EAMC Lanier announces no visitor policy

Published 7:51 am Thursday, March 19, 2020

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In a press release, EAMC has announced they have instituted a no visitor policy effective Thursday, except for pediatrics and Level 2 Nursery (2 primary caregivers), laboring women (1 primary support person), emergency department (1 visitor, emergency department lobby only) and end-of-life circumstances. However, if the attending physician or nurse manager determines that a support person is needed, the family will be contacted to make such arrangements.

“This temporary change is not a step we wanted to make,” said Laura Grill, President and CEO.  “However, with Lee County now having the second most COVID-19 cases in Alabama, we feel that it is extremely important to use this tactic to help flatten the curve of cases.”

Currently, EAMC-Lanier does not have enough testing kits to take specimens from someone exhibiting only mild symptoms.

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“At Lanier, they only have enough kits in the emergency department if someone comes in that needs medical treatment,” EAMC Public Relations Director John Atkinson. “They will determine at that point if they need to be tested then they can test them that way.”

Below are the steps outlined by EAMC to follow should you display symptoms of COVID-19.

  • People having mild symptoms should treat COVID-19 the same way they would the seasonal flu.  That is, they should isolate themselves at home and treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medicines.
  • People who feel they need medical attention should contact their primary care physician or other local provider.
  • If the medical provider determines a COVID-19 test is warranted, they will collect the specimen there and submit to ADPH or to an independent lab. If the physician’s office is out of supplies or do not have the ability to collect, the patient can call 334-528-SICK for evaluation.
  • Calls to 334-528-SICK should be used when exhibiting the COVID-19 symptoms and possible emergent care is needed.
  • Calls to 334-528-SICK does not guarantee a COVID-19 specimen will be collected and submitted for testing.  Instead, patients will be screened on the phone and if the medical provider on the phone determines a COVID-19 test is warranted, directions will be provided on going to EAMC’s drive-through collection center.

Also, employers have been requiring employees having one or more symptoms associated with COVID-19 to be tested. EAMC cannot test every person who comes to the emergency department with these symptoms due to the limited number of test kits.

Testing means that a specimen is collected and sent to the ADPH or an independent lab to determine if the person is positive or negative with COVID-19. People with symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, and/or fever can contact their physician or 334-528-SICK for “screening.”