PCH Continues Response to COVID-19
Despite the relaxation of restrictions in many parts of the country, the cases of COVID-19 continue to climb. And, while the state of Arkansas has managed to keep the spread at a minimum, other regions continue to spike—including the Missouri Bootheel.
As of Tuesday morning, there have been 3,469 confirmed cases in Arkansas with 80 deaths reported and 2,041 recoveries. In Clay County, the total of positive cases remains at three and according to the Arkansas Department of Health two of those were at Rector Nursing and Rehab. Earlier, the ADH reported a confirmed positive which was later revealed to be a Rector area resident.
Throughout the weeks, now stretching to months, of the pandemic Piggott Community Hospital has served as the regional base for testing. Monday afternoon PCH administrator and CEO James Magee provided an update.
“We continue to stay on high alert in our response to all COVID-19 procedures and policies, and are making sure they are followed,” he offered. “The highest priority for us is to protect our patients and following correct procedures to protect our staff as well.”
As the only hospital in the area, PCH has continued to serve residents of Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri in matters concerning the pandemic as well as “normal” medical needs—including testing for the virus.
“We continue to do testing, and have been getting the test results back much faster than we had previously,” Magee offered. “We've been doing seven to 15 tests per day.”
Of those, he indicated a half dozen reported positive adding, “we've tested between 250 and 260 at this point with six tests coming back positive and of those all but one were from Missouri.”
Just across the state line in the “Show Me State” the numbers are much higher. Dunklin County has reported 22 cases and two deaths, some tested at PCH, while Butler County has 26 confirmed, Pemiscott County has 40 positive and three deaths, New Madrid County reported 11 positive and Stoddard County had 21 more who tested positive for the virus. Statewide there have been 8,754 who tested positive and 358 deaths related to the coronavirus.
At PCH, Magee reports they'll continue to enforce their earlier guidelines and restrictions.
“We're going to continue our no visitation policy and it will likely be in place for some time to come,” he offered. “We're now requiring all staff to wear masks when they are in hallways, waiting rooms and other public areas. They're not required to wear them at their work station, or in their office, unless they're part of the patient care staff—and in that case they are required to wear them all the time.”
Magee also reports the downturn in other activity continues, primarily out of fear.
“Of course, patient volume is down in all areas of the hospital and our clinics. So, patient services revenue for the month of April is down considerably,” he added. “I think that's because people are just staying in more, and not getting out and getting such things as check-ups done at this time.”
He also advises everyone to continue to take the COVID-19, and its related illness, seriously. “I'd just like the public to remember that this virus is not going away any time soon. Everybody needs to continue to be safe and take care of themselves,” he offered. “This thing is not letting up a bit, this virus is not going anywhere and its going to be around for some time.”
Updated information may be found online at the Arkansas Department of Health website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov