A Message to Our Community: Texarkana hospitals and county health authorities actively managing COVID-19 and counting on the community’s help to reduce the spread
The number of COVID-19 patients in the Texarkana and surrounding region has increased significantly in the past weeks, resulting in rising hospitalizations. Like area residents, we are concerned about this trend. First, we want to assure our community we have been and will continue to work together to respond to this pandemic. Both hospitals have worked diligently to ensure safe and accessible healthcare for all in need. We communicate regularly and are confident in our abilities to provide safe care to all with compassion and professionalism.
However, we need your help. Reducing the spread of COVID-19 requires everyone to participate in safe practices throughout our daily lives -- every day, every time. It is proven people wearing face masks in public, social distancing by maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from others and practicing frequent hand hygiene reduces the spread of the virus. We are writing this unified message to ask the people of Texarkana and surrounding counties to do these three simple things to help us save lives and prevent further surge of COVID-19.
Face masks are required upon entering both hospitals in order to keep staff, physicians, patients and essential visitors safe and healthy. Screening is also required of all who enter. We appreciate the understanding and adherence to this important effort to help minimize exposure.
We applaud businesses as well as individuals who have supported and practiced the proven measures as a means of being part of the solution. Our citizens and neighbors have been resilient throughout the history of our community, unifying to overcome challenges, and now we need each and every one of us to step up again.
The initial efforts on both sides of the Stateline were successful in flattening the curve in the number of cases. The reopening of the economy undeniably has been critical but has added challenges, and we have witnessed increasing COVID-19 cases. It is important we continue to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for our health and our economic situation.
We strongly believe the people of this community can, and should, be able to continue the practices needed to earn a living and support our economy. But, for future success, we need everyone to engage in all of the needed steps to limit your risk of exposure as well as protect those around you.
Masking, physical distancing and hand washing - these things work and can help impact the current trend of increasing COVID cases. Thank you for your support. We stand together to serve you and your family today and always.
Read the official release.
April 20, 2020
In accordance with CDC and Health Department guidelines, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System, CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital-Atlanta and CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Hospital have restricted visitors to those deemed essential, vital or necessary for the care and well-being of our patients.
CHRISTUS Health wants to assure the people of these 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.
Visitors will be guided to a designated entrance and restricted to one person per patient, with the following guideline:
- Emergency Department: 1 Visitor
- Isolation Patients: 0 Visitors
- Surgery Patients: 1 Visitor
- Same Day Procedure: 1 Visitor
- Critical Care: 1 Visitor (with the exception of patients in isolation - 0 Visitors)
- Medical-Surgical Units: 1 Visitor
- Labor and Delivery: 1 Visitor - No Children including siblings
- Pediatrics: Parents Only - No Children including siblings
- NICU: Parents Only - No Children including siblings
To safely regulate access to patient care areas within our hospital as well as off-site patient care areas, visitor screening stations will be placed throughout the campus. All visitors will be screened to make certain they do not fit a COVID-19 profile, based on CDC guidelines. Depending on the screening outcome, appropriate protocols will be implemented.
The public will be allowed to enter these hospitals only through designated entrances. The Emergency Department entrance is to be used only by emergency/urgent patients or those who are seriously ill or injured and seeking care.
CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System Visitation
- The North and Main Entrances will be open 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. All persons entering at these points will be directed to a location in the front lobby for screening.
- From 9 p.m. until 6 a.m., visitors will be able to use the Emergency Department entrance. Screening will be conducted.
- Medical Plaza West (POB) West will be open from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and hospital visitors will be screened upon entering.
- Entrances will be used only by persons requiring emergency/urgent services between the hours of 5 a.m. - 9 p.m. Each patient will be limited to one visitor/caregiver entering hospital with him/her.
- From 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., visitors will be able to use the Emergency Department Entrance and will be screened.
CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Hospital
- The Main Entrance will be open from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. All persons entering at these points will be directed to a location in the front lobby for screening.
- From 9 p.m. until 6 a.m., visitors can gain access, if appropriate, through using the phone between the outer front doors and the inner front doors.
CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital-Atlanta
- The Main Entrance will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
- All persons entering at these points will be directed to a location in the front lobby for screening.
We want to be perfectly clear: CHRISTUS St. Michael facilities remain safe places 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.
The health and safety of our patients, visitors, physicians, Associates and our communities remain of utmost importance. Following CDC's recommendation for Universal Masking, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System is requiring all visitors, patients, physicians and employees to wear masks while at any of our facilities at all times. While we are providing masks to our Associates and physicians, we will not provide medical isolation masks to visitors. This is to ensure we have the supplies we need for direct patient care. Hospitalized patients do not have to wear a mask while in their rooms.
We urge visitors and patients to feel free to wear homemade cloth masks or disposable masks they bring from home. Fortunately, Mayo Manufacturing has generously donated disposable masks that we can offer to our visitors while supplies last. You can also learn more about how to make your own cloth masks by visiting the CDC website.
Our health professionals providing care for suspected COVID-19 or known COVID-19 patients wear N95 respirator masks along with other PPE (personal protective equipment).