-----Hospitals and clinics-----------------------------
NOTE: The Texas Department of Insurance has issued emergency rules making it easier for patients on TDI-regulated plans to have access to medications while limiting exposure to public places.
NOTE: Gov. Greg Abbott has issued orders to allow hospitals to treat two patient in a room, rather than one, and directing heath care workers to postpone all "elective or non-essential” medical procedures.
NOTE: Ascension Providence and Baylor Scott & White Health - Waco Region have implemented new “no visitor” policies. Ascension Providence implemented the policy Sunday, March 22, and Baylor Scott & White implemented the policy Monday, March 23.
*Waco: Ascension, Baylor Scott and White and the Family Health Center have on-line screen forms for COVID-19. If you do not have a provider or insurance, you can contact the Family Health Center for assistance. Testing must be ordered by a physician. Testing is not done at the Public Health District.
*03.24.20: As part of a comprehensive response to preparedness for COVID-19 outbreaks Ascension Providence has expanded the drive-through testing site in Waco. This drive-through testing center is for individuals who are referred to the site by Ascension Providence providers or by the local health authority. Patients drive through in their vehicles, remaining inside for the entire visit, and nurses will collect a nasal swab. The site is designed so that pre-screened community members will never have to leave their vehicle to be tested, which helps ensure both their safety and the safety of our associates. Additionally, associates are trained in and equipped with protective masks and other personal protective equipment, and follow all infection prevention protocols put in place by our health system, based on guidelines from health officials including the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Call ahead for information related to COVID-19 testing - Contact the Ascension Texas hotline: 1-833-919-1680 We have established a COVID-19 hotline for Ascension Texas. Available 6 a.m. to midnight, the hotline is staffed by triage RNs who will respond to public questions and implement the most up-to-date screenings and protocols to guide patients to the most appropriate care setting, including staying at home and/or virtual options.
*Baylor Scott & White Health is encouraging all patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (cough, shortness of breath and feeling feverish) to first visit MyBSWHealth in the mobile app or on the web to take a free COVID-19 screening questionnaire. We ask that you please complete this prior to scheduling an appointment, walking into a clinic or arriving at a hospital emergency department. To install the app on your mobile device, simply text BETTER to 88408 to have it sent to your phone.
Following your screening questionnaire, you may be prompted to complete an eVisit, which will be evaluated by a Baylor Scott & White provider who can advise you on appropriate next steps.
*Baylor Scott & White Health on March 17 outlined its screening process for COVID-19, which is aimed at making testing for the new virus “more efficient and accessible” to those who meet the criteria for testing. A free online screening questionnaire is available for anyone who has questions or concerns about their risk on the MyBSWHealth app and online at MyBSWHealth.com. Those who require additional evaluation may conduct e-visits with providers on the app or the website between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. If the provider advises testing for COVID-19, specimen collection can be arranged. “We are making drive-thru specimen collection sites available as an option for patients,” Scott & White said.
“They might be directed to these sites after they complete an online screening questionnaire and subsequent consultation with our medical team.” Collection sites are set up in the Waco-Temple-Killen area. “Specimen collection involves a nasal swab obtained by one of our medical team members, who will be wearing personal protective equipment in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and recommendations,” Scott & White said. After specimens are collected, patients will be advised on the next steps to take, including self-quarantine at home pending the results.
Positive tests will be reported to local and state health departments and patients will be contacted as soon as possible, Scott & White said.
*Scott & White Medical Center in Temple and Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco have implemented screenings for visitors. Visitors will undergo a short screening at the designated entry points. This screening is based on CDC guidelines for identifying respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus (COVID-19). Patients will continue to be screened at registration. If a visitor answers "yes" to any of the questions below, our team will ask if they need medical assistance. If yes, we will transport the visitor to the ED. If no, we will kindly ask that they return home and contact their primary care provider. Screening questions:
"Have you felt feverish or experienced respiratory symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath?"
"Within the past 14 days, have you traveled to countries that are on travel restriction, including China, Iran, South Korea or most of Europe*?"
"Have you been in contact with someone who has, or is suspected to have, COVID-19?"
Only two visitors are allowed per patient during visiting hours, those younger than 16 may not visit and waiting rooms will be closed to large groups.
Waco Gastroenterology is offering Telehealth visits to all patients.
Central Texas pediatrician Dr. Soo Battle is posting kid-friendly videos on Facebook in which she provides simple explanations of the new coronavirus aimed at calming children’s fears.
*AdventHealth is introducing a new screening process for patients seeking care at the Emergency Department (ER). The measures, which went into effect on March 25 at 5 p.m. All patients coming to the ER at AdventHealth Central Texas in Killeen will be triaged, meaning their height weight and vitals will be taken and they will be screened for COVID 19, outside the hospital. If the patient screens negative for COVID 19 they will then be seen in the ER. If the patient screens positive for COVID 19, they will be referred to our Respiratory Illness Protocol Station (RIPS), located at the ER, for further screening. Patients must screen positive for COVID 19 during triage and at the RIPS to receive a COVID 19 test. In addition to this change in the ER, AdventHealth has also cancelled all elective surgeries and procedures. If a patient has a question regarding whether a procedure they have scheduled is considered elective, they should contact their doctor.
