Local health professionals give update on COVID-19

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LRH CEO Tim McGill addresses precautions dealing with COVID-19.

By Jocelyn Clark,

OCN Reporter

Members from Livingston Regional Hospital, Overton County Health and Rehab, and Overton County Health Department spoke during a public announcement regarding COVID-19 on Friday, March 20.

Livingston Regional Hospital CEO Tim McGill stated they have been working very closely with the Department of Health, CDC, and Tennessee Hospital Association in order to take additional steps amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The hospital is now screening all patients, visitors, employees, and physicians who enter the facility. Only one visitor is allowed at a time per patient; hours of visitation are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. All common areas have been temporarily closed, including the gift shop, cafeteria, and main waiting room. All elective surgeries have also been postponed and rescheduled until at least April 19.

Scott Stevens of Overton County Health and Rehab announced that all visitation has been prohibited. He said the facility, however, is enthusiastically encouraging phone and facetime calls and for individuals to send greeting cards or flowers to residents.

OCHR has also limited entry points in and out of the facility to only one entry point in order to eliminate any visitors coming in unknowingly.

Upon reporting for work, all employees must have their temperature taken, their hands sanitized, and complete a symptoms survey.

OCHR wants families to know that their staff is spending extra time with their loved ones as well as setting up safe, individual activities for the residents such as arts and crafts, reading, and video services to deliver church services.

Andy Langford, Director of Overton County Health Department, stressed that if anyone believes they are having symptoms that are related to the COVID-19 virus such as fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, please call your health care provider or the health department and they will provide further assistance.

Nursing Supervisor Megan Reeder mentioned that one of the most important ways to stay healthy and prevent the virus is proper hand hygiene. It is suggested that when washing hands, you wash with warm water and soap for 20 seconds while making sure to thoroughly scrub each part of your hands. Another tip is when using disinfectant wipes and sprays, be sure to read the directions on the products and allow the product to fully dry on surfaces before using those areas.