Statement on COVID-19

updated 6:00 p.m. May 31, 2020

We have only had two (2) CoViD positives in the last four days, both outpatient. If we go three days in a row with zero, we plan to convert updates to one weekly.  

More importantly today I want to share with you the following:

Rock Star Chaz Thompson was awarded the Sean Cooley Memorial Auxiliary scholarship. He had not heard Sean’s story so the team took him downstairs to learn more, check out his note afterward below, this hit me in the soul and I hope it will do the same for you.

#SingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

Before the day ends, I want to take a moment to acknowledge and express my gratitude to the Auxiliary Scholarship Committee of Singing River Health System, who chose me amongst many to be this year’s recipient of the 2020 Sean Cooley Scholarship. 

Receiving this scholarship will assist me in expanding my education in a profession that has truly given me nothing but JOY. Being a chosen recipient of this scholarship has a much GREATER meaning to me than just receiving funding to continue my education. 

Most people in our community know the history of the scholarship, but for those of you who are unaware. Here goes a little if what I know… This particular scholarship was founded in the remembrance of MSgt Sean Cooley, RN of the U.S. Naval Reserves, an outstanding HERO, who dedicated his life and career to serving our great country. In addition, to his military service and dedication to our country, he also was also a HERO here in our community where he served as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department of Singing River Health Systems. Knowing the foundational history of this scholarship is priceless and I wish, I could have had the opportunity to have personally met this well-respected individual, who has touched the hearts and lives of my many including my own. His legacy exemplifies what the core values of our health system really mean and I am certain it will continue to live on.   

  1. Our Patients are Guests
  2. Quality is in Our DNA
  3. Caring Communication is Key
  4. Serve with Heart and Soul
  5. Yes is the Answer
  6. Teamwork Always Wins 

Today gave me the confirmation and drive to finish what I’ve always set out to do, which is to be a pioneer in the provision of care for my patients, their families and my community. – Quality is Key. 

To the family of Sean Cooley and Auxiliary Scholarship Committee of Singing River Health System, thank you again. This is an honor and I will not disappoint!  

Talk about a way, to end a Memorial Day Week!  

Sincerely, Chaz Thompson #SingingRiverStrong 💙

updated 7:00 p.m. May 29, 2020

Two (2) COVID-19 positive tests resulted in today. Singing River has now tested 4,773 individuals to date. 

As we move into a new phase of managing COVID-19 until a vaccine or cure is found, we want to give a BIG thank you to our community on behalf of all of us at Singing River Health System.

The heartfelt outpouring of love, support, and prayers for our team during this crisis has been remarkable.

Our combined community and health system efforts have made a huge impact in limiting outbreaks and reducing the curve:

Singing River Health System, due to our advanced testing capabilities and team members is approaching the 5,000 mark for virus testing and will continue to provide this service to all who need it. 

We are strong but not invincible. Be a leader, save a life! 

We are hopeful that the worst is behind us but must remember that the virus could easily resurge if we do not stay focused. Please keep reminding your friends, family, and coworkers to continue practicing social distancing, avoid people who cough, and wash hands and belongings frequently.

Singing River Health System facilities are the cleanest and safest place in town.

With our commitment to providing the highest-quality care, you can now schedule appointments with your doctor, elective surgeries, or tests with complete confidence that we are ready and waiting with an ultra-sanitized and safe environment throughout our hospitals, emergency rooms, and clinics.

Again, we want you all to know that every meal, every gift, every handmade mask; every note, prayer, and salute has helped to lift our spirits in this difficult time and kept the team recharged for the true honor of caring for our neighbors and friends in their time of need. 

Every act of kindness has made a difference in helping weather this storm together, getting through tough times like we always do, Singing River Strong.

Brighter days are ahead for all of us and we will continue to keep you updated on much more than the virus going forward. As always, we are here for you so please let us know how to be of service. THANK YOU for your support during this difficult time.

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” Maya Angelou

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. May 28, 2020

Singing River Health System had ZERO COVID-19 positive tests today. A great day. The average per day over the last ten days is down to 1 positive per day, almost all outpatient positives. 

Melissa Schnoor and many others as part of our Community Health efforts offered free COVID-19 testing and education today at the Jackson County Fair Grounds. Overall within 5 hours, we tested 115 individuals ranging from 3 years old to 90 years old, we are very proud of the team that put this together for our community. We spoke with Caroline Rossi on Facebook Live – click here or copy this link to check it out: Ortho/Neuro Nursing

STAY SINGING RIVER STRONG!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. May 27, 2020

We had two (2) positive COVID-19 tests today. Since the inception of the outbreak, we have discharged more than 80 COVID-19 positive inpatients, and only five (5) remain hospitalized.

Check out our two recent Facebook features – today Dr. Sexton explained the connection between COVID-19 and a new condition in children called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, and Laura Sessum from Singing River Foundation shared a little about their awesome efforts. 

