Coronavirus Updates & Information

As of September 22, 2019

At Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, our top priority is safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our patients, providers, employees and community. We continue to closely monitor the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and follow state and federal guidance as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients. As our community reopens, we want you to know all that Lake Cumberland is doing to prevent the spread of infectious disease.  Lake Cumberland has your safety covered.  Use the links below for additional information on COVID-19 restrictions, information, and resources.

Videos on What to Expect at LCRH  | Visitor Restrictions & Screening  |  Guidance on Elective Surgeries  |   Caring for COVID-19 Patients  | 
Understanding COVID-19  

Our team of infection preventionists, physicians, nurses and staff are using the best practices to keep our hospital and clinics safe for your visit.  We are here and ready to care for you.  It is safe to come to Lake Cumberland Physician Practices for healthcare.  




 Watch:  Important Information about LCRH and COVID-19


What to Expect: Emergency Department


What to Expect: LCMA Walk-In Clinic


Keeping Lake Cumberland Clean & Safe



I Wear a Mask Because #WearingisCaring


Below is a list of frequently asked questions that may help aid in understanding Lake Cumberland's preparedness during the COVID-19 outbreak. Information is broken down into the following categories, click a category to jump to that section and view the "answer" by clicking each question: 

Visitor Restrictions and Screening
Caring for COVID-19 Positive Patients
Understanding the Coronavirus and Testing for COVID-19
Guidance on Elective Surgeries and Connecting with Your Healthcare Provider
Additional Resources and Information
(including info on the CARES Act of 2020) 


Visitor Restrictions and Screening

What visitor restrictions are in place at LCRH?

At Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, our top priority is safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our patients, providers, employees and community. We continue to closely monitor the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and follow state and federal guidance as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients. As current projections continue to indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in our region, effective May 19, 2020, we are easing our visitor policy as follows:

  • Patients will be limited to one WELL visitor per day, including one companion for ambulatory appointments and one support person for obstetric patients.
  • All visitors must be 12 years of age or older, will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask and sticker at all times while in the facility.
  • Visitors who do not pass the screening at entry will be asked to reschedule their visit until they are symptom-free.
  • Visitors are NOT allowed for high-risk, isolation, immunocompromised or respiratory patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19.
  • We continue to screen everyone who enters our facilities for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines.
  • Please utilize alternative methods of communication, including technology, with patients as much as possible.

Signage is being posted around the facility notifying visitors and the community of these new restrictions and guidelines.

Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we work to maintain a safe environment for our patients and team.

What entrances are open at LCRH?

Between the hours of 6 AM and 6 PM, patients and visitors may enter the hospital through the Emergency Department and Main Lobby (Level 1) Garage entrance only.

  • Between the hours of 6 PM and 6 AM, patients and visitors may enter through the Emergency Department only.  The Main Lobby entrance will be closed.
  • Staff, including nurses and physicians, should enter the facility at all times through the Basement Level Garage entrance only. 
Will I be screened upon entry? 
All visitors and patients and staff will be screened and have their temperature taken upon entry.  No visitor or staff member will be allowed if they have symptoms of respiratory infection or flu (fever, cough, shortness of breath), have recently traveled to an area with a known outbreak of the virus, or have had close contact with a person who is presumptive positive or positive for COVID-19. 
 
Will I be required to wear a mask?
As of April 1, all visitors, patients, and staff at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and its affiliates as well as Lake Cumberland Physician Practices will be required to wear a facemask (also known as a surgical mask) at all times.   More information on N95 masks, surgical masks, and wearing a mask in public is below.  
 
What restrictions or screenings are in place at other LCRH facilities and Lake Cumberland Physician Practices? 
To help ensure the safety of our patients, providers, employees and community, all of our LCRH facilities and employed practices have implemented a zero-visitor* protocol effective immediately.  Only patients receiving medical care will be permitted at this time. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding while we stay focused on providing high-quality care. All patients and visitors will be masked and screened upon entry.  

*Exceptions:
If you have an individual who is actively managing healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make those decisions for yourself, that individual will be allowed to accompany you for your appointment if they are well. This individual will be screened according to CDC guidelines and will have their temperature checked before entry. If your guest has a temperature of 100° F or higher and/or fails to meet entry requirements according to screening guidelines, they will not be permitted to accompany you.

If the patient is a minor, one parent or legal guardian will be allowed to accompany the patient, subject to the same screening guidelines as outlined above.

