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Willis-Knighton Health System receives first COVID-19 patient; entrance restricted

The patient was released to home isolation
Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)...
Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.(CDC)
Updated: Mar. 15, 2020 at 1:30 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The Willis-Knighton Health System received its first presumptive positive result for a patient with COVID-19. The man, who had a travel history that put him at risk of contracting the virus, was tested Thursday, Mar. 12, at the WK Pierremont Health Center.

According to Martha Whyte, MD, director of Louisiana’s Region 7 Office of Public Health, the results were returned Friday, Mar. 13.

Willis-Knighton Pierremont Health Center
Willis-Knighton Pierremont Health Center(Cody Jennings)

The “presumptive positive” result means the patient’s sample returned positive for COVID-19 at the state lab in Baton Rouge. The sample has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for a second test to verify.

Healthcare workers knew the patient was coming.

“WK Pierremont healthcare workers did everything right,” says Lisa Stamper, director of Willis-Knighton Infection Prevention and Control. “Absolutely. They did a perfect job.”

“They used appropriate personal protective equipment – gown, mask, gloves and goggles – and they isolated him immediately per hospital and CDC guidelines.” Dr. Whyte says no one in the ER – care providers or others – was exposed.

The patient was released to home isolation.

“Willis-Knighton Health System is working hard to monitor and adapt to this ever-changing situation to care for our patients in the safest way possible, protect our caregivers and prevent the spread of infection to those who are most vulnerable to this virus,” Stamper says.

Entrance to Willis-Knighton hospitals is now restricted, according to CDC guidelines. Visitors are being screened, given a brief questionnaire and a temperature check.

Visiting hours at all hospitals are weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

All campus activities involving the public are cancelled, until further notice.

“We are confident in our ongoing efforts to adjust processes as needed to enable us to continue to deliver exceptional care and support our community throughout this pandemic and beyond,” Stamper added.

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