Stay Focused and Stay Singing River Strong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

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

ZERO positives today. A great day. We also spoke with just a few members of our Singing River Strong “Rad” team today about some things they see with COVID Patients on Facebook live: “Radiology on Facebook Live!” 

updated 8:00 p.m. May 20, 2020

Four (4) Positive COVID-19 outpatient test results in today.

We need our community to not let their guard down and stay focused on their surroundings and actions. Don’t hug, don’t shake hands, don’t touch your face, and stay far away from coughers. 

We had the privilege of featuring a glimpse into our Women’s and Children’s Services today on Facebook Live! – check it out by clicking here. 

STAY SINGING RIVER STRONG!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

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

A great day: Zero (0) new Coronavirus positive tests AND interview on Facebook with Dr. Finan! – Click here to watch.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

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

As of today, we have performed 3,793 COVID tests, with 235 or 6% of those return as positive. In the last 24 hours, we had 2 positives. It has clearly subsided, but we are still hoping to get to a few days in a row with zero positives. 

On Facebook Live we interviewed one of the fearless warriors from the ICU, Richr’D Moore, RN. Click here to check it out, we continue to salute all of the heroes that have worked so hard on the front lines. 

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 5:00 p.m. May 15, 2020

Singing River had three (3) positive test results Friday. 

Fun stat for the day: we completed our 10,000th televisit, and the IT team continues to help us use technology to keep the world moving forward. 

Thursday on Facebook Live we featured Physical Therapy and just a few of the many interesting specialized things they can do.

Check it out here: PT Live on Facebook 

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer
Better Together, Stronger Than Ever: Hospital Week 2020

updated 9:00 p.m. May 13, 2020

ZERO COVID Positive test results today.

If we can get to a few days in a row of 1 or zero, we plan to drop sending ‘daily’ updates and go to periodic as needed. 

In other news, today we highlighted our amazing Structural Heart Program featuring Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Tasan

Click here to see it on Facebook Live or here for YouTube. 

We are so fortunate to have such a strong heart program, it is part of the foundation of being Singing River Strong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer
Structural Heart Program Co-Directors Dr. Ediz Z. Tasan & Dr. Michael C. Cunningham

updated 7:00 p.m. May 12, 2020

Today we had only one (1) positive. We have had 74 inpatients since the inception of the outbreak, and only 8 remain hospitalized, and of those 8, only 3 remain in the ICU.

Don’t Stop Believin’!

Tuesday’s Facebook Live highlighted our Singing River Cafés and Food Services Team. I know many of you are anxious to get back to a full menu and salad bars, hopefully that will be soon! We are headed back to normal. 

Stay the course and #StaySingingRiverStrong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. May 11, 2020

After a great trend of 0’s and 1’s over a seven day period, today we have a little spike with four (4) positives. One day does not make a trend, but we need to remain diligent in preaching safety to our community. 

Today’s Facebook Live talks about a few of the many aspects of facility safety: “Singing River Safe.”   

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mothers out there! Thank you all for being Singing River Strong during these trying times and especially for the special place you hold in your hearts for the people you brought into this world.

Here is a little tune we will dedicate to all of our awesome mothers on this great day, featuring one of our very own Singing River Health System Heroes from the Materials Management Department, Mr. Jamie Hyatt. 

Go to our Facebook to check it out: Everything’s Gonna Be Alright!”

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. May 9, 2020

All you get for an update on Coronavirus today is our Singing River Coronavirus Playlist. These are songs many of you sent in during the course of this pandemic, we consolidated them into “A Singing River Story”

Apple Music: Click Here

Spotify: Click Here

Happy Listening. #StaySingingRiverStrong

updated 7:00 p.m. May 8, 2020

Stats: 0 positives today, only one (1) yesterday – a great trend. 3,190 tests performed to date. 223 positive test results to date.

Thirteen (13) souls have lost the battle to this insidious virus since it started on March 9 in our county. Fifty-eight (58) people have been hospitalized and then discharged and completed recovery at home since this virus started.

Ten (10) people remain hospitalized (4 in the ICU, 6 on a regular Med/Surg Floor). We hope to play “Don’t Stop Believin” some more in the coming weeks as these folks get to recover and go home.  

More than 8,000 televisits, 6,000 hotline calls, and 2,500+ heroes in this war. Next Week is HOSPITAL WEEK, and we are going to safely celebrate accordingly, as we are all so thankful for our family of fearless warriors here at Singing River Health System.

Don’t forget Mother’s Day is on Sunday – many are looking for ways to make sure their mom, grandmothers and others who are deserving of the honor feel appreciated on a special day – hopefully most will practice physical distancing with them this Mother’s Day, as COVID-19 is still out there in our community. 

Remember just a few of our tips to not cause a COVID DEATH:

  • Stay with family you live with under the same roof, do not visit other households unnecessarily.
  • Virtually visit with family via Zoom, FaceTime, etc.
  • If you are around mom or grandma, stay a safe distance away (one meter (3.37 feet) to six feet apart, and give air hugs not real ones! etc.)

