Statement on COVID-19

updated 7:00 p.m. April 6, 2020

1047 tests have been performed to date. Ten (10) more positives were received in the last 24 hours (that is 22 positives in 48 hours) bringing total positives to 104. Thankfully only one (1) of today’s ten (10) was inpatient.

STOP THE SPREAD!

If the ratios remain the same, we should expect at least 20+ more positives in the community in the next day or two based on tests currently pending. 

I cannot say it enough: it still appears from the cases coming in that people are mostly spreading it to older vulnerable family not at their jobs but rather when visiting family. We have to get people to stop “visiting.”  

Please share, text, call, post or get this message to people any way you can. Thank you!

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 2:00 p.m. April 5, 2020

1019 tests have been performed to date. Twelve (12) more positives were received in the last 24 hours, bringing total positives to ninety-four (94). Fortunately, only one (1) of those had to be admitted to the hospital.

We have been able to discharge some younger healthy hospitalized patients to finish their recovery at home, and were even able to discharge a gentleman who was over 70 with two comorbidities (chronic conditions) that made this more difficult for him. He has made a full recovery and is doing exceptionally well. On the other hand, unfortunately, two patients with serious comorbidities lost their bout with this deadly virus in the last 24 hours. 

Since it still appears that people are mostly spreading it to older vulnerable family members not at their jobs but rather when visiting family, we are adding to our community messaging: “SAVE YOUR FAMILY! STOP ALL THE VISITORS!” 

The media talks about “flattening the curve” meaning push more of the cases out to later, but the goal should be to “bust the curve” or reduce the total number of ultimate cases that will occur overall period, not just push them out. We believe that the best way to do that is by stopping it in its tracks when a family gets it, keeping them from spreading it to others (stop the family visiting!). Due to there not being enough State resources to do that, we have enlisted help from some of our own team members, local police and fire departments, and various city leaders to educate households more about how it spreads – from things like visiting, not washing hands, touching your face, and touching each other.

Our “Bust the Curve” efforts include:

  • If you’ve checked your mail recently, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors had a postcard designed by our Marketing Team sent to every single household in Jackson County. 
  • Earl Etheridge the county’s Public Safety Director also coordinated an automated phone call that contains our same message to go out to all registered phone numbers in Jackson Couty.
  • We have instructed the school districts to do the same thing using their notification system to families. 
  • We will continue to plan for the worst yet try to “bust the curve” in our efforts to achieve the best.

We thought you might find of interest this update from the Singing River Finance Team below. Data from the graphs below show that:

  • 10.8% of the COVID-19 tests resulted are positive.
  • Those we’ve tested account for just under 1% of the Jackson County population.
  • Peak hospital utilization is projected for April 21st in Mississippi, compared to April 15 for the country; if we “bust the curve” that could be sooner, but if we do not, it could go much longer.

updated 8:00 p.m. April 4, 2020

We have no new positives today but that is mainly a function of not many results back today (we only got a few negatives back), because the lab ran into a processing challenge when doing some maintenance and ramping up production back up, so their results have (hopefully temporarily) slowed. 

They have purported that they will be faster than ever by Monday. As it is calm in the eye of a hurricane, to be safe, we should brace for the eyewall to hit us soon. 

Of note, the LAST 5 positives contracted it from a family member, most of whom DID NOT LIVE with them but were visiting. Don’t social distance out of fear – do it as an act of SERVICE. Now is not the time for physical visiting of family who lives in a different household.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. April 3, 2020

925 tests to date.  new positives resulted from the lab today, leading to 82 cumulative total positives as of this moment. 14 are currently hospitalized. The majority who are hospitalized at this point contracted it from their neighbor, friend or family member, not a coworker or traveler.  

Special thanks to all of the churches who took the time to surround both hospitals with an outpouring of love for our heroes, the fearless warriors on the front lines; click here to seeSinging River Strong: Park and Pray 

For the rest of the world outside of us here, it is a weekend day tomorrow. I hope people will not become unfocused and visit family, friends, and neighbors – and let their guard down when not at work.  An ounce of self-restraint today could save a life next week.  We are not asking people to restrain and isolate themselves out of fear: it is out of service, and out of respect for the deadliness of this virus to our vulnerable populationSpread the word, not the virus. Tell your friends and family to stay at home alone if they are not working. 

