,
    • one (1) Caregiver per patient stay.
      • Caregiver is a person providing critical assistance including providers of essential services, persons with legal authority to enter, a clergy member authorized by the hospital, one parent of a minor who is a patient, and family members and friends of a patient at the end of life or presenting at the emergency department, subject to the hospital’s policies and procedures.
    • NICU patients will be allowed two (2) Caregivers but must rotate their visits (only one caregiver, at a time, is allowed in the NICU).
  • Extenuating circumstances, such as imminent end-of-life and/or a specific patient need will be evaluated on a case by case.
  • Wear a mask, visitors are required to wear a mask while in the hospital; and, are responsible for providing their own mask (cloth masks are allowed).
  • Visitor screening process will be conducted. All visitors who arrive at our hospitals, emergency departments and clinics will be asked a series of questions, e.g. if they have had any international travel, temperature (individuals with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted into the hospital).
  • Visitors who are sick will not be permitted to enter the Hospital; this is without exception.
  • Color wristbands will be given to each visitor to show that they have passed the screening.
  • Virtual visits are encouraged. We ask visitors to remain closely connected to their loved ones through virtual means, including Skype, FaceTime, and/or phone.

Hospital Hours & Entrances:

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice

  • All visitors enter through the Emergency Department (Hospital main entrance is closed)
  • Visitor Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Department: 24 hours
  • Visitor waiting areas closed until further notice

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg

  • All visitors enter through the Emergency Department (Hospital main entrance is closed)
  • Visitor Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Department: 24 hours
  • Visitor waiting areas closed until further notice

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Beeville

  • Hospital Main Entrance: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Visitor Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Department: 24 hours – ED Patients Only

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – Shoreline

  • Hospital “A” Main Entrance: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Department (ED): 24 hours – ED Patients Only

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – South

  • Hospital Saratoga Entrance: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Department (ED): 24 hours – ED Patients Only

April 3, 2020

Visitor Guidelines - Updated

Our number one priority is for the safety of our patients and their families who we are privileged to care for. As the COVID-19 virus continues to threaten our nation and community, we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients. We have implemented new patient visitation guidelines and are now screening all visitors who enter our hospitals. Please read the following guidelines and share with your family and friends so that your next visit to a CHRISTUS Spohn hospital is worry-free.

Patients limited to one visitor per day (returning visitors will be screened daily). Visitors, prior to entering the patient floor, will be required to undergo a screening process (4 questions) and will be asked to sign-in and wear a visitor color wristband. Individuals under the age of 14 and individuals 65 years of age and older are not allowed into the hospital. Additionally, visitor temperature will be taken during the screening process. Individuals with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted into the hospital. Visitors are required to wear a mask that covers both the nose and mouth; however, our facilities will not be providing masks for visitors. Visitors are responsible for acquiring their own masks (cloth masks are allowed).

Visitor assignments, per nursing care unit, are as follows:

  • Isolation Patients: 1 Visitor
  • Emergency Department Patients: 1 Visitor
  • Medical-Surgery Patients: 1 Visitor
  • Same Day Procedure: 1 Visitor
  • Critical Care Patients: 1 Visitor
  • Labor and Delivery: 1 Support 
  • Pediatrics: 1 Support
  • NICU: 1 Support 

Our hospital visiting hours have been reduced and our visitor entrances have been limited to:

  • CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice
    • All visitors enter through the Emergency Department (Hospital main entrance is closed)
    • Visitator Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Emergency Department: 24 hours
    • Visitor waiting areas closed until further notice
  • CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg 
    • All visitors enter through the Emergency Department (Hospital main entrance is closed)
    • Visitator Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Emergency Department: 24 hours
    • Visitor waiting areas closed until further notice
  • CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Beeville
    • Hospital Main Entrance: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Visitor Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Emergency Department: 24 hours – ED Patients Only
  • CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – Shoreline
    • Hospital “A” Main Entrance: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Emergency Department (ED): 24 hours – ED Patients Only
  • CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – South
    • Hospital Saratoga Entrance: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Emergency Department (ED): 24 hours – ED Patients Only

We thank you for your support and appreciate your patience and cooperation during this unprecedented time.


March 14, 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

CHRISTUS Health Statement Regarding COVID-19

We continue to work in solidarity with our partners in the health care community, city and county leaders, and local health authorities to ensure our community is well prepared. Together, we stand united in our commitment to keep the people we serve safe.

At CHRISTUS, we remain vigilant in responding to this evolving situation, meeting throughout the day to ensure we are prepared to respond to present and potential future needs of our community. We continue to follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines for healthcare facilities located in areas, like ours, that are not experiencing community spread. We do have emergency preparedness plans in place and are fully prepared to execute as appropriate for our community circumstances.

CHRISTUS facilities remain 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.


March 2, 2020

CHRISTUS Health Statement Regarding COVID-19

CHRISTUS values the importance of collaboration and coordinated action for the identification and care of those patients exhibiting signs of the COVID-19. Which is why we continue to follow CDC interim guidelines and work non-stop, in partnership with local, state and federal government authorities. We are fortunate to be part of a local health care community committed to responding to the needs of these patients in the safest manner necessary.

In the event that possible coronavirus patients need hospitalization after screening, we have identified a portion of our facility as the best place to allow us to isolate and safely care for any potential patients without risk of transmission to other parts of the facility.

At CHRISTUS, we have always screened patient to our clinical points of access for international travel, to assess for various evolving infectious disease risks, including this one.  If a patient meets the current CDC criteria, and is exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus, we will isolate the patient in a private room and take proper respiratory precautions to safely assess and treat them 

If you are ill with fever and cough or shortness of breath and have had travel to any region that has known community spread of coronavirus, please contact your primary care provider before coming to the clinic so we can be sure to provide you with the best care possible while doing everything we can to keep our community healthy.

It’s still flu season. We continue to encourage all our patients and the community to practice good respiratory hygiene habits, like washing hands frequently and covering mouths while coughing especially during times like this where catching the flu is a far greater risk.

In summary, the best things you can do to prevent the spread of illness are:

  1. Wash your hands well before eating, drinking, or touching your face
  2. Get your annual flu shot and
  3. Get a pneumonia shot if you have not already and are above the age of 65 or have diabetes or other illnesses that affect your heart or lungs.

CHRISTUS Health currently convenes daily, sometimes more, to check in on our emergency preparedness plans. We have had many hands on deck during this process. Nearly everyone — from physicians and nurses, quality and safety experts to those responsible for ordering supplies and keeping the hospital clean — is involved in making sure we can do best for our patients our Associates and this community we serve.

For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 visit CDC.gov.

Coronavirus Disease 2019

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Our Locations

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice
2500 E. Main Street
Alice, Texas 78332

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital - Kleberg
1311 East General Cavazos Boulevard
Kingsville, Texas 78363

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital - Beeville
1500 East Houston Street
Beeville, Texas 78102

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi - Shoreline
600 Elizabeth Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78404

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi - South
5950 Saratoga Boulevard
Corpus Christi, Texas 78414