Be smart and careful about Graduation celebrations too! Our contact tracing shows most spread is not from workplaces or businesses, but usually from family social gatherings in homes! FYI the Governor extended the “Safer at Home” order today and allowed salons and gyms to reopen at 8 p.m. Monday. Here are some resources to help navigate reopening and continue keeping everyone safe.

Check out Facebook Live where we talked about some of the above information and stats today. 

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

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

Singing River had zero COVID-19 positive results back from our labs today, one of the first true ZERO positive days since March 9th – and how FITTING that it is on NURSES DAY – a rolling six-day average of below 1 due to the “zero” days!

In addition, our esteemed Chief Nursing Officer Susan Russell shared with me that 2020 was proclaimed “The Year of the Nurse” in honor of the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, with the theme “a voice to lead nursing the world to health.” How interesting as she pointed out, the timing of this being during the largest pandemic of our lifetime, AND how appropriate the “voice to lead” tag aligns with our Singing River brand.

As if that were not enough alignment, today on Facebook live we talked to just a few of the phenomenal what I call “navigator-epidemiologist-contact tracer-curve buster-nurses,” who literally have helped fulfill our mission to improve health and save lives.  

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 9:00 p.m. May 5, 2020

Only one (1) new positive result Tuesday. Stay strong, we are coming through it.

Today heroes from Keesler Air Force Base honored the Singing River Health System Team in Pascagoula with a flyover, tipping their wing to the healthcare heroes on the front lines of this war. Click here to see it from Facebook live: “Air Force honors our Health Care Heroes.” Thank you ALL for your service!

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 9:00 p.m. May 4, 2020

Today was a really good day: ZERO CoViD-19 positives. 

We need a few days in a row of zeros before we can declare the pathway to victory clearer, but we will enjoy this news and hope for another “zero-day” tomorrow. 

We had a chance on Facebook live to speak with our awesome pharmacy team, check them out by clicking here: “Pharmacy Team on Facebook Livewhere they talk about the Safety created by the automated SwissLog Pharmacy Robot that interfaces with our Epic system, about how they serve with heart and soul, as well as how they have been on top of things during the CoViD pandemic, including the latest thoughts on exciting things like the promising potential results with Remdisivir.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 9:00 p.m. May 3, 2020

Only one (1) positive today.

Not as good as zero, but better than two or more of course. #StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. May 2, 2020

Only two positive COVID-19 results today. Not bad but we need a few zero-days in a row. Continue to preach that everyone should wash their hands, don’t touch their face, and don’t visit, so we can keep this trend going and get the world back to work. Earlier in the week when we talked about “Misnomers” – a.k.a. inaccurate names on Facebook live. 

Click here if you want to see it.

During this crisis, there have been a lot of names or descriptions that are not exactly correct, which we touched on in that segment.  Here are a few highlights:

  • One of the biggest misnomers for how we should distance is the term “Social Distancing” because the world is actually using social media more than ever.  Our friends, family and the whole world is at our fingertips socially more than it has ever been: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facetime, zoom, skype, etc. The initiative really should be called “Physical Distancing” (no hugs or handshakes)
  • Even the name “COVID” is a slight misnomer or really a “mis-acronym” – technically it should be CoViD or SARS-CoV-2.
  • Flatten the Curve” – Flatten the Curve implied simply spreading or only pushing out the number cases over a longer period so the infrastructure of the world could handle it, not the more critical goal of less total cases.  Our goal was and should be to bust, smash or “shrink the curve” for less total cases, which is what we (you) did with community outreach: 300 fewer deaths and a countless number of cases we avoided as shown in the graph from the update earlier this week.
  • Direction about when and how masks are appropriate often involves a misconception if not a misnomer: masks may not save you. If you are around a cougher, even if they have a mask, they can still transfer CoVid to you.  A new study shows a person with a mask who coughs somehow actually ends up with more CoViD on the outside of the mask than the inside (likely from face touching and adjusting the mask). Avoid coughers like the plague! Ask them to isolate. The bottom line, masks are not a panacea. If the coughers isolated there would be much less need for masks in public.
  • Asymptomatic” – We have heard a lot of folks say they are asymptomatic when they are really “mildly symptomatic.” A low-grade fever IS a symptom!  You just might not think it is a big deal or even notice or mind it.  A “mild” or unproductive cough is also a symptom, just as shortness of breath is a symptom. A person who has mild symptoms is not asymptomatic. 
  • A misleading misnomer advertised in the world is the common “Drive-Up Testing” site. Usually, these are set up as drive-through “screenings” and they turn a huge percentage of people away and do not test them. We here at all of our Singing River clinics instead have “call-ahead screening” with “drive-through” testing, after you have called and been screened.  We don’t waste people’s time having them drive out for a screening that can be done over the phone.
  • Another misconception (not so much a misnomer) is what surrounds “antibody testing.”  Current antibody testing is inaccurate, not FDA approved, and with many false positives. We need to wait until it is over 90%, which will be soon. One City in Texas spent half a million dollars on tests and they turned out to only be 20% accurate.  That’s less than a coin flip (which you can do for free).  Our position is, we have plenty of regular CoViD tests to see if you actually have it, so we are not encouraging the antibody testing until it is approved or more accurate.
  • Gatherings of 10 or more” is a “mis-number” because there is no magic number for gatherings to be safe.  More important than a number is the hygiene, infection rate, comorbidities, etc of the group.  Less than ten with one cougher can be more dangerous than twelve who are not coughing.  And two where one is a cougher is more dangerous than ten.-
  • The “Safer at Home” order state could in some ways be a term that is a misnomer because some people might actually be safer at work if they wash their hands and don’t touch their faces at work more than they do at home.  As we have said, our contact tracing shows most people got this at home from family visiting, so we think that is a slight misnomer for someone to assume they are by definition “safer at home.”  People seem to let their guard down at home (they don’t wash their hands enough and touch their face too much), and they visit, so they are not always safer.  Maybe it should say – “Be Safe at Home!” 