(If you missed yesterday’s update check out this great montage Sarah put together highlighting a couple of you in the trenches along with some social media love we have received during our ongoing fight to win this war: SingingRiverStrongPraiseYouVideo

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. April 2, 2020

Check out this montage highlighting a couple of our team members in the trenches along with some social media love we have received during our ongoing fight to win this war.

Testing update as of Thursday, April 2nd: 875 tests to date. new positives resulted from the lab today, leading to 76 cumulative total positives as of this moment. 14 are currently hospitalized.

The majority who are hospitalized at this point contracted it from their neighbor, friend or family member, not a coworker. Reminder to spread our Virus Alert that friends and families are spreading it to each other at their homes during small family and neighborhood gatherings. If not working, stay home ALONE, NOT WITH MULTIPLE FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS.

updated 8:00 p.m. April 1, 2020

779 tests to date. 15 new positives resulted from the lab in the last 36 hours, leading to 73 cumulative total positives as of this moment. 14 are currently hospitalized.

While only having 3 of the 15 new positives added to the ‘hospitalized’ category (2 of the 3 were already in the hospital pending the results and were expected to be positives), having 12 new positive outpatients in our community is concerning. We continue to see a recently developed trend of mostly clustering from friends and relatives who are positive. 

Fortunately, the system has discharged 10 patients cumulatively to date that were originally hospitalized with COVID-19 to continue their mend at home. It appears in our area that about 9.7% of all people tested end up positive, and about 2.5% of all people tested end up hospitalized.

PLEASE STAY HOME AND AWAY FROM OUR ELDERLY POPULATION INCLUDING FAMILY – DO IT FOR THEM.

As the battle against this vicious virus continues, an elderly person in their 90s with multiple comorbidities lost their fight with the virus today. We extended our deepest sympathies to the family of this individual. 

This virus is extremely malicious for a small percentage of patients like this. We again beg everyone in contact with older relatives with underlying medical conditions to please urge them not to come into contact with others, including and primarily family members, until this virus has been contained.

I again continue to ask you to please share the below graphic through text, email and social media, because we are seeing a continuing increase that generally appears, from the new cases in recent days, people are contracting COVID-19 from friends and family, not co-workers or travelers.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. March 31, 2020

As of end of day Monday, Singing River Health System has run 723 tests for COVID-19. Resulting in fifty-eight (58) positives, thirteen (13) of which remain hospitalized.

Again, we ask everyone to please share the graphic below on their social media pages, as we are continuing to see an increase of new cases with people contracting COVID-19 from friends and family, not co-workers or travelers

Perhaps people in the community keep their guard up while traveling out of their homes or working, yet when hanging out with loved ones they are more likely to touch their faces, not wash their hands as often, and touch objects or surfaces their friends and family (who are carrying virus particles) are also touching. 

Friends and families are spreading it to each other, and do not realize it.

FACT:

In Jackson County, it is now more common for people to spread COVID-19 to others they know in their own homes or at any size gathering.

I am not focused on using the term “social distancing,” because people do not realize it is not “society in general” spreading the virus right now, but everyone we come in contact with regularly. Please watch the video below to understand the exponential growth of COVID-19 and what our community needs to avoid before we can reach the tipping point of this outbreak.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. March 30, 2020

First of all, today is DOCTORS’ DAY. 

It feels a bit like having heroes’ day in the middle of a war, but we are grateful for heroes born for challenges like this. Here is a little tribute to them Sarah Duffey put together highlighting the work they have put forth during recent events. (share these links) Facebook: #SingingRiverStrongDoctorsDay YouTube: #SingingRiverStrongDoctorsDay

We appreciate the business community for supporting our doctors and our entire nursing, clinical and support staff during this time. It does not go unnoticed that businesses are suffering right now as well. We are all in this together.

As far as the status of our war against Coronavirus, 625 COVID-19 tests have been performed to date, resulting in 54 positive cases since this malicious virus made its way into our region.  In the last 24 hours, we had thirteen (13) new positives; of those, twelve (12) are outpatient and only one (1) was inpatient/hospitalized. 

