Northwest Arkansas health systems issue joint statement on COVID-19 efforts

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,434 views 

Northwest Arkansas’ healthcare providers issued a joint statement Monday (March 30) reiterating information on appropriate methods of screening, treating and containing the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The announcement is from officials at Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Community Clinic, Mercy Northwest Arkansas, Northwest Health System, Washington Regional Medical Center, UAMS Northwest and the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks.

“If you are concerned that you have COVID-19, we cannot emphasize enough that you please utilize our online and call options before coming to one of our locations,” the statement noted. “COVID-19 is a contact illness. To protect yourself and our teams, it is important that if testing is required you be tested in an appropriate location where staff have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). We have tightened our visitor policies and are limiting access into facilities for this very reason.

“We are also postponing non-urgent patient procedures and encouraging virtual care visits. These are necessary precautions to limit exposure and protect our patients and staff.”

The providers say that as more is learned about the virus, they will continue to adjust their response.

COVID-19 cases in Arkansas totaled 449 as of Monday morning, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. The number of deaths stands at six. Twenty-nine patients have recovered from the virus.

As of Monday morning, there were 143,527 U.S. cases and 2,573 deaths.

“Though the spread and full impact of COVID-19 is unknown, we are focused on what we do know and modifying our processes and protocols accordingly,” the statement said.

The statement also stresses that citizens follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to contain the spread

“This does not mean that you must stay home and avoid any contact with the outside world. We must use our common sense.”

The material distributed Monday also includes information on social distancing guidelines, hand hygiene and specific resources for healthcare providers throughout the region.

For a PDF of Monday’s statement, click here.