Over the past several weeks, hospital leaders have been taking proactive steps in preparation for the potential spread of COVID-19 including regular communications with local and state public health officials, monitoring and conserving the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and reinforcing effective environmental cleaning policies to support infection control.
On Wednesday, March 4, Eastside began implementing new screening protocols at hospital entrances as a proactive measure to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, as well as, in both of their ER locations.
“The safety of our patients, visitors and staff is top priority,” said Trent Lind, chief executive officer at Eastside Medical Center. “This new protocol is in response to evidence-based CDC guidelines to help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. We feel these measures are appropriate to keep our patients, visitors and community safe.”
Starting on Monday, March 9, between 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM, patients and visitors at Eastside’s main campus hospital will be directed to use the Emergency Room entrance, Women’s Center entrance, or the main North and South Tower entrances where they will be screened for signs of illness before being admitted to patient care areas. At Eastside Medical Center’s South Campus hospital, the same protocol will be implemented directing patients and visitors to the main entrance or the Emergency Room entrance. Between the hours of 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM, and on weekends, these entry access points will be limited to the Eastside main campus Emergency Department and Women’s Center entrances and the Eastside south campus Emergency Room Entrance. Screening personnel will ask questions about recent travel, fever, and any respiratory symptoms. If a patient has symptoms of illness, they will be asked to wear a “cover your cough” mask and then admitted to the patient care area for further assistance.
Eastside Medical Center will also continue their visitation policy that is used during respiratory illness season. If a visitor has any respiratory symptoms or a fever, they ask that they postpone their visit.
So far, three cases have been identified in Georgia; 2 in Fulton County and 1 in Polk County.
Eastside Medical Center encourages patients to call their Ask-A-Nurse line at (770) 510-7270 with health questions and to maintain good hygiene practices like frequent hand washing and maintaining a six-foot-rule around others.