While it is good news on one hand that most of those were outpatient, we do not like to see the numbers grow at all, and proportionately we expect some inpatients admitted today to come back positive. It is critical that we get our community to understand the need to avoid unnecessary physical contact.

As always, check our Website and Facebook page for daily updates. Below is a message we would like to spread like a virus.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

Please copy or save this graphic to share with your friends and family:

updated 8:00 p.m. March 29, 2020

598 tests have been performed to date, and 41 since inception have been returned as positive. 

In the last 24 hours, we had four (4) new positives: one (1) probable inpatient confirmed positive and three (3) outpatient positives, which are included in that 41 total cumulative to date. Several positive inpatients were discharged and able to go home yesterday, and nine (9) remain inpatient at the moment. 

Check out our new resources page on our website by clicking: “Resources.”

We are seeing some areas of our community where the virus is more concentrated due to lack of social distancing, so the simple message we are sharing today is this (feel free to copy/paste the highlighted points into a text): 

VIRUS ALERT:

COVID-19 is in Jackson County.
Your friend could have it.
Stay 6’ away, even from family.
DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE.
Stay home ALONE.
Wash your hands with soap hourly and every time
you touch a surface someone else might have touched.
Don’t be a COVID death.
Copy/text 10 friends, to save 1 life.
Spread the word not the virus.

updated 5:00 p.m. March 28, 2020

Thursday was a slower day for testing with 61 tests but Friday we had our highest number of tests performed yet, at 92, bringing total system tests to 569. We had four (4) total positives in the last 24 hours, which is markedly less than we did in the prior 24 hour period. Of the four (4), two (2) were outpatient and two (2) were inpatients that were both completely expected to be positive.

While it is relatively good news that today’s positives were about a third of the positives from the day before even with more people tested, and hotline calls decreasing, we must be very careful to not be lulled into a sense that this has subsided: it has probably not yet.

There are likely people in our community who have it and are unaware. We need to re-emphasize constantly to people that they need to wash their hands and not touch their face.

Interestingly, social distancing per se would not be such an issue if people could avoid close contact, i.e., avoid: face touching, shaking hands, forgetting to wash hands, touching objects like doorknobs and counters after touching their mouth, etc. Social distancing is the only way to get most folks to do that, unfortunately.

Keep preaching it to everyone to use common sense and keep their hands sanitary and away from their face!

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

Below are two documents which you can share with friends and family:

  • A Coronavirus Alert that we recommend you send to your churches, civic organizations or anyone else.
  • CDC guidelines on what to do if you have Coronavirus (COVID-19).

updated 5:00 p.m. March 27, 2020

Across Singing River Health System, 477 COVID-19 tests have been run from the beginning of this outbreak through end-of-day yesterday (Thursday).

Sixty-two (62) tests were submitted Thursday, a 23% decrease from the day before. Unfortunately, we had eleven (11) new positives result in today (Friday) bringing the total to thirty-six (36).

The good news is only two (2) of those were inpatients, both expected. Also in the good news category, several inpatients that are positive are being discharged home today with rigorous self-isolation instructions. 

On the opposite front, as the battle against this vicious virus continues, an elderly person with multiple serious co-morbidities lost their fight with the virus in spite of our valiant efforts to pull off a miracle. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of this individual. 

This virus is extremely malicious for a small percentage of patients like this. We beg everyone in contact with those who are older and with underlying medical conditions to please do not come into contact with others until this virus has been contained.   

As we shared this morning, our system received notification that a physician tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home from a trip out of state. They are still doing well at home. The system continues to take the proper measures and all who had high potential exposure contact with the physician since returning are being screened and tested as appropriate. 

Today was a little tougher than the day before. However, we knew days like this would come, and have been prepared. We will press on with grit and resolve. Please continue to stay calm and pull each other up while our team continues to provide THE BEST care on the GULF COAST to our community that we love. 

Check out these tips and resources to help you manage during these times: Stay Calm (click the link). 

THANK YOU for all you are doing. This will become more challenging for a little while. Stay strong, we will absolutely positively prevail.

STAY SINGING RIVER STRONG,

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. March 26, 2020

Singing River Health System has tested 418 individuals for COVID-19 from the beginning of this outbreak through the end-of-day yesterday (Wednesday).