Watch out for the words; the truth is usually in the middle! Preach it: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, don’t visit and stay away from coughers – and if you are coughing, please isolate and wear a mask.

#StaySingingRiverStrong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 6:00 p.m. May 1, 2020

ZERO (0) COVID-19 positive test results today and will be a “low-dose-COVID-day” all the way around: instead, let’s focus on the “A” in Leapfrog, that is the headline of the day! 

Patient safety has never been more important than now so I was am especially excited to share the thrilling news with the world this morning about the “A” in Patient Safety our team earned at BOTH hospitals.  If you missed it you can check out the official announcement on our Facebook Live post: here. 

The Leapfrog Group ‘A’ grade is a national recognition that sets us apart from other hospitals, and to me it is the embodiment and culmination of all of your hard work focused around our Mission: to Improve Health and Saves Lives, supported by Core Values like “Quality is in Our DNA.”

IT REALLY IS. THANK YOU. #StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 30, 2020

Six (6) positive COVID-19 test results today (all outpatient) bringing total positives to date to 218.

Be not discouraged by the small spike today, Singing River Health System has performed almost 2,700 tests to date, and sometimes positives are a product of higher per capita testing. Remember Core Value #2 – Quality is in our DNA!

Today on Facebook Live we featured two of our very wonderfully talented surgeons, Dr. Simpler and Dr. Avara, as we began performing elective surgeries again at our hospitals this week. Click here to watch: Facebook Live with Surgeons

#StaySingingRiverStrong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 29, 2020

Only one (1) new positive again today, bringing the total to date to 212. 

Many people have asked why Jackson County has one of the higher numbers of cases in the State. We believe it is likely a combination of many factors, including but not limited to: higher per capita testing (better testing capability, tested more than other areas that may have more positives and just not be aware), the demographic industrial working-class composition of our county, denser per capita households in some hot spots, the initial outbreak traced to unfortunate random travel history to endemic areas by family members, some cases in a local long term care facility, etc. 

In addition, there are many examples where we have traced cases to close-knit friends and families acting as caretakers or visitors in homes before the Coronavirus awareness was prevalent and therefore before current social or physical distancing measures were in place. 

The good news is that in spite of these factors that tie largely to the initial phases of the outbreak, thanks to a huge commitment by the hospital together with community leaders, churches and schools to spread awareness, we avoided the expected peak at 4/23 (some models even show that today was to be our expected peak!). According to our Finance Team’s analysis, by smashing the curve with community outreach, we may have avoided more than 300 additional new cases.

See graph below (also included below are other updated graphs from Finance).  

Wednesday’s Facebook Live Facts vs. Fears: Corona Misnomers Edition

Keep on keeping on! #StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 28, 2020

Only one (1) more positive result reported back to our lab today, bringing total COVID-19 positives to date to 211.   

Today on Facebook Live we got to speak with the heroes of Patient Access aka Registration – to see it click here: “Facebook Live with Patient Access Department.” 

#StaySingingRiverStrong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 27, 2020

Four (4) more positive today, bringing total to date to 210 positives out of 2,399 tests to date. 

In any disaster, there are always things with hindsight that could have been handled better. But overall we are proud of how our system, our county and cities, and even our country has reacted to this disaster. 

I will give you a statistic today to share when you hear people in the media complain about how we have come up short in America. 

There have been 2,934,141 cases worldwide, with 205,142 deaths (7%). There have been 943,865 cases in the US, with 54,480 deaths (5.8%). 

We have had 210 cases, and 8 deaths (3.8%). If the worldwide death rate were applied to the United States, 66,070 people would have died, instead of 54,480, or 11,590 or 21% more deaths (locally it would have been 7 more deaths, applying the worldwide rate).    