If you need assistance from a companion getting from the car to the office, we will ask the companion to return to the car during the appointment and will contact them when your appointment is over to come back and assist you.


Caring for COVID-19 Positive Patients 

Are you currently treating patients who are positive for COVID-19?
Yes, we are treating patients who have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and these patients are currently in isolation at our hospital.
Where are these patients located within the hospital?
Currently, all patients who have tested positive, or those who are presumptive positve, and require hospitalization, are placed in an isolated unit dedicated to COVID-19 cases, within our hospital.  Should this unit become full, our emergency plan includes the establishment of other secure and safe COVID-19 patient areas within the hospital, or in some cases, outside of the hospital, and away from patients who may be hospitalized for non-COVID-19 reasons.  
Who is caring for COVID-19 patients?
Dedicated teams of nurses and physicians in our COVID-19 unit and ER are caring for positive and presumptive positive COVID-19 patients.  Negative-pressure air units are in place to ensure that the airflow from these areas of the hospital remains separate from our other patient, visitor and staff areas.
What is an N95 mask and who should wear one? 
An N95 is a type of respirator mask that can remove particles from the air that is breathed through it. N95 are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including bacteria and viruses. An N95 is recommended only for use by healthcare personnel who need protection from both airborne and fluid hazards (e.g., splashes, sprays). These respirators are not used or needed outside of healthcare settings. In times of shortage, only healthcare personnel who are working in a sterile field or who may be exposed to high velocity splashes, sprays, or splatters of blood or body fluids should wear these masks.  N95 masks may be reused, unless soiled or wet.  (Source: CDC.gov)   
What is a facemask and who should wear one?
The role of facemasks, or surgical masks, is for patient source control, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes.  Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. As of April 1, all patients, staff, and visitors will be asked to wear a mask at all times.  (Source: CDC.gov)
Should I wear a mask everywhere I go? 

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  The CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. 

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.  (Source: CDC.gov) 

How are you managing PPE?  Do you have enough PPE? 
While we currently have enough PPE available for our staff, we are following CDC guidance for the reuse and conservation of PPE where appropriate. The safety of our team members is always of the utmost importance to us, and we work within strict parameters for the use of medical-grade PPE for the protection of our frontline caregivers. LCRH's materials management team tracks daily usage and identifies areas of higher than expected use.  This information is then used to implement additional conservation strategies tailored to specific patient care areas such as hospital units or outpatient facilities.  Inventory tracking within our hospital also assists in confirming PPE deliveries and optimizing distribution of PPE supplies across all of our facilities. 
 
 

Understanding the Coronavirus and Testing for COVID-19

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 
 
Are there different strains of coronavirus?
Yes, there are seven different coronaviruses known to infect humans.  
  • Four of the seven coronaviruses are very common, more mild (similar to the common cold), and most people will be infected with at least one of them in their lifetime. Healthcare providers test for these common coronaviruses routinely, and no public health measures are needed to address these common coronaviruses. People infected with the common coronaviruses can avoid passing them to others by covering their coughs and sneezes, cleaning their hands frequently and containing germs by staying home when ill. 

  • Three of the seven coronaviruses are rare and can cause more severe illness; this includes COVID-19. Testing for this virus can only be done at CDC; healthcare providers are not able to test for this virus independent of the public health department.

What should I do if I have traveled to an area with the infection and feel sick? 
If you have developed a fever or respiratory symptoms and believe you have had exposure to a known case or traveled to an area with community spread, isolate yourself from others in your home right away and contact your healthcare provider BY PHONE to describe your symptoms and any recent travels BEFORE going to a local healthcare facility.  
 
How do I get tested for COVID-19?
At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order. Visiting a provider does not necessarily mean you need testing or that you will receive testing. Your provider will follow all appropriate guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kentucky Department of Health to determine if testing is recommended based on your symptoms and recent travel history.
 
What are the qualifications for being tested for COVID-19?

Someone may be a candidate for testing if he or she has:

  1. A fever and cough or shortness of breath AND has been in close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case; or

  2. A fever and cough or shortness of breath and a history of travel from affected geographic areas; or

  3. A fever and cough or shortness of breath requiring hospitalization with no other source of infection.

Can I pick up or buy a test kit for COVID-19?
No. At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order and are not commercially available to the public.
 
What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19?