Our providers have taken more than 4,000 calls on the Singing River Coronavirus Hotline since we started tracking the calls, generating a record 81 COVID-19 tests submitted to our lab yesterday.

Today (Thursday) is the first day this week that both calls to the hotline and tests ordered appear to be declining.  

We only received one more positive today, which was through an outpatient clinic, making our total 25 positive.      

Please remember to practice social distancing (6 feet), wash your hands, do not touch your face, and FaceTime your older loved ones.

THANK YOU for all you are doing! #StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. March 25, 2020

Across Singing River Health System, 339 COVID-19 tests have been run from the beginning of this outbreak through mid-day today (Wednesday). A record 70 tests were done on Tuesday. Out of the 339 tested – 304 have resulted in 266 negative and 24 positive for COVID-19.

Fourteen (14) of the positives have been outpatients through one of our “Stop the Spread, Call Ahead” drive-thru clinic operations, and ten (10) have been admitted as inpatients. Of the ten (10) that have been hospitalized since inception, seven (7) remain under isolated inpatient care, and two (2) have already been discharged recovering well, and one (1) was discharged today.     

A Message To Our Team

THANK YOU for fearlessly rising to the challenge in this, the biggest pandemic in over 100 years. Never has our core value of Serving with Heart and Soul been more important. Some people will go their whole life wondering if they made a difference. You will not. You have already saved several people in our Clinics, ERs, Med/Surg units and ICUs from this virus that has declared war on mankind. You were trained for a war like this, and you will win it.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. March 24, 2020

Since the beginning of this outbreak until the end of yesterday, Singing River Health System has run 270 COVID-19 tests. The results we received today produced four (4) more positive cases (two inpatients that were expected, and two outpatients who remain self-isolated at home), making our total seventeen (17) positives to date.

Of the seven (7) that have been hospitalized, five (5) remain under isolated inpatient care, and two (2) have been discharged recovering well and isolated at home.

Singing River has been asked about the differences in our report totals versus the numbers Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports.  We are reporting that we have handled 17 cases, but they are only reporting 10 for Jackson County. 

We believe there are two reasons they differ: MSDH may not be always up-to-date on what it reports and also reports based on the positive person‘s place of residence. Several of our positives were people who live in areas outside the county lines.  

We want to give a shout-out to American Esoteric Labs (AEL): we stopped using the MSDH a few days into this outbreak because they were too slow. That was a great move by our Lab Director, Virginia, and the lab team because it seems other hospitals are having many troubles getting results back from MSDH as fast and accurately as we are from AEL. 

We ask if you are on Facebook to please encourage your friends and family to change their profile picture to include the “Stop the Spread, Call Ahead“ photo frame by clicking here or:

  • Go to your personal profile page on Facebook.
  • Click on your profile picture.
  • Find the edit popup window from the bottom of the picture. Click add frame.
  • Search for ‘Singing River Stop the Spread’ and select.
  • Click Save in the upper right-hand corner once you have selected the correct one.

Stay strong in your mind, smart in your actions and fearless in your spirit.

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. March 23, 2020

Singing River Health System has run a total of 220 tests for COVID-19 as of Sunday, March 22nd – results from 100% of all tests collected more than 48 hours ago have been received. Out of the 179 results received, which includes some tests from the last day and a half, 166 (93%) were negative and 13 were positive. 

Eight (8) of the positives were identified through our “Stop the Spread, Call Ahead” process at our medical clinics with those patients all recovering well at home. Of the five (5) that were hospitalized, three (3) remain under isolated inpatient care, and two (2) have been discharged already and are recovering well, isolated at home. 

Another 45 tests were run today, which is less than the peak of 65 ran on Friday. If this is a trend (fewer people with symptoms meeting testing criteria), that would be great, but only time will tell.

Stay strong in your mind, smart in your actions and fearless in your spirit

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

Remember, tell your friends and family to not drive anywhere if they are having symptoms, but instead, first call the hotline at 228-809-5044. Share our Website or Facebook page, those sites have everything anyone needs to know about this virus and what to do. 

updated 8:00 p.m. March 22, 2020

In the last 48 hours, we had a huge number of new tests run: 96 more tests in just two days, to be exact. Today’s test volume, however, is way down. Hopefully, that implies that anyone with possible symptoms rushed Friday and Saturday to call the hotline, got screened, and the provider made the decision for them to be tested. 

