Baton Rouge hospitals readying for possible coronavirus cases
BATON ROUGE - UPDATE: Hospitals in Baton Rouge are preparing for coronavirus to turn up in the capital area.
Our Lady of the Lake announced on Sunday afternoon that they will limit the amount of visitors coming in and out the building starting Monday, March 16.
A patient can only have one adult visitor per day. If a person has visited Orleans or Jefferson Parish in the last 14 days they will not be allowed to enter the facility.
- Do you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
- In the last 14 days, have you had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, someone under investigation for COVID-19 or are ill with a respiratory illness?
- Do you live in a community where there have been multiple confirmed COVID-19 cases?
- Have you visited Orleans Parish or Jefferson Parish in the past 14 days?
- Have you traveled internationally within the last 14 days to countries with sustained community transmission?
If you have answered "yes" to any of these questions you will not be allowed in the hospital.
As of right now daily Mass will be put to a halt.
Since the first three presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus were identified in the New Orleans area earlier this week, local hospitals including Our Lady of the Lake are ready.
"We have in our hospital, and in our clinics, developed processes so that a patient who we think might have the novel coronavirus gets tested so we have a plan on how that works," Doctor Steven Grimillion said.
At Our Lady of the Lake hospital, they have designated isolation rooms for patients. These rooms are maintained at a low pressure to keep the virus from spreading.
"Depending on whether we think they need to be admitted, we'll admit them to a negative pressure room and personnel who are taking care of those patients are well versed in how to take care of them wearing the PPE."
The symptoms of the novel coronavirus and the flu are very similar.
Dr. Gremillion says the staff has to rely on travel history to distinguish the difference.
"Did they travel to one of those countries? Have they been exposed to a patient who's traveled to one of those countries? Those are the questions we ask."
Health officials say the risk for person-to-person transmission in Louisiana is low for now. But if you're going to be exposed to crowds, use common sense.
"When you're in a large crowd, it's hard to have social distance. It's hard to not be close to somebody. If that person has the novel coronavirus and you're close, you have a chance of catching it."
Governor John Bel Edwards says with more tests being done he expects additional cases to show up soon.
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