CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier issues statement regarding COVID-19

In the wake of a presumptive positive for COVID-19 at Christus Highland on March 11, Christus health system issued the following statement:

With Governor Bel-Edwards’ declaration of a public health emergency in Louisiana, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System wants to assure the people of Shreveport-Bossier who trust in us for their health care, we are prepared and stand ready to care for our community. Alongside the North Louisiana health care community, we are united in our commitment to responding to the needs of all patients safely and effectively.

Late on March 11, CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center in Shreveport received a presumptive positive result for a patient with COVID-19. Out of respect for our patient and in following HIPAA guidelines, we are limited in what we can share. We can say that we followed the CDC’s guidelines at all times, as well as the guidance we received from the Caddo Parish Health Department. We are firmly convinced that it was the diligence of our clinical caregivers and the excellent care they provided that helped identify this patient. Importantly, all CHRISTUS Associates utilized the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and isolated this patient to protect our patients, Associates and community. Per CDC guidelines, the patient has been treated and released to home isolation.

We want to be perfectly clear – CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier remains a safe place for all to receive quality care. While COVID-19 is new, our processes and procedures in place for infection prevention and preventing the spread of illness are not. From physicians and nurses, quality and safety experts to those responsible for ordering supplies and keeping the hospital clean — all of our Associates are involved in making sure we provide a safe environment for our patients and their families, our Associates and this community we serve.

We continue to follow the CDC’s guidelines for health care facilities, and our providers are working together non-stop and with authorities and our local health care community to prepare and respond when called upon. The CDC guidelines and our efforts are in place to ensure public health and to ensure our hospital is a safe place for all to receive care.

Across CHRISTUS, we will continue our standard process of screening patients at our clinical points of access for relevant travel history, to assess for various evolving infectious disease risks, including this one. If a patient meets the CDC criteria, and is exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus, we will isolate the patient in a private room and take proper respiratory precautions to safely assess and treat them without risk of transmission to other parts of the facility. We continue to remain vigilant in responding to this evolving situation, meeting daily to ensure we are prepared and continuing to follow CDC’s guidelines for patient isolation and cleaning.

We suggest that everyone follow the CDC guidelines regarding prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 and the flu. The best things anyone can do to prevent the spread of illness are:

(1) wash your hands well before eating, drinking or touching your face
(2) get your annual flu shot and
(3) get a pneumonia shot if you have not already and are above the age of 65 or have diabetes or other illnesses that affect your heart or lungs.

In addition, we advise anyone who may be ill with fever and cough or shortness of breath and have had travel to any region that has known community spread of COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider before visiting their office so they can be sure to provide you with the best care possible while doing everything we can to keep our community healthy.

Please visit christusshreveportbossier.org for the latest updates and information.