That brings our grand total to 195 tests performed to date, so far 145 have resulted: 134 negatives, 4 positives that remain inpatient, and 7 positive outpatients who are at home in self-isolation and doing well. 

Remember, tell your friends and family to not drive anywhere if they are having symptoms, but instead, CALL the hotline at 228-809-5044 FIRST. Share our Website or Facebook page, those sites have everything anyone needs to know about this virus and what to do. 

Stay strong in your mind, smart in your actions and fearless in your spirit#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. March 21, 2020

Amazingly with a lot of test results coming in during the last 24 hours, there are no additional COVID-19 positive tests to report today. We do, however, realize we are certainly going to have more positive test results as time marches on and this virus makes its way across our Gulf Coast. 

Out of the 98 collected and submitted since 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 18th – 81 have resulted. 75 negative and 6 positive. To recap those 6 positives: 3 remain inpatient in isolation, 1 was discharged Friday and is doing well at home, and 2 outpatient clinic positives are both isolated at home and doing very well.

Singing River Health System remains braced, strong, steady and ready for the likelihood of more. Please also remember during these times that everyone does not deal with each challenge the same way.

Mindfulness

While some of us might have no fear and are eternal optimists, another person may not have the same outlook for various legitimate reasons and setbacks coping with the situation. Now is the time for us to find our collective inner strength and help any that are struggling with affairs happening around our nation. We will get through this together as a team. After all, teamwork is a core value of ours, and it will help us defeat this devil of a virus. We WILL win. Stay Singing River Strong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. March 19, 2020

As of this moment, we have had six positive tested cases (4 inpatients in isolation with 1 soon to be discharged, and 2 isolated at home). 

Thus far we have performed 70 total tests, received 54 back (48 NEGATIVE), with only 16, almost all outpatient, still pending. We are now receiving lab results back within 24 hours or less in some cases.

Clinically this speed increase is great news because in addition to validating the treatment protocol, the faster we know the faster we can inform everyone who may have had contact and needs to monitor their symptoms.

Thank you to each and every one of our team members for their service and selflessness. So many people are working very hard right now, never has there been a time to be more proud to be part of this team, this strong family, that does what we do, even in the most trying of times. #StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

This increased velocity is the best news of the day and we expect it to get faster and faster from here on out. We will continue to share as the situation progresses.

updated 8:00 p.m. March 18, 2020

Singing River Health System remains prepared for the possibility of additional Coronavirus COVID-19 cases. 

We have just learned that a patient transferred from another hospital to Ocean Springs Hospital who required higher-level care available at Singing River Health System, has tested positive for the virus.

Singing River Team Members at all locations have been trained and are prepared to care for patients with serious infections like COVID-19. We are following the evidence-based care protocols and are continuing to take appropriate steps to protect our patients, each other, and the community. 

To continue to update on testing, we performed 11 new tests and received 8 negative test results back from the lab as of 5:00 p.m. today.

We still cannot emphasize enough the importance of the strongest protective measure of washing your hands with soap and water and DO NOT touch your face. Stay Singing River STRONG.

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

What To Do If You Suspect You May Be Infected?

Again, we urge anyone who feels ill or is concerned they may have COVID-19 to stay home and continue to call our Hotline at 228-809-5044 to be screened over the phone by a licensed medical provider before visiting any of our facilities. 

Stay Calm. Informed. & Singing River Strong

Please continue to visit our Website or Facebook page for more updates and information to share easily with others.

updated 8:00 p.m. March 17, 2020

We are fortunate that all prior tests had returned negative, but we have now received notice from the testing laboratory of a presumptive positive case of COVID-19. We await formal verification by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

Extraordinary precautions are in place to ensure Singing River Health System remains a safe environment to provide critical care for our patients.

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

The presumptive positive COVID-19 case is not an inpatient at either hospital location. The individual was tested at the Singing River Medical Clinic in Ocean Springs, continues to self-quarantine and is doing very well, following the CDC guidelines to avoid chances of transmitting to anyone else, including their own family.  ​

What is Singing River doing to ensure patient safety?