This stat and more covered in our Facebook Live update from this afternoon.

#StaySingingRiverStrong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

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

Zero positive COVID test results Sunday.

We had the lowest amount of tests yesterday that I can remember, but, still a great sign nonetheless. We are not at the end yet, but this is a sign that we are going to win this war.

We sing praises to every member on our team for thier service.

Check out this video on Facebook here: PraiseYouonFacebook or watch on YouTube below.

#STAYSINGINGRIVERSTRONG!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:30 p.m. April 25, 2020

Only one (1) positive COVID-19 test resulted on Saturday. Today was a good day.

Our Critical Care Team put their money together to provide a special thank you meal for their Environmental Services counterparts, to show how much they appreciate the men and women working alongside them every day and especially during our fight against COVID-19. This is what our Core Values are all about: Watch here.

#SingingRiverStrong 

#ServeWithHeartAndSoul 

#TeamworkAlwaysWins

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 24, 2020

Only four (4) COVID-positive results were received in the last 24 hours. We currently are treating twenty-four (24) COVID-positive patients inside the hospital. 

While there is good news and bad news today, in the good news column we were, fortunately, able to discharge someone over the age of 100 that is beating COVID. Also, we have been able to effectively manage several critically ill COVID patients through the ICU process with success, and, notably seen the victories of being able to successfully remove someone from a ventilator who is now doing much better. 

Whether it is teamwork in the ICU or teamwork on the other floors, as noted in today’s Facebook Live featuring our Nursing and Environmental Services teams working hand in hand, all of our teams know how to display a pinnacle of one of our Singing River Core Values: Teamwork

Thank you and Singing Praises to our critical care doctors and nurses in our ICU, our death rate per COVID-positive patient is less than in other parts of the nation and state in spite of more comorbidities in our local population. 

However, by the time this war ends, I am afraid we will all know someone or have a connection to someone who has personally been adversely impacted by this insidious virus. 

Unfortunately, I have now come to know that new level of reality, as we had a COVID-19 virus-related death of someone that I and several others who work here know and were close to. While we will win the war ultimately, this virus is so unfairly sinister and discriminates in so many ways: it viciously and disproportionately attacks those who are vulnerable due to a suppressed immune system or comorbidities, minorities, and even affects those in the 60-79 age range sometimes worse than those in the 80+ range.

We will keep fighting, together, to beat the odds as a team.  I have always been honored to work with this team we have, but when it hits home like this, it underscores the depth of our true Singing River Health System family union. 

The amount of respect I have for those who give their all in our ICU and everywhere within our facilities every day for those we serve is absolutely beyond measure.

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

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 23, 2020

Three (3) new positives today. 2,201 tests to date, 201 total positives.

Don’t Stop Believin’ – we also were able to discharge two (2) COVID-19 positive inpatients home this morning and our Emergency Departments are operating FastER, SafER and STRONGER as ever.

Check out Dr. Justice and our ER team on Facebook Live today: “ER is here to help!”

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 22, 2020

Only one (1) COVID-positive result was received today. We are happy with this number but will not lose our focus, the battle may be downhill, but the war is not over. 

Today on Facebook Live we spoke with the Chief of our Campus Police, Randy Sanders about some community outreach efforts (also featuring everyone’s favorite team member and K-9 Officer, Jester) and our collaborative conference call with local law enforcement to discuss our thoughts and plans for the eventual “reopening”.  

Click here to see today’s:  Facebook Live with Campus Police.  

Based on the state health department’s data: 1,715 individuals between ages 40-59 have tested positive for COVID-19, whereas 1,205 ages 60-79 have tested positive (42% more positive in the 40-59 age range than the older group). However, in the ages 40-59 data set: 17 people lost their fight due to COVID-19 complications whereas 106 people in Mississippi between ages 60-79 have (COVID has been 520% more deadly to those 60-79). 

We again emphasize that while total cases have subsided, middle-aged people do often get it, and, those over 60 are the ones that more often die from this virus. We can also tell from state data that follows our local pattern as well, about 1/3 of positive cases require hospitalization, and ½ of those require a vent.

Statewide, the most common underlying conditions in deaths are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and obesity. And lastly, someone asked about how many of our cases are active: we have no way to know precisely for sure but given the 198 cases we have specific knowledge of, we believe based upon the curves in the graphs, the position in the progression of those persons in the disease process, combined with using national data estimates for the unknown but imputed “related” cases that may not be recorded or reported, we would estimate that there are likely between 250 to 350 active cases in our County. 

This is why we must continue to be vigilant in our message to self-isolate if you have symptoms. There is nothing more important in stopping the spread than forthose sick with this virus (if they do not need to be hospitalized) to quarantine at home alone in accordance with Miss State Code 41-23-5 (excerpts below). The more people that do that, the quicker we can get back to normal. 