*Until further notice; AdventHealth Central Texas in Killeen is suspending visitor access and will only receive patients through the Emergency Room entrance; which is open 24/7; and the Surgery Center entrance; which is open from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
*Until further notice, AdventHealth Rollins Brook in Lampasas is suspending visitor access and will receive patients through their front entrance only. Patients receiving wound care treatments should enter through the back entrance.
*The Coryell Health Advanced Wound Center is open and committed to ensuring the continuity of care for patients with wounds. We understand that some patients may be reluctant to leave home, but rest assured, we have stringent policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of your patients and our staff.
*Coryell Health launched Telehealth capabilities to aid in social distancing and keeping our community safe, while providing quality medical care. We are advising that any patient with respiratory symptoms including cough and/or shortness of breath with fever or who thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19, should call our hotline (254) 248-6263, and if needed, you can now have a Telehealth visit with one of our doctors from your computer, iPad or phone. We will soon have a COVID-19 screening tool on our website. If you are having trouble breathing, or are having some other type of medical emergency, please call 911.
*Falls Community Hospital Marlin: Following the lead of Baylor Scott & White and Ascension Providence, we are adopting a “no visitor policy” until further notice.
*The Department of Defense has directed all military and dental treatment facility commanders to postpone all elective surgeries, invasive procedures and dental procedures with some exceptions.
*Fort Hood: CRDAMC: Changes to Visitors Policy and Other Measures to Help Prevent Spread of Coronavirus
FORT HOOD, Texas — Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center is implementing changes to facility access and visitor policies throughout its clinics and medical homes to help prevent the spread of coronavirus to Soldiers, Family Members, Retirees and employees.
Restricted Access Points and Visitor Screenings
Restricted access points and mandatory patient screenings to rapidly identify individuals who may have symptoms of respiratory illness are being implemented at all Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center facilities. Patient Screenings are already underway at Thomas Moore Health Clinic, Soldier Centered Medical Home, and began Wednesday, March 18, at the main hospital. Beneficiaries concerned that they may be exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a cold, or flu should call their clinics before coming to any of CRDAMC’s medical facilities. Please call 254.288.8888 during normal business hours to be connected with your clinic, or the Army Public Health Nursing 24-hour hotline at 254.553.6612. Beneficiaries and visitors who arrive at any screening point and meet the clinical threshold for further evaluation will be directed to the Respiratory Illness Clinic (RIC) for additional medical assessment and instructions.
Patients are encouraged to use virtual care options routine appointments that do not require a face-to-face visit. Virtual health options include Secure Messaging through the TRICARE online portal and telephone consultation through the patient appointing service (PAS) at 254.288.8888. Web visits are also available through the TRICARE online portal. When coming to the MEDCEN for non-emergency appointments, patients (and one support companion age 16 years or older) should enter the building through the screening point located at the main entrance. Patients should allow extra time to arrive for appointments to complete the screening process.
When coming to the MEDCEN for a non-COVID-19 medical emergency, patients (and one support companion age 16 years or older) should report to the emergency room.
In order to protect the health of all patients and healthcare workers, all CRDAMC inpatient and outpatient clinics will observe a modified visitation policy. Effective immediately, inpatient visitation is limited to one visitor at least 16 years of age. For outpatient clinic appointments, beneficiaries are limited to one support companion age 16 years or older. All visitors will be screened before entering clinical areas.
Please note in all cases a visitor will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath). Additionally, visitors under the age of 16 and over the age of 60 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.
Visitors must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the hospital.
CRDAMC’s Main Outpatient Pharmacy and Clear Creek PX Pharmacy implemented mandatory prescription drop-off March 20. Patients should drop off prescriptions and return later to pick up. The move is aimed at limiting congregating and social distancing practices to prevent the spread of the virus. Patients will receive a text message or automated phone call when their prescription is ready. Patients should estimate a three to four hour turn around for pick up.
If beneficiaries do not receive a phone call or text within 24 hours, they should call 254.288.8800 (Main Pharmacy) or 254.618.7024 (Clear Creek PX).
Patient Advocacy and Ombudsmen
The Patient Advocacy and Ombudsmen offices have suspended face-to-face services until further notice. Please contact their offices for assistance on regular duty days via telephone from 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Contact the Patient Advocates office at 254.288.8156 (voicemail is available) or email them at email@example.com.
Contact Ombudsmen: 254.286.7036 (o) or 254.535.6752 (c), 254.286.7791 (o) or 254.535.2166 (c)
CRDAMC beneficiary classes, support groups and special events are canceled until further notice. Beneficiaries with questions or concerns should contact the appropriate clinic for support.
Additional COVID-19 Information and Resources
Army COVID-19 information line 1.800.984.8523
Nurse Advice line at 1.800. TRICARE (874.2273); Option 1.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hotline at 1.800.CDC.INFO (800.232.4636)
CRDAMC APHN hotline 254.553.6612.
