Effective immediately, Appling Healthcare has suspended indoor visits for the Appling Nursing and Rehabilitation Pavilion unless the visit is related to end-of-life care or a medical emergency. This decision is based on Appling Healthcare’s focus on the safety and well-being of its most vulnerable patients as coronavirus cases increase within the county.

Appling Healthcare reports one positive case of COVID-19 among employees at the Appling Nursing and Rehabilitation Pavilion. No test results are pending on additional nursing home employees.

Additionally, the nursing home reports no additional cases of COVID-19 among residents. No test results are pending.

Appling Healthcare reports no additional cases of COVID-19 among hospital employees and no test results are pending on hospital employees.

During outbreak testing in the nursing home (a new onset positive case of COVID-19 in a resident or employee), all residents are tested every 3 to 7 days until every resident tests negative twice consecutively. Residents will continue to be screened three times a day.

Nursing home employees are being tested a minimum of once a week and screened daily before every shift.

For the protection of all individuals in the facility, all residents are required to stay in their rooms unless they are receiving medical treatment or there is a medical emergency. Quarantine will remain in effect until at least 14 days without a positive case.

However, outdoor visits will continue to be scheduled for residents who test negative or are asymptomatic. Window visits and virtual visits are strongly encouraged. Updated visiting guidelines are as follows:

• Visits are by appointment only and must be scheduled through Shawana Bennett, Social Services, at (912)367-9841 ext. 2408 by email at bennetts@appling-hospital.org or Sheila Murray, Activates Director, at (912)367-9841 ext. 2416 by murrays@appling-hospital.org.

• Visits will be limited to 30 minutes with two visitors at a time, at an outdoor designated visiting area.

• Visitors will be screened prior to visiting with their loved ones.

• All visitors and residents are required to wear masks during the entire visit.

• Visitors are required to maintain at least six feet of distance from the resident.

• Visitors are not allowed to touch residents at this time.

• Visitors are asked to be prompt, arriving five minutes prior to the scheduled visiting time so they can be screened. Visits will be 30 minutes only, with no exceptions.

• Care packages are welcome. However, food must be in original packaging and must be sanitized.

In addition, Appling Healthcare hospital visitor guidelines remain in effect:

Please be advised that COVID-19-infected or COVID-19-suspected patients will NOT be allowed any visitors except under exceptional circumstances and under the direction/order of the primary care physician.

All visitors are required to check in at the hospital front desk and follow these safety measures:

• Masks MUST be worn at all times within the building. Masks must fit appropriately and cover your nose and mouth.

• Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at designated entrances; if visitors exhibit symptoms, they will be denied entry.

• Visitors are not permitted to congregate in public areas, such as lobbies, waiting areas, nurse stations, or visit other patients or staff.

• Visitors must remain in the room of the patient while they are visiting until visiting hours are over or when the visitor(s) are ready to leave the facility.

ADULT INPATIENT UNIT VISITS:

• TWO (2) healthy adult visitors (age 18+) will be permitted to visit.

• Visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

• Visits may be limited due to the patient’s condition and at the discretion of the charge nurse or nurse manager.

• Visits to our Senior Care Unit is scheduled through the unit Social Worker.

EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS:

• One adult visitor may accompany a patient in the Emergency Department. However, NO visitors will be allowed to accompany a COVID-19-suspected or COVID-19 infected patient.

• Visitors will not be allowed to wait in the ED waiting room while the patient is undergoing evaluation. They may wait in their vehicle or outside the building.

• One healthy parent or caregiver with a pediatric patient. (Pediatric is under the age of 18).

• One healthy required medical decision-maker with adult patients.

COMPASSIONATE CARE EXCEPTIONS:

• Some compassionate-care exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, with approval by the Unit Nurse Manager or the Primary Care Physician. Exceptions will be granted for extenuating circumstances, such as end-of-life care.

OUTPATIENT/CLINIC SURGICAL PROCEDURES:

• Visitors are not allowed in clinics, with exceptions for the following:

o One healthy parent or caregiver with a pediatric patient.

o One healthy required medical decision-maker with adult patients.

o One healthy caregiver for patients who are unable to walk or move about without assistance.

ICU VISITS:

Visiting in the ICU is restricted, except for exceptional circumstances or under the direction of the nurse or physician.

These restrictions on visits to the nursing home are temporary, but may change as Appling Healthcare continues to monitor the coronavirus. Updates will be provided as soon as they become available.

These restrictions and guidelines are temporary, but may change as Appling Healthcare continues to monitor the coronavirus. Updates will be provided as soon as they become available.

Hospital officials ask that patients contact their primary care physician if they feel sick or are experiencing any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, or shortness of breath. However, if you are experiencing an emergency medical condition of any kind, you should still go to the emergency room as soon as possible or call 911.

Appling Healthcare also reminds the community when out in public to wear a mask, social distance, and wash or sanitize your hands.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to message us on Facebook. Your message will be immediately routed to the nursing home administrator. Another option is to send an email to covid19@appling-hospital.org. Your email will automatically go to all of the nursing home administration team as well as hospital staff, so you should receive a response fairly soon.

If you do prefer to call the hospital or the nursing home, please understand that employees are focusing on hands-on patient care. You should, however, receive a call back within 24 hours. Call the main hospital phone number, (912)367-9841, and then reach the administration team through their direct extensions:

Appling Healthcare Administration Office, ext. 1201

Kim Jowers, Pavilion Nursing Home Administrator, ext. 2402

Melina Edmund, Pavilion Director of Nursing, ext. 2410