Anderson Regional Medical Center treating coronavirus patient

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK)- Officials with Anderson Regional Hospital in Meridian announced they are treating a patient that tested positive for coronavirus.

Hospital officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Here's the hospital's press release in its entirety:

Anderson Regional Medical Center is hospitalizing a patient who has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

"The patient has been and continues to be under strict isolation and close observation in accordance with Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) and CDC guidelines,” commented Dr. Hatem Mourad, Anderson Regional Health System (ARHS) Chief of Medicine.

ARHS Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Keith Everett, said, “We have prepared for this situation by following evidence based guidelines from the CDC and MS Department of Health. Our physicians, nurses and support staff are well-trained in the highly specialized care and isolation requirements for COVID-19 patients. Our efforts are focused on delivering the highest level of care possible while ensuring our staff is protected.”

“We are actively testing patients who meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing. Any hospitalized patient who is symptomatic is being cared for appropriately until test results are confirmed,” Mourad added.

Dr. William A. Billups, III, ARHS Chief of Staff, said, “We have implemented strict visitor guidelines in an effort to protect our patients and staff from exposure to the virus. We ask for the public’s understanding and adherence to these measures. We also strongly recommend all members of our community to comply with social distancing guidelines by discontinuing any and all gatherings, maintaining proper hand hygiene and stay home as much as possible.”

“I’d like to thank our medical staff leaders and health system staff who have spent countless hours readying our COVID-19 response,” said John G. Anderson, ARHS President and CEO. “We serve as a critical component in this community, now more than ever, and we will be a trusted source of care during this time of need. Our mission remains to continue our heritage of healing and improving life for the people we serve. We are committed to keeping the public informed and encourage you to check our website regularly for updated, factual information,” Anderson said.

Individuals who have questions about exposure and/or are experiencing signs of illness should call their healthcare provider or the Anderson COVID-19 Hotline (601-553-7888) prior to visiting a medical facility to determine next steps.

About Anderson Regional Health System:

Anderson Regional Health System is the most comprehensive health system in the East Mississippi/ West Alabama area and the established leader in offering premier medical services. With two hospitals, a regional cancer center, and a network of clinics, Anderson’s healthcare professionals are committed to the mission of providing a heritage of healing and improving life for the people they serve.