If you are scheduled for tests or procedures in any of our facilities, rest assured that we are following all protocols to ensure a safe environment. Please understand our stringent restricted visitor policy is for the protection of you and our staff.

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 will be isolated and treated accordingly. Our outstanding medical professionals are following the evidence-based care protocols and continue to take appropriate steps to protect our patients, team members, and community. 

What To Do If You Suspect You May Be Infected?

Again, we urge anyone who feels ill or is concerned they may have COVID-19 to stay home and continue to call our Hotline at 228-809-5044 to be screened over the phone by a licensed medical provider before visiting any of our facilities. 

Stay Calm. Informed. & Singing River Strong

Please continue to visit our Website or Facebook page for more updates and information to share easily with others.

updated 11:00 a.m. March 17, 2020

If you think you have Coronavirus (COVID-19) STAY HOME and call 228-809-5044 FIRST!

All twenty-two (22) of our tests so far have come back NEGATIVE. We hope the remainder continue to come back negative also, but we are prepared in the event we do have a positive test. 

Read the criteria to be tested before you call:

  • Cough PLUS fever more than 101° or shortness of breath AND
  • Age 65+ with a compromised immune system OR
  • Person-to-person contact with a confirmed/suspected case of COVID-19

We will remain transparent and share if we receive a positive case. ALL RESULTS RECEIVED THUS FAR ARE NEGATIVE.

Although Jackson County does have one presumptive positive case confirmed, the individual was not tested at a Singing River Health System facility.

Extraordinary precautions are taken to ensure Singing River Health System remains safe for our patients and staff.

Singing River Health System continues actively monitoring developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the health of our patients, guests, team members, and the community is our paramount focus, a responsibility we take very seriously.

Please visit our Facebook page for more updates and information to share easily with others.

Coronavirus Testing Criteria

The criteria to be tested are: 

  • Cough PLUS fever more than 101° or shortness of breath AND 
  • Age 65+ with a compromised immune system OR
  • Contact with a confirmed/suspected case of COVID-19 OR
  • Traveled to an area with widespread, ongoing transmission

Testing for COVID-19 requires two swabs – one nasal and one oral (from the back of the throat like a strep test) to be properly tested at an off-site lab. 

The Coronavirus starts with a fever, followed by a dry cough and then a week after that, shortness of breath. If you meet the criteria and have concerns, please call us at 228-809-5044 before coming to any of our locations.

New Health System Visitor Protocols

We ask you to please limit visitation to our facilities unless absolutely necessary, in order to protect our patients, guests, clinicians, and all staff, as well as our community.

In most cases, we must limit to one visitor or caregiver who is essential for the clinical evaluation of the patient and receiving post-care instructions.

Visitors to the Health System are now being screened with a series of questions before being allowed into our facilities. Visitation hours are currently 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (this may change daily). Visitation is limited to one visitor per patient at a time. 

Access to both hospitals will be limited to:

  • Main front entrances
  • Emergency Room entrances
  • Patient Registration entrances

It is important to note that you are more likely to catch COVID-19 in a large public setting than at one of our facilities, as our strict infection prevention protocols are in place and our airways are continuously filtered through a UV antibacterial purification system.

These visitation protocols are in place to prevent unnecessary person-to-person contact transfers, for the protection of the patients and staff.  

Protecting Seniors

Singing River urges those at the highest risk that are older members of our community with other chronic diseases to avoid unnecessary contact with large groups of people or individuals who may have been exposed to contagious illnesses.

Stay Informed with Singing River Health System

If you have symptoms of cough and fever less than 101° we suggest you STAY AT HOME

We encourage the community to seek factual information about COVID-19 and not fall to rumors or fiction.

Remember Coronavirus is spread from those who are actively sick with it: someone with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. It is most commonly spread from an infected person who sneezes, or coughs and their respiratory droplets are transferred into another person’s mouth or nasal passages. Those droplets are easily transferred when someone is within six feet of the infected person, or sometimes when they touch a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touch their own mouth or nose.

What else can you do to help?

