Health officials in Clark County and Indiana State Health Department are working closely with two facilities that have had patients test positive for COVID-19.
Patients have tested positive at Hillcrest Village and Wellstone Regional Hospital.
Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel confirmed Tuesday that Hillcrest Village, a senior living community in Jeffersonville, has one resident hospitalized at the University of Louisville Hospital with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
This is the first assisted living facility in the county to have had a positive case.
According to a news release from American Senior Communities, the facility had already implemented stringent preventative measures. These include multiple assessments daily on those most at risk, screening all employees and vendors daily, enforcing a strict no-visitor policy expect for end-of-life situations, requiring all employees to wear masks and suspending communal dining and other activities.
“The health and wellness of our residents and employees remains the top priority,” according to the release. “We are in close contact with local and state health authorities and following their guidance along with national and CDC recommendations and mandates.”
Wellstone Regional Hospital, a 100-bed psychiatric facility in Jeffersonville, has had five patients test positive for the virus, Yazel said. This is of 11 people tested there.
The hospital suspended admissions last week for safety and have put the five positive patients in strict isolation, according to a news release. All families, guardians, and powers of attorney have been notified. Yazel said the state strike team is working closely with the health department, Hillcrest and Wellstone for testing, infection control, and logistics.
“We continue to work closely with the Clark County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, and we are following appropriate protocols,” according to a hospital release. “We continue to encourage the public to practice precautions by thoroughly washing your hands, covering your cough and sneeze, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and adhering to social distancing to prevent the spread of disease.”
The hospital issued a health alert on March 16 suspending all visitation, except in critical circumstances, and encouraged patients and their loved ones to keep in touch electronically.
Misti Jecker, director of Business Development at Wellstone, said that the hospital has begun using Telehealth “to continue to serve our patients while adhering to vital social distancing practices,” according to a statement. It is being used to serve adult patients, those with chemical dependency, partial hospitalization patients and those in intensive outpatient services.
Beth Keeney, senior vice president for Community Health and Primary Care Services at LifeSpring Health Systems said the organization was able to move almost all of their behavioral health program, to Telehealth in under a week.
Starting as of last week, almost all therapy and psychiatric sessions will take place either over the phone or video, she said.
“We’re still taking new patients, They can receive their services online including seeing a nurse or doctor,” she said. “It’s going really well…we’re open for business and ready to help anybody who is feeling anxious or scared and feel like they need additional support.”
Most primary care visits are still taking place in the office at this time, although some have moved to Telehealth as well.