Beneficiaries needing care should call the TRICARE appointment line at 254.288.8888 or 1.800.305.6421 or online at (https://www.tricareonline.comAdditional.)
Information on preventive measures can be found on the (CRDAMC website.)
*Limestone Medical Center will begin telephone visits for established patients beginning Monday, March 23rd. The service is being offered to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Services covered by phone include medication refills, symptoms of rashes, sore throat,
fever, sinuses, stomach issues, and bladder infections. Staffs ask those interested to prepare for your telephone visit by having your insurance card, a form of payment and preferred pharmacy available. The service will be offered at all Limestone Medical Center Clinics.
For specific locations, numbers are as follows:
Family Medicine Center 254-729-3411
Rettig Family Health Care 254-729-3740
Kosse Community Health Care Clinic 254-375-7001
*Community members who have questions or concerns may call the Hospital Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:p.m. at (254) 729-3281 ext. 5034.
-----Central Texas VA facilities----------------
*Central Texas VA announces changes to Veterans’ food pantry truck services
While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still considers COVID-19 to be a low threat to the general American public, the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS) is continues to take extra precautions aimed at limiting COVID-19 exposure risk to Veterans, employees, volunteers, and contractors, including changes to the Veterans’ food pantry truck services. Veterans participating in the food pantry services are asked to adhere to a 6 ft. social distance between others. Pre-assembled boxes will be given to Veterans taking advantage of picking up food pantry items. For Temple, regularly scheduled date is March 26 (4th Thursday each month) from 9 to 11 a.m., but the location is changed to American Legion Post 133 (parking lot) in Temple at the intersection of South 25th Street and Avenue M until further notice. For Waco, the regularly scheduled date is April 1 (1st Monday each month) from 9 to 11 a.m., but the loocation is changed to Goodwill (parking lot) in Waco at the intersection of New Road and Bagby Avenue until further notice.
*To minimize risk, mandatory screening started Monday, March 16, 2020, at CTVHCS clinics to rapidly identify individuals who may have symptoms of respiratory illness and direct them for further triage and treatment. Patients should plan to arrive well in advance of appointments time to comply with the screening process.
*On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Temple and Waco Medical Centers will start conducting the mandatory screening. Entrances to the Waco and Temple campuses will be limited, maps detailing the entrances are available at: (https://www.centraltexas.va.gov/visitors/campus_Screening.asp.) This may lengthen entry times, so patients are advised to allow for that when arriving for their appointments.
*Visitor policies are as follows:
A temporary “no visitor” policy has been adopted at all CTVHCS facilities.
Access to the Community Living Centers (VA nursing homes), Domiciliary, Residential Units, and visitation to the inpatient units is no longer permitted. These units are being strictly monitored to protect patients deemed more vulnerable and at higher risk. This means no outside visitors will be permitted to see residents in these units and inpatient areas. The only exceptions will be in compassionate cases, when Veterans are in their last stages of life on hospice units. Learn more about VA’s announcement here.
*For outpatient clinic appointments in the Central Texas area, we strongly encourage Veterans to limit family members to one while accompanying them to their appointment or immediate caregivers only and no children under 18 years of age.
Lastly, CTVHCS has cancelled special events and/or activities and is temporarily ceasing all participation in public outreach events through April 30, 2020.
Veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), flu or cold should call 1-800-423-2111 before coming to CTVHCS facilties. Clinical staff are available to provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice and triage. This service is available at no cost to veterans enrolled for VA health care. CTVHCS clinics are also conducting mandatory screening to rapidly identify individuals who may have symptoms of respiratory illness and direct them for further triage and treatment. Patients should plan to arrive well in advance of appointments time to comply with the screening process. On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Temple and Waco Medical Centers will start conducting the mandatory screening. (Entrances to the campuses will be limited, maps detailing the entrances are available online.)
*Additionally, access to Community Living Centers, Blind Rehabilitation and all residential facilities are now strictly monitored to protect patients deemed more vulnerable and at higher risk, and a temporary “no visitor” policy has been adopted for these units at the Temple and Waco campuses. This means no outside visitors will be permitted to see residents in these units. The only exceptions will be in compassionate cases, when Veterans are in their last stages of life on hospice units.
*Aside from the operational changes noted, CTVHCS remains fully operational. Veterans with scheduled appointments should plan to attend and complete appointments as they normally would while considering extra time needed for screening.
CTVHCS also includes the following medical centers and outpatient clinics:
Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple, Texas
Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Waco, Texas
Austin Outpatient Clinic
Brownwood Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)
Cedar Park CBOC
College Station CBOC
Temple Clinic Annex
Joint VA/DoD Sleep Center in Killeen, Texas
-----State Hospitals, State Supported Living Centers-------
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Texas Health and Human Services has temporarily suspended visitation and on-campus events at state hospitals and state supported living centers across Texas. Rare exceptions to the temporary visitation policy may be granted with the approval of the patient’s or resident’s treatment team and the associate commissioner. The policy does not apply to in-person visits for people receiving end-of-life care, state investigators, law enforcement, Texas Office of Inspector General, and judges, attorneys and staff.