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COVID-19
Saint Luke's Community Updates

As COVID-19 evolves and information changes, how we adapt changes as well. You can find the most up-to-date information on the significant updates that Saint Luke's has shared on social media or with local media.

July 2, 2020 - Updated Temporary Visitor Guidelines

As areas in our region go through phases of reopening, we believe it is key to the safety of all patients and employees to continue our current screening measures before entering our facilities and temporary restriction on visitation. Learn more about our temporary facility guidelines.

Hospitals

For now, while recognizing the importance of connection with family and friends, we are limiting the number of visitors per patient:

  • Only one visitor per patient allowed in the building at a time. If you are waiting to visit, please wait outside the building.
  • No visitors ages 13 or younger
  • Visitors are not permitted for patients who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, except in end-of-life circumstances.
  • All visitors are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times while in the facility—no exceptions. Cloth masks are acceptable.
  • Visitors must leave by 8:30 p.m., unless patient requires a visitor stay overnight
  • All visitors must go through screening at the entrance
  • No one will be allowed to enter who, in the past 14 days, has:
    • Been exposed to someone with COVID-19
    • Been diagnosed with COVID-19
    • Any new symptoms including:
      • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
      • Loss of smell or taste
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath
      • Diarrhea
      • Sore throat
      • Body aches

Special Considerations

  • Critical illness or end-of-life circumstances (in situations where confirmed or suspected COVID-19 is not involved):
    • 2 visitors will be permitted in addition to 1 outside clergy member
  • End-of-life situations for patients who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19:
    • 1 visitor may visit 1 time, for no more than 2 hours.
    • No visitors under the age of 14 are permitted.
    • Visitor must wear personal protective equipment, provided by staff
    • Visit must take place in one uninterrupted session (no exit/re-entry of room)
  • Forensic patient advocates are considered part of the care team—1 advocate per patient
  • Please note, any individual granted an exception who screens positive will not be allowed to enter.

Please contact the department supervisor if you have any questions.

Antepartum

  • If you’re admitted for observation or bed rest, your designated support person may visit you one time each day. When they leave, they will not be allowed to return until the following day.
  • Support person must pass all screening criteria to enter the hospital.

Labor & Delivery

  • Once you are in active labor or admitted for an induction or planned cesarean section, one designated support person is allowed, who must remain with the patient for the duration of the stay.
  • A certified doula will be permitted, as well.
  • Support person and doula must pass all screening criteria to enter the hospital.
  • Support person and doula may not leave and return—they must remain with the patient the entire duration of the stay.

NICU

  • 2 visitors are permitted, and these are limited to parents/legal guardians of the infant.
  • Visiting parents/legal guardians must pass all screening criteria to enter the hospital.

Online visits through Saint Luke’s Family and Friends Program

We believe human connections are important to the healing process, so we’ve developed Saint Luke’s Family and Friends Program to connect patients with their loved ones through Webex online meeting technology on an iPad we provide. Please call your care team to schedule a visit with your loved one.

June 22, 2020 - Updated Guidelines for Clinics & Offices

Saint Luke’s has instituted a number of guidelines for patients visiting our clinics and locations. These guidelines are designed to keep our patients and staff safe.

  • Mandatory masking – All patients should bring and plan to wear a mask throughout their time in the clinic or building, even once you enter the exam room. A cloth mask or bandana is fine as long as it covers your nose and mouth.
  • Screening upon arrival – When you arrive for your appointment, you will need to stop at the front desk to be screened. You’ll be asked questions about your symptoms, then your temperature will be taken when you go to your exam room.
  • eCheck-In – For patients with a mySaintLuke’s patient portal account, we encourage you to use the eCheck-In feature ahead of your appointment. When you arrive at your appointment, you will need to stop at the check-in desk for screening, but completing your eCheck-In ahead of time will speed up that process. If you do not have a mySaintLuke’s account, signing up is easy. See: how to use eCheck-In.
  • Visitor guidelines – Each patient may have one visitor with them. The visitor must be age 14 or older, pass all screening criteria including a temperature check, and wear a mask throughout their entire stay in the building. If a visitor does not pass screening criteria, they will be asked to wait outside the building for the duration of the appointment.
  • Additional time – With screening prior to entry, please allow extra time to get to your appointment. Your clinic will let you know the ideal time to arrive. If you arrive earlier than that, you may be asked to go back to your car or to wait outside.
  • Monitor symptoms – If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or develop any new symptoms within 14 days before your appointment, it’s important to call your clinic. Symptoms to watch for include:
    • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
    • Loss of smell or taste
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Diarrhea
    • Sore throat
    • Body aches

If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please call your provider’s clinic.