#StaySingingRiverStrong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

Miss. Code 41-23-5: The State Department of Health shall have the authority to investigate and control the causes of an epidemic, infectious disease or other illnesses affecting public health, including the authority to establish, maintain and enforce isolation and quarantine, and in pursuance thereof, to exercise such physical control over property and individuals as the department may find necessary for the protection of the public health. The State Department of Health is further authorized and empowered to require the temporary detainment of individuals for disease control purposes based upon the violation of any order of the State Health Officer. For the purpose of enforcing such orders of the State Health Officer, persons employed by the department as investigators shall have general arrest powers. All law enforcement officers are authorized and directed to assist in the enforcement of such orders of the State Health Officer. 

updated 7:00 p.m. April 21, 2020

Nine (9) COVID-positive results were received today, all of them outpatient (none of those had to be hospitalized). The rolling average is still trending downward, and we continue to stay focused until we see more of a run rate indicating a longer-term trend.

We have been successfully able to discharge a few more COVID-positive patients from the hospital (we had reason to play Don’t Stop Believin’ again on the overhead today) to continue their recovery at home

Thirty-one (31) people so far have recovered and been able to go home through an inpatient stay since inception, and eighteen (18) currently remain in the hospital. Only three (3) of those are in the ICU, the rest have been able to stay in isolation on a regular bed floor. 

Today on Facebook Live we spoke with a couple of members of the Respiratory Therapy team. They are sometimes unsung heroes of the healthcare world, but in times like these, their importance is punctuated! They are swift, gifted clinicians who help ensure we can breathe!

Click here to see them: Facebook Live with Respiratory Therapy

#STAYSINGINGRIVERSTRONG

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 20, 2020

We had ZERO positive COVID -19 test results today. Through the latter part of last week, our rolling three-day average was 8 positives per day. Today (Monday) will bring that trend down more, and we hope it continues. 

How fitting at the start of this National Lab Week we have our first “zero positive COVID tests” day! So many departments have contributed to fighting this war, and every single one is important, but this week we take an ‘extra’ moment to focus on and recognize the lab heroes who have helped us produce some of the most accurate and fastest COVID-19 testing in the country.

The Singing River Lab Team is working tirelessly and tenaciously to recieve results back as quickly as possible. I have seen our Lab Director, Virginia Moseley, here every single day since March 9th, and the entire lab team is right there with her every step of the way. Give them an extra air hug or air fist bump (stay at least a meter away) when you see them this week!

Today we spoke with them about a few momentual things going on in their world: “Facebook Live with Lab”.

#StaySingingRiverStrong keep up the good work, and as Vince from EVS says – we will “absolutely positively” prevail.  

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 19, 2020

Only one (1) new positive today, that is very good news as we continue the battle for nineteen (19) others currently experiencing inpatient care. Six (6) are in the ICU and thirteen (13) are on the Med/Surg COVID-19 floor. Seven (7) new inpatients are awaiting results.

1844 tests have been performed to date, with total positives to date at 184. 

Today I thought I would share recent graphs Michelle Chevalier from our Finance Team prepared, it does appear we have “smashed the curve” a little. Keep on keeping on and we will get past this together.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 18, 2020

Singing River Health System had only three (3) positive test results today. We will not let our guard down, but for a brief moment, we will appreciate this good trend. 

Singing River Health System looks forward to reestablishing our economy together, yet we strongly support the current state order to shelter-in-place for another seven (7) days. 

Singing River Health System’s perspective is that the economic implications of a protracted shutdown could also lead to adverse long-term medical consequences. We want every entity to return to normal operations as much as anyone.

However, we have to balance that notion with the ability to prevent the long-term spread of the virus.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

Tentative: Singing River Guidelines to Reopening

See below for a few notes on the possible conditions for re-opening our facilities in relation to the attached Federal Plan:

  1. Rapid Testing
  2. Maintain Current Supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  3. Isolation of COVID-19 Positives
  4. Education of COVID-19 Positives
  5. Social Gathering Responsibility
  6. Positive Employer Screenings – any employer that has employees who have tested positive will be asked to implement a screening process for all employees. The employee who is positive will not be identified to the employer; the employer will just be generically notified that they need to do a screening.

updated 7:00 p.m. April 17, 2020

Fortunately, there were only two (2) positive results reported back to our lab today, bringing total COVID-19 positives to date to 180. We are now 40 days into this pandemic since our first test submission.

Today was overall one of the better days we have had in a while, statistically speaking. 

Watch our Q&A with the fascinating Dr. Ekenna about COVID-19, to see it click here: “Facebook Live with Dr Ekenna.” 

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 16, 2020

Six (6) more positive results were reported back to our lab today, bringing total COVID-19 positives to date to 178.  1,758 tests have been performed to date. Of the 178 COVID-positive patients, 161 are recovering at home in the outpatient world, ten (10) remain currently hospitalized, and seven (7) souls have lost the battle. Right now, we are keeping an eye to our East, it appears Mobile County is growing in the number of cases, something to be aware of.  

