Methodist Launches Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline, Screening ProtocolPublished: March 11, 2020
In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in Nebraska and western Iowa, Methodist Health System is offering a community hotline and screening tool. That hotline number is (402) 815-SICK (7425).
Methodist has also launched a webpage with COVID-19 information for the community.
The Methodist Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline launched on Monday and has received nearly 400 calls, with 74 of those moving forward for testing consideration. The hotline is currently staffed 24 hours a day. Operators are standing by to address questions about the disease, connect people to their county health department or discuss concerns about exposure.
“We certainly saw a need for such a tool after the significant number of calls the health system received over the weekend,” said Steve Goeser, president and CEO of Methodist Health System. “We understand the community has many questions and concerns. This hotline is designed to respond to those inquiries while also phone screen those individuals who may be experiencing symptoms or have had contact with a coronavirus positive individual.”
Callers to the hotline will have options about what information they are seeking, including a screening if they are feeling symptomatic. If so, the caller will be asked what those symptoms might be, as well as be asked about travel and exposure. If they meet the necessary criteria, they will be contacted by a provider and sent to a designated site for further testing.
We have 26 employees who are still on self-quarantine. Results of COVID-19 testing of five Methodist Health System employees were all negative, but they will remain in self-quarantine until their 14 days have been completed.
Visitor policies and guidelines
By their nature, hospitals are places where many people congregate, including many with illness. Visitors to our hospitals should refrain from coming, especially when they are ill, to avoid spreading disease further among vulnerable patients. Furthermore, all visitors should carefully examine the need to physically visit as opposed to alternatives, such as FaceTime or phone calls.
Visitors to Methodist hospitals and facilities are being asked to self-screen. This means that if anyone is experiencing a fever of 100 degrees or higher, cough or shortness of breath/difficulty breathing and they have evidence of coronavirus exposure, they should not enter and instead call the Methodist Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline at 402-815-SICK (7425).
Out of an abundance of caution, Methodist Fremont Health is not allowing visitors at Dunklau Gardens.
In addition, visitors to the Methodist Women’s Hospital NICU will be restricted to the parents or a parent and designated other.
All other facilities are allowing one or two symptom-free visitors on campus at a time per patient.