COVID-19 guidelines from Meridian hospitals

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting challenges to the world and our own region that are likely to continue over the next weeks and months.

Source: MGN

Rush Health Systems and Anderson Regional Health System are working in close partnership with local and state health departments and are prepared to care for patients infected with COVID-19 if the need arises.

Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions the hospitals have been receiving.

I think I have coronavirus (COVID-19), what do I do?
Anyone with symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other respiratory problems should call their primary care provider for guidance. It is recommended that you DO NOT go to the emergency room so that hospital resources are available for those with the most critical need. If you are sick, stay home.

Can I go to a hospital or clinic for COVID-19 testing?
Testing is at the discretion of a physician on an individual basis based on screening guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Mississippi Department of Health. Only those with fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath will be evaluated to see if they meet the testing criteria. Please call your primary care provider prior to visiting a healthcare facility. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.

What can I do to prevent contracting the virus?
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The most important things you can do are clean your hands often, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Where should I go for information?
Stay informed and keep your family safe, but always consider the source. Visit rushhealthsystems.org, andersonregional.org, or cdc.gov for the latest information.

“Despite the ongoing crisis, following the guidelines we have outlined can help lessen the spread of this disease and keep you and your family safe,” said Dr. Fred Duggan, Chief Medical Officer for Rush Health Systems. “The main point we want people to remember is to stay home if you are sick and can safely do so. If you have symptoms such as fever, cough or other respiratory problems, please call your healthcare provider before coming in for a scheduled appointment or going to the Emergency Department.”

Dr. Keith Everett, Chief Medical Officer of Anderson Regional Health System, added, “It is important for everyone to stay calm and use common sense while following the guidelines to protect yourself and others. Be diligent about protecting yourself, because at this point you should consider everyone as a possible carrier of the virus. Do not request to be tested unless you have obvious symptoms of COVID-19.”

Both health systems follow and adhere to guidance as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and work closely with Lauderdale County Health Department (LCHD) and Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) to ensure their preparedness and continued ability to provide care for all patients.