009-07242020

For Immediate Release:

Media Contact: Chivonne Thomas, Esq.

E-mail: cthomas@jflusvi.org

Update on JFL’s COVID-19 Precautions

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, July 24, 2020 – As the world continues to navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19, the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center Hospital (“JFL”) provides this update on the measures and additional protocols that we have implemented to help ensure a safe environment for our patients, caregivers, staff and community, which include:

  • All persons entering JFL are required to wear a mask.
  • Visitation remains restricted.
  • Physicians and staff are screened daily and wear the recommended personal protective equipment at all times.
  • Additional cleaning and disinfection measures are being performed at the nursing stations, waiting rooms and common areas.
  • All healthcare workers providing direct patient care are expected to wear masks for all patient interactions, to use gloves and proper hand hygiene, and to disinfect all surfaces in between patient consults.
  • Patients who are symptomatic (a low-grade fever coupled with a cough, respiratory complaints, fatigue, or muscle aches) or exposures (travel to places with viral spread or contact with someone who tested positive) are separated from the rest of the patient population in all areas, but specifically the Emergency Room and the Intensive Care Unit.
  • Whenever there is an employee that suspects that they may have been exposed, the employee is tested at JFL through Employee Health.
  • Additional precautions are taken to sanitize the affected team member’s work station and any known team members that may have been in close contact are notified.

We realize that some community members may have further questions about coming to JFL for pressing health issues, as discussed below:

Emergency Department – Do Not Delay Seeking Critical Care

Our Emergency Department is open and ready to serve, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist persons with emergency medical conditions. Individuals experiencing serious injuries or medical symptoms such as chest pain, numbness, difficulty breathing or mental confusion should call 9-1-1 or go to JFL’s emergency department. It could save your life.

High touch areas in the Emergency Department are sanitized regularly and patients are separated and triaged based on their symptoms.

Hospital Services and Programs

The hospital is fully operational. We are monitoring for symptoms in patients and implementing isolation protocols, as necessary.

Elective Procedures

JFL resumed elective surgeries and outpatient procedures, on June 23, 2020. Before resuming these services, the first step was to ensure adequate resources are available. According to Williams, “Our resources have remained stable, making us well positioned to care for patients’ elective surgical needs. We thank the community for partnering with us in this effort.”

In preparation for the return of elective surgeries, JFL Leadership developed a plan for safely delivering care in the surgical setting and developing new safety protocols for the safety of patients undergoing procedures involving anesthesia, which include:

  • All persons entering JFL are required to wear a mask.
  • All patients are screened for COVID-19 and are required to self-quarantine until their scheduled procedure. Elective procedures are postponed if a patient tests positive.
  • Pre-operative surgical/procedural anesthesia interviews with the patient are completed by phone, with anesthesia physical assessments completed the day of the procedure.
  • Visitation remains prohibited. In order to limit the number of people in the hospital waiting areas, one (1) support person is permitted for patients age 17 and younger, laboring mothers, NICU patients and patients who are incapacitated.
  • Physicians and staff are screened daily and wear the recommended personal protective equipment at all times.
  • Additional cleaning and disinfection measures in the waiting rooms and common areas.
  • Patients who wish to schedule their elective surgery or outpatient procedure should contact their surgeon/physician.

VISITATION REMAINS SUSPENDED

As the COVID-19 environment continues to evolve, JFL continues to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of all patients, staff and the community. Effective April 19, 2020, patient visitors will no longer be permitted until further notice. There are exceptions made for birthing mothers, NICU patients, end of life/compassionate care and parents of pediatric patients.

In these cases, visitors must wear a mask; only one visitor will be allowed.

Visitors are subject to temperature check and screening upon arrival at the hospital’s main lobby. Individuals will be prohibited from entering the hospital if they:

  • Refuse to complete the temperature screening
  • Refuse to wear a mask
  • Have been in contact within the last 14 days with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Have had a cough or flu-like symptoms, including sore throat, headache, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain or loss of taste or smell in the last 24 hours
  • Felt feverish, experienced chills or had a fever of 100F or greater in the last 48 hours
  • Persons with travel history within the last 14 days will not be permitted to proceed within the hospital.
  • If a visitor begins to show signs and symptoms of COVID-19, you will be asked to depart promptly and notify the V.I. Department of Health (“DOH”).
  • Any visitor that causes disruption or fails to comply with the new visitor protocol will be immediately removed from hospital premises.

Assistance by phone for Billing and Cashier’s Office

For the safety of the community and JFL staff, clients who have billing concerns may call 340-778-6311 and ask for billing; for those clients who are requesting Medical Records please ask for extension 2883 or e-mail eherbert@jflusvi.org. We are asking for clients to call or e-mail prior to coming in to JFL because your request may be handled over the phone or by e-mail. If your concern cannot be handled over the phone or e-mail, with pre-notification, we will be able to ensure that your in-person visit is efficient.

Prevention – Control the spread of COVID-19!

The CDC recommends individuals and families follow everyday preventive measures including:

  • Wear a mask!
  • Social distancing – avoid crowds and crowded spaces, handshaking and hugging, and deliberately stay at least six feet away from other people.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 70 to 95% alcohol.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Stay home and away from others when you are sick with any respiratory disease symptoms.

We are actively monitoring and responding to all recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Virgin Islands Department of Health.

According to Interim Chief Executive Officer Dyma Williams, “JFL remains committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the St. Croix community. We all must continue to work together to flatten the curve”

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the V.I. Department of Health’s website, doh.vi.gov or text COVID19USVI to 888777.