You might hear the song Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey on the overhead hospital speaker system every now and then. In keeping with the “Singing” in our brand, every time we have a COVID-19 patient be able to go home, we will play a short piece of that song. I hope to hear it ten more times in the coming days.

Today we had a Q&A with Dr. Roth about fighting the COVID-19 disease process, to see it click here: “Facebook Live.” 

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. April 15, 2020

Only four (4) more positive results were reported back to our lab today, bringing total COVID-19 positives to 172 out of 1,688 tests performed to date. 

Unfortunately, today was one of those toughest of days because as the battle against this sinister virus continues, an elderly person with multiple serious co-morbidities lost their fight in spite of our valiant efforts to pull off an extreme miracle. 

We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of this individual. This virus is particularly malicious for a small percentage of patients like this. We beg everyone to ensure older loved ones with any underlying medical conditions do not come into contact with visitors until this virus has been contained. 

Today we had an extremely informative and interesting conversation with Dr. Babar about COVID-19, to see it click here: “Facebook Live.” 

Remain focused and most importantly – #StaySingingRiverStrong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 8:00 p.m. April 14, 2020

Eight (8) more positive results reported back to our lab today, bringing total positives to 168 with more than 1,500 COVID-19 tests performed to date. 

On Facebook Live today, our Facilities Team put together a great demonstration to “ignite” how the power of social distancing works, while Jason Ely who leads our Medical Clinics reemphasized our “Stop the Spread, Call Ahead” campaign and how ALL of our clinics are drive-up testing locations when needed, not just once in a while like the others. 

In addition, visit this link for more valuable information on Social Distancing ​located on our website. 

updated 9:00 p.m. April 13, 2020

Six more positive results were reported back to our lab Monday, bringing total positives to date to 160. The testing lab caught up today and is back to a relatively quick turnaround, so we feel decent about the current run rate, knowing however we could still see a wave soon. Singing River will stay focused and plan for the worst but work toward the best possible outcome. 

We continue to “drive home” our message of “stop the visitors!” in the community. Today Melissa Schnoor with Community Relations, explained to the local funeral home directors and churches about a recent study in Chicago that traced transmission to hugs, handshakes, and sharing of common serving plates at a funeral – all surface contact to mouth transmissions. We cannot emphasize enough that this virus appears to be spread by actual contact.

We have received many questions from the public about the 180° change last week by the Surgeon General telling people to go ahead and wear masks in public. Generally, masks should be reserved for medical professionals with direct patient contact. If everyone who has a cough or sneeze were to self-isolate, there would be no need for anyone who is not caring for patients to wear a mask. This is the most important simple rule from our Infectious Disease Specialist, Okechukwu Ekenna, MD:

Anyone coughing or sneezing should be required to wear a mask, essentially, limiting their chances of transmitting the infection to others.

Okechukwu Ekenna, MD – Singing River Infectious Disease Specialist

We also spoke to Dr. Ekenna about recent theorization of airborne transmission. The press is misquoting an article from the NEJM that if not read carefully could lead someone to believe the Coronavirus is “commonly airborne.” It does NOT say that. It says that in one small experiment using a three-jet Collision nebulizer in a drum (a condition that does not exist in normal day to day human interactions) with fomites, an aerosolized environment transmission in those conditions is plausible because in that environment (e.g., tracheostomy, bronchoscopy, nebulization, or prone positioning of a patient, vent disconnecting, CPR, etc.) the virus remains viable in a reduced factor for up to 3 hours (with exponential decay). This does not include “passing people in the hallway.”  

Furthermore, the World Health Organization performed a study that looked at a sample of 75,465 cases and did not find airborne transmission in any of them. If you have to wear a mask because you are around someone who might be coughing, be extraordinarily careful removing or adjusting the mask because if you are coughed upon or touch a surface someone has coughed on, and then touch your face (including the mask), the mask actually increases your risk of transmission due to the face touching. 

If you hear a person cough or sneeze, recommend to them that they go home and immediately wear a mask. Also, recommend that they avoid getting within about six feet (or one meter) of others and avoid touching any surfaces. Perhaps the Surgeon General should have said: “a coughing person must stay home; but since many coughers cannot abide by that, they should wear a mask!” 

Here is the Facebook Live link for today where Tiffany Murdock, Executive Director of Surgical Services for Singing River Health System shares facts, not fears, on when and how to properly wear a face “mask”.

#StayCalm #StayInformed #StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 9:00 p.m. April 12, 2020

10 more positives results were reported back to our lab today, bringing total positives to date to 154.

We put together an interview with “Captain Gary.”  A Detroit native, he was traveling through our area to visit friends in Ocean Springs after visiting New Orleans for a couple of weeks, where it is suspected he picked up the Coronavirus. He is 70 years old and had some of the comorbidities that make it tougher to survive this horrific virus, BUT our amazing team of doctors and nurses pulled him through it successfully!  

