With respect to the increase in positive cases in Immokalee, NCH is fully committed to the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community. We continue to work closely to support the efforts of organizations like the Department of Health, Healthcare Network, Immokalee Foundation, Global Response Management, and other support agencies with boots on the ground in Immokalee, in an effort to halt the spread of Coronavirus in eastern Collier County.
NCH continues to provide educational public service announcements to help inform Immokalee residents about what they can do to help stop the spread of COVID; we donated supplies and thousands of masks to the Department of Health and The Community Foundation earmarked specifically to go to the most vulnerable citizens and field workers in Immokalee; contributed cleaning supplies to the Guadalupe Center; and provided essentials to preschools in Immokalee.
While cases are on the increase in our communities to the east, those requiring hospitalization at an NCH facility have remained stable, with total admitted positive COVID-19 patients averaging in the mid 50s daily since May 19th, which coincided with the reopening of Florida’s economy.
UPDATES ON VISITOR POLICY
In light of the spike of cases currently occurring, NCH has made the decision to continue with visitor restrictions at NCH hospitals, except for circumstances that involve the care of a minor or compassionate care / end-of-life cases. We feel strongly that our visitation restriction policy, while difficult, is effective in curbing the transmission of the Coronavirus, and we take this measure out of an abundance of caution to safeguard our patients wellbeing as well as that of their families.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will update the community on an ease of this policy when analysis of the data we are seeing on our communities in eastern Collier County show signs of improvement.
Exceptions include the following:
- Pediatric visitors are limited to parents and/or guardians; maximum of 2 people per patient. One parent/guardian may sleep in the room overnight.
- Birthplace visitors are limited to one support person per patient.
- Emergency Room visitors are encouraged to wait outside the hospital. Visitors who cannot wait outdoors will wear a surgical mask and wash their hands. Visitors who cannot/will not wear a surgical mask properly will be politely excused from the building.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) may have one birth parent plus one significant other.
UPDATES ON MOBILE/DRIVE-THRU TESTING
NCH will be discontinuing drive-through COVID-19 PCR testing for our community on June 26. Supplies for PCR testing and commercially available processing has been made available to providers throughout Collier County. Samples may be collected in most providers’ practices and sent to commercial laboratories. In most cases there are no out of pocket expenses to patients.
*Update* NCH’s mobile testing site will remain open at the NCH Baker Hospital campus until June 26, with appointments offered daily from 8am-12pm. We require a physician’s order, a photo id and updated insurance information when making the appointment. These tests will be billed through Quest Diagnostics.
Phone: 239-624-4443, OPTION 1
NCH recognizes national and state guidance in regard to performing elective surgeries while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We also have processes in place for urgent or emergent procedures as well. We will continually evaluate whether Collier County remains a low risk of incidence and will be prepared to cease non-essential procedures if there is a significant surge. Patients are segregated into COVID-19 care and Non-COVID-care (NCC) units and our workforce will avoid working in both COVID-19 and NCC units simultaneously. NCH will monitor supplies and resources regularly to care for COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.
A proactive approach to scheduling elective cases has been adopted, which will allow for stratification and testing of higher risk patients. Screening for possible COVID-19 infections is a continuous process that starts at the office visit with the surgeon or proceduralist. Last minute scheduling requests will not be honored in order to adequately screen all patients. PPE will be worn by all staff and physicians conducting the surgeries.
Patients with any symptoms will have their elective procedure postponed until consultation with their provider for possible COVID-19 testing. The surgeon/proceduralist will assess the patient’s ability and willingness to self-isolate to avoid infection before the scheduled procedure. When indicated COVID-19 PCR testing should be arranged such that the patient is tested 3-5 days in advance of the procedure to allow results to post. Again, NCH has other processes in place for urgent or emergent procedures so that those patients can be seen immediately if there is a threat to life or limb.
DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE
- NCH has sent a total of 12,109 specimens for testing since the onset of the pandemic.
- NCH is treating 53 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- NCH has discharged 302 COVID-19 inpatients with directions to self-isolate as they continue to improve.
- NCH Baker Hospital has 0 employees quarantined.
- NCH North Naples Hospital has 0 employees quarantined.
- 9 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and remain isolated due to community related exposure.
ANTIBODY TESTING UPDATE
NCH has initiated antibody testing of our staff, starting with those employees closest to the front lines such as those working in our COVID units and emergency departments. Community antibody testing will be done in phases beginning in July, and we will be sharing more information on those dates in the latter half of June.
Data collected from antibody testing will help the medical community and researchers to better understand the virus that causes COVID-19 virus, and we will share those results with our associates and our community. We will also continue to communicate our processes with instructions on how residents can get tested for antibodies as we get closer to our anticipated date in July when testing for the community will start.
DRIVE-THRU TESTING AVAILABLE IN FORT MYERS
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is sponsoring Drive-Thru Testing (no order needed) at the CenturyLink Sports Complex (4100 Ben C. Pratt/Six-Mile Cypress Parkway) in Fort Myers. Testing is available everyday, from 9am - 5pm and individuals over the age of 18 can be tested regardless of symptoms. For more information, please visit floridadisaster.org.
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PRICE FOR COVID-19 DIAGNOSTIC TESTING
Diagnostic tests for COVID-19 performed at an NCH Hospital location will be billed at $69 per test. This excludes mobile testing which is billed through Quest Diagnostics. Testing is limited to hospital patients due to availability of test kits.
NCH Physician Group providers are using telemedicine to provide access to care to patients in their practices. Please use the coupon code “NCHVC” in order to have the visit at no charge.
Telehealth: NCH has partnered with AmericanWell (Amwell) to provide Virtual Care services to the community. Those who would like to check in with a provider any time of the day or night are able to log on to a visit. Providers will escalate the virtual care to one of our Immediate Care locations if additional services are needed. The community is able to access our virtual care visits for $0, at no cost, during this time of our COVID pandemic.
Virtual Care is able to help with ailments such as:
- Back Strains
- Cold Sores
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Common Cold
- Influenza (Flu)
- Minor Burns
- Sinus Infections
- Stomach Flu
- Upper Respiratory Illness
- Yeast Infections
The AmericanWell providers can also screen patients for symptoms of COVID-19 and will refer those who may need testing for this virus to NCH Immediate Care. Patients who need Immediate Care services are able to gain access to care 7 days per week and are encouraged to save their place in line, avoiding long waits in our lobby areas, through our “wait at home” queue.
Telemedicine: NCH Physician Group has contracted with SecureVideo to extend virtual provider visit invitations. These telemedicine visits are documented in Cerner and are considered the same as an office visit during the COVID emergency. In an effort to continue to care for our patients, and acknowledging efforts to social distance, providers are evaluating the needs of the patient to have as much care as possible completed remotely.
More Telehealth/Telemedicine Information:
NCH Virtual Appointment Guide - Text (SMS) Invitation