Contact: Shirley Wills
PEARSALL, TEXAS…MAY 2, 2020 – Frio Regional Hospital today reported the first patient with COVID-19 to be admitted to the hospital. The patient is from LaSalle County and is in stable condition.
"The physician who admitted the patient suspected COVID-19," said John Hughson, CEO of Frio Regional Hospital. "Later that was confirmed when the state notified the patient of positive test results. This same patient recently had been in the hospital and tested negative at that time."
"Managing life-threatening situations is part of what we do, and this pandemic hasn't changed that," he said. "Our hospital staff, at all levels, is trained to keep our patients, staff and the community safe--that's our first priority," said Hughson. "We continue to work in collaboration with area health authorities, closely following CDC guidelines. We are prepared not only for this first case but also for any future spread of COVID-19 throughout our community."
Frio Regional Hospital has been proactive in preparing for the first case and took many preventative measures before they were recommended and enforced by state and federal agencies. Among the steps the hospital has taken to assure uninterrupted care are:
- Providing separate care locations for COVID-19 positive patients and those under investigation, who are masked and escorted to designated locations. Non-COVID-19 patients are treated in separate areas.
- Excluding visitors from patient care areas for at least the last month.
- Requiring that employees, caregivers and physicians follow self-screening procedures, so patients and staff are protected.
- Implementing continuous cleaning at all care sites.
- Opening the drive-through COVID-19 Screening Clinic at the hospital.
- Creating a temporary Intensive Care Unit to accommodate more patients.
- Repurposing areas in the hospital to allow for labor, delivery and newborn operations and emergency surgeries.
"In the face of a threat, we don't panic, we prepare," said Hughson. "Our emergency management plan is in place for a possible surge and includes an emergency management tent, extra beds from a closed hospital in a neighboring community, and staging ventilators to service multiple patients.
Hospital staff have been required to self-monitor and log checkpoints, including cough, shortness of breath and chest pain. The hospital has an adequate supply of personal protection equipment in place to take care of COVID-19-related illnesses.
In addition, the hospital has been proud to collaborate with county leaders in educating the community about the spread of the disease and steps for prevention through social and traditional media.
For more information on the Frio Regional Hospital response to COVID-19, visit FrioRegionalHospital.com. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus. If you have questions about COVID-19, call 211.