He loved everyone here he encountered. He saw our Mission to improve health and save lives every day that he was here, and will be a friend to our health system family forever. It was a joy to meet him and hear him talk about seeing our core values in action from the time he arrived until the time he left. He said the nursing team treated him like a “guest in our home,” saw the quality of our clinical team (you know I told him it is in our DNA!), witnessed caring communication and felt our heart and soul of service!  Check it out on Facebook or copy or click this link to see and share it: “Captain Gary’s Amazing Story!” 

Hope you all have had a Happy Easter, #StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

Hope you all have had a Happy Easter,

updated 7:00 p.m. April 11, 2020

more positives results were reported back to our lab today, bringing total positives to date to 144.  Click here to see today’s 5:30 message on Facebook: Symphony of Care

updated 7:00 p.m. April 10, 2020

Coronavirus Update

Masks won’t save you at home, AVOIDING VISITORS WILL. Isolate as an act of service.

Nine (9) more positives results were reported back to our lab today, bringing total positives to date to 137. The lab we send COVID-19 samples to has caught up significantly, thankfully, but due to increased testing, we have more than 100 still outstanding, mostly outpatient. We believe testing will get faster and faster over time. 

Singing River Health System has collected 1,379 samples to date. We have fortunately had some COVID-positives discharged but some new ones have come in, yielding present status of 13 current COVID-positives hospitalized at the moment, and 8 COVID-pending that have been hospitalized, tested and await results.

Click here to see: April 10th’s Facebook Live update with a few comments on masks, quarantine and how to be safe during Easter weekend.

We are not asking the community to isolate out of fear, but rather simply as an act of service.  We can make a difference if we do it, saving lives AND getting our economy back on the road sooner.

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

If not working on Easter, we highly recommend that you STAY HOME WITH NO VISITORS this year. If someone doesn’t live in your house, do not have them over, and do not go to a house you do not live in. Our recent admissions show the most likely place you are to contract it from is a visitor in your home.  Learn to use video apps to connect with loved ones. This will stop the spread of COVID-19 and help ensure many more future gatherings with family when we get the world back to normal.

updated 8:00 p.m. April 9, 2020

Today was a tough one. Twelve (12) more positives were received, bringing total positives to 128. We had one new admission and one discharge, keeping our total positive inpatients at twelve (12). 

Justinn Smathers, RN joined us today to share a little bit of insight on what it is like behind our ICU doors. He got us a little choked up, but it shows the reality of this malicious virus and most importantly the passion of the heroes who do what they do. Click here to see him on: Facebook Live

To all of those like him working on the COVID units: YOU ARE the epitome of SINGING RIVER STRONG!!

As Justinn says, keep it up – we WILL get through this, TOGETHER.

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

updated 7:00 p.m. April 8, 2020

Singing River Health System has performed 1246 COVID-19 tests to date. Six (6) more positives were received in the last 24 hours, bringing total positives to 116. Within the system, thirteen (13) individuals remain hospitalized that are confirmed positive and await test results on twelve (12) others who are in our care staying with us.

Above is an Easter at-home activities idea flyer to help you celebrate while staying safe this holy weekend. If not working on Easter, we highly recommend that you STAY HOME WITH NO VISITORS this year. If someone doesn’t live under your roof, do not have them over, and do not go to a house you do not live in! 

Our recent admissions show the most likely place you are to contract COVID-19 is from a visitor to your home, including family. Learn to use FaceTime or another video app on your phone, computer or tablet to connect with external family members who insist on visiting for the next few days, instead of in-person. This WILL STOP THE SPREAD of COVID-19 and most importantly help ensure many more future gatherings with family when we get the world back to normal.

Click here to see our first attempt at: “Facebook Live.” We will try (when feasible) to connect with you all around 5:30 pm through Facebook Live over the next few weeks to keep you updated even further on the latest from within the system during our fight against COVID-19.

I continue to be uplifted and thankful for the strength of everyone on our team, all of you, together.  It is particularly tough right now for the hearts and souls of those working on the COVID “Hot” units, and those supporting and assisting them. In some way, all 2,600 people here, every single one of YOU, do something directly or indirectly to allow this entity to operate and provide the ultimate service that we provide to those in our community who need us now, more than ever. 

THANK YOU for that.

#StaySingingRIverStrong!

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

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

1129 tests have been performed to date. Six (6) more positives were received in the last 24 hours, bringing total positives to 110. Of the six (6) new positives, three (3) required hospitalization and three (3) were able to remain outpatient.   

THANK YOU to all of our team members for all you are doing. As I think you all know by now, this could become more challenging for a little while. Stay strong, we will absolutely positively prevail.

One of our MANY strong Doctors sat down with WLOX earlier in the week – check out Dr. Watkins interview on COVID-19 on by clicking: Watkins or here.

#StaySingingRiverStrong

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer

Please continue to share, text, call, post or get this message to people any way you can (share it on Facebook):

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 County.
  • 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