  1. We can all work to avoid the spread of the virus. If you know someone who has a fever and minor flu-like symptoms, ask them to stay home and call us at 228-809-5044. Here is a great one-pager from CDC​, note the first thing it says – “Stay Home!”
  2. For those who are not working, such as college students and anyone else available, if they know someone who works in healthcare, please offer to help babysit their children who are out of school. By healthcare workers being able to go to work, they can best help our community.
  3. It seems to be said over and over but it bears repeating: wash your hands, avoid touching your nose and mouth, avoid contact with sick people, cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue, clean and disinfect any frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  4. Share with people that it is not too late to get the flu shot. This protects others from the flu, avoids causing clog to the system for people that might actually get the Coronavirus and need treatment or testing, and it keeps the at-risk community of elderly and chronically-ill people safer.
  5. Give blood. Call the Blood Center at 985-340-2345 – they have a location in Gautier you can call direct at 228-497-7160.

We WILL get through this. Stay Singing River Strong,

LB

updated 5:00 p.m. March 12, 2020

Singing River Health System is closely monitoring developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as it makes its way into our state, working in concert with the Centers for Disease Control and the Mississippi State Department of Health. Singing River Health System has tested several patients for COVID-19, who have met the criteria required to be tested. Fortunately, all results thus far are negative.

We hope that continues to be the case with future tests, however, we are prepared in the event we do have a positive test. We regularly and routinely handle patients with infectious diseases, with strong infection control protocols in place to handle both common and rare infectious diseases like Influenza and Coronavirus.

Infectious Disease Experts

We are grateful for our extensively trained medical staff, including Dr. Okechukwu Ekenna, MD, MPH, D(ABMM), FACP, a Board Certified Infectious Disease Specialist and author of Cases in Clinical Infectious Disease Practice. He along with our entire clinical and management team is leading internal task force meetings to discuss supplies, logistics, emergency management processes, and protocols, and other necessary measures to ensure the health of our patients, visitors, students, and employees.

“Our multidisciplinary clinical team at Singing River Health System is prepared for this situation and is working together closely to ensure we are properly caring for any impacted individuals, protecting our staff, hospital patients, and guests.” 
— Randy Roth, Chief Medical Officer

Stay Informed with Singing River Health System

We encourage the community to seek factual information about COVID-19 and not fall to rumors or fiction. Coronavirus is spread from those who are actively sick with it: someone with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. It is most commonly spread from an infected person who sneezes or coughs and their respiratory droplets are transferred into another person’s mouth or nasal passages. Those droplets are easily transferred when someone is within six feet of the infected person, or sometimes when they touch a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touch their own mouth or nose.

Recent updates and FAQ’s can be found on our Coronavirus webpage.

Protecting Seniors

Our elderly population with other existing medical vulnerabilities such as chronic heart conditions, asthma, or a weakened immune system are at the greatest risk for severe disease if infected with COVID-19. It is critical that we work together to protect those susceptible seniors from infection.

New Health System Protocols

In addition to the normal patient protocols, visitors to the Health System are soon going to be asked if they have:

  • Fever and/or cough AND
  • Have traveled to a potentially contaminated location OR
  • Been around someone known to be infected

In order to make the screenings more feasible, and due to the national spread of the virus, we are working to consolidate and limit entry points to the hospitals in the near future. 

Disease Prevention

We must not forget that we are still in flu season which poses a high risk to the vulnerable people in our community. It is critical for everyone to do their part in preventing the spread of all respiratory viruses (Coronavirus or Influenza) by following a few simple measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and/or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close unprotected contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect any frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

Coronavirus Testing Requirements

  • Fever and/or cough AND
  • Have traveled to a potentially contaminated location OR
  • Been around someone known to be infected

The Coronavirus starts with a fever, followed by a dry cough and then a week after that, shortness of breath. If you meet the criteria and have concerns please call us at 228-809-5044. 

“As one of the predominant Health Systems in the state, we expect and are prepared for a case of COVID-19. Our team is properly trained and equipped to handle it appropriately and without any fear. Our infection prevention protocols are robust, as evidenced by our excellent Patient Safety Ratings. Our mission to improve health and save lives will not waiver.”

— Lee Bond, CEO