If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should self-monitor for fever or symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If you begin to experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, and they are mild enough that you can manage them at home, you should remain at home in isolation. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website

If you are not experiencing symptoms, or you are experiencing mild symptoms you can manage at home in isolation, you do not need to seek medical care or testing.
 

I believe I have symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do next?

I’m experiencing mild symptoms right now, but I’m worried.
If you are experiencing fever and/or mild symptoms of respiratory illness, you can and should isolate at home during illness. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website.  

Worsening symptoms – I need to see my provider.
Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider’s office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.

Emergent symptoms – I am having difficulty breathing.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Will I be tested? Your emergency medicine provider or primary physician will make this determination based on your symptoms and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Kentucky Department of Health guidelines.

How can I protect myself?

While there is currently no vaccine and no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus and those with the virus can seek medical care to relieve symptoms.  There are simple, everyday actions you can take to help prevent spreading germs that cause respiratory viruses. These include:

  • Practice social distancing.  Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet, or within the room or care area, of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (PPE). Close contact can also include caring for, living with, visiting or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case. Having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (such as being coughed on) while not wearing recommended PPE.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home.
  • ​Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
 

Guidance on Elective Surgeries and Options for Connecting with Your Healthcare Provider 

Is my surgery being cancelled?

We are taking the appropriate steps to safely resume some elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures that were previously rescheduled out of an abundance of caution amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The decision to reschedule procedures when clinically appropriate was made in accordance with federal and state guidelines as well as those from the Kentucky Hospital Association, and aimed to help preserve critical resources in the event of a surge of COVID-19 patients in the community. Today, current projections indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in the region, which means less strain on healthcare resources.

The hospital will initially focus on scheduling patients with more time-sensitive health needs, and those decisions will be made in partnership with the attending physician, surgeon, and/or proceduralist. The decisions about which procedures can safely move forward will be made only after assessing a comprehensive pre-operative checklist and evaluating potential risks.

Patients who are scheduled and approved for procedures must meet specific requirements, including passing standard COVID-19 screenings. Surgical patients also will be asked to practice “safer at home” behaviors for seven days prior to their procedure to minimize potential exposure; check their temperature twice a day during this 7-day period and report temperatures over 100°F to their provider; and undergo testing for COVID-19.
 
Patients awaiting information about their previously postponed procedure can expect to hear from their provider or provider’s office to discuss rescheduling at the appropriate time.

Should you have any questions about whether or not an upcoming surgery is being cancelled, please reach out to your physician’s office directly, as these decisions are being made based upon the needs of each individual.

Can I still make an appointment with my doctor?  Is telemedicine an available option? 

Yes, providers within the Lake Cumberland Physician Practices group are still accepting in-office appointments. 

Many of these practices are also now offering telemedicine visits.  Patients who are concerned they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may also use these telemedicine appointments to help further reduce the spread of respiratory illness. Two types of telehealth visits are available: telephonic and televideo. A telephonic visit is simply a phone call with your provider and a televideo visit is a face-to-face visit through video with you provider using a video conferencing tool. 

  • To request this type of appointment, simply call your provider’s office, just as you would for an in-person visit.
  • You will be given an appointment time and instructions for the best way to connect on your computer or phone.
  • At your scheduled time, instead of coming to the office, you will call back or log in and be “checked in” by a nurse or office manager. Then you'll be transferred to your physician for the call or two-way video.

To learn more about our telemedicine offerings, please visit  lakecumberlandphysicianpractices.com/telemedicine

 

Additional Resources and Information

Quick links to additional health resources:

A complete list of frequently asked questions and answers about COVID-19 is available on the CDC website, by clicking here.

Resources for community employers:
Resources are available for all patients and visitors including our Respiratory Illness Symptoms flyer, which help to explain what to do based on your symptoms
Information about the CARES Act for independent contractors, physicians, and healthcare providers: 

The Trump Administration is issuing an unprecedented array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  We have assembled the documents below in hopes that they may help you navigate through this uncertain time:

Fun for kids: 

Download our I <3 LCRH coloring sheet for you and your family to decorate and send it to us!  As our community practices responsible social distancing, we wanted to share a fun family activity to show our team members some love, while you're spending time at home! Join us and submit your own creation! We'll be posting them outside the cafeteria as we continue to grow our "employee appreciation" display. You can mail completed designs to:

LCRH Marketing
305 Langdon Street
Somerset, KY 42503