April 16, 2020 - Saint Luke’s Offering Walk-Thru Testing Site For COVID-19

Saint Luke’s Health System has opened a walk-thru testing site for COVID-19 patients who meet the criteria and may not be able to take advantage of drive-thru testing. The new testing site, located at the intersection of 43rd and Wornall on the Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City campus, is easily accessible to nearby residents, patients visiting Saint Luke’s physician clinics who would like to schedule a same-day appointment on site, and those who rely on public transportation. Several bus stops are located nearby.

This walk-thru testing is by appointment only and requires a physician referral. Those without a referral or an appointment will not be tested. First responders should coordinate through their human resources departments. The site is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Learn more about the new symptoms and about the walk-thru site: Saint Luke's News: Saint Luke’s Offering Walk-Thru Testing Site For COVID-19
 

April 2, 2020 - Saint Luke’s Expands COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing to All First Responders

Saint Luke’s Health System is pleased to announce that it is expanding drive-through testing of COVID-19 to all first responders within the region who meet testing criteria.

First responders include police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs, all of whom are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 as they carry out the regular duties of their jobs.

Learn more: Saint Luke's News: Saint Luke’s Expands COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing to All First Responders
 

March 31, 2020 - Saint Luke’s Health System to see quicker turnaround on COVID-19 test results with new ability to process tests in-house

Saint Luke’s Health System is now able to process COVID-19 tests in-house, allowing for a quicker turnaround on results for Saint Luke’s patients and employees.

Saint Luke’s is receiving a daily allocation of reagent kits – the crucial piece for processing the tests – developed specially for the novel coronavirus by Roche Laboratories, Inc.

“Before this, we might be waiting a couple days to get results or longer, depending on which lab the specimen was sent to. Now, we’ll know within a day or less of whether someone is positive,” said Derek Collins, Saint Luke’s Health System Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Though these tests have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA has authorized their use under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued. Tests collected across Saint Luke’s Health System will be processed in a lab at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

The quicker turnaround time will allow the health system to better conserve necessary resources, like personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Nationally, PPE is in high demand right now, so we want to conserve the resources we have available,” Collins said. “If we can rule out COVID-19 earlier, then we may not need to use as much PPE for management of that patient.”

It will also speed up the process of community and state reporting to provide a greater understanding of the new disease.

“If we can get results sooner, we can more aptly project what the level of COVID-19 in the community is and have a better picture of where are in the outbreak,” Collins said.

Find more information on COVID-19, how you can help, and Saint Luke’s response.

 

March 25, 2020 - Saint Luke’s Coordinates Community Donations of Personal Protective Equipment

As the number of COVID-19 cases steadily climb in the United States, the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care professionals is climbing right along with it. PPE is the highly specialized gear that minimizes exposure to the hazards that can cause serious workplace injuries or illnesses. During this time of global crisis, the people of Kansas City are searching for ways they can help in the fight against COVID-19. Donating valuable PPE is one way they’ve found to do just that.

Saint Luke’s Health System is now pleased to accept donations of much-needed PPE that will help keep our team of health care professionals safe and healthy as they provide care throughout the pandemic.

Learn more you can support Saint Luke's.
 

March 19, 2020 - Convenient Care: Six locations seeing patients with non-COVID-related symptoms

We are temporarily consolidating our Convenient Care clinics in Hy-Vee and Price Chopper grocery stores to 6 central locations that will focus exclusively on providing care for all non-COVID-related symptoms, conditions, and treatments. We’re committed to continue providing our community with safe, quick and easy access to exceptional care. Find your nearest open clinic.

Please remember people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it’s an emergency. #SocialDistancing #COVID19 #WeAreInThisTogether #PatientFocused
 

March 19, 2020 - Saint Luke's Drive-Through, Appointment Only, Testing

Beginning March 19, Saint Luke’s is providing drive-through, appointment-only, COVID-19 testing at three Saint Luke’s locations across the metro for certain Saint Luke’s patients with a physician’s referral and Saint Luke’s employees. As resources allow, we will make every effort to expand available testing. For now, we are prioritizing those at the greatest risk, per CDC recommendations. We are doing everything in our power to end #COVID19 in our community.

Read more: Saint Luke’s News: Three COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites set up for qualifying Saint Luke’s patients and employees
 

March 17, 2020 - Temporary Visitor Guidelines

To help protect our valued patients, clinicians, caregivers and staff, Saint Luke’s is temporarily instituting a “No Visitors” policy at all hospitals in our health system. Learn more about our temporary visitor guidelines.

To help implement these important restrictions, we are limiting public hospital entrances. At each of these entrances, we will be screening everyone—including vendors, contractors, volunteers, and non-SLHS providers—for cough, fever, and other cold/flu symptoms and reason for their visit.

At this time, it is critical for everyone to do their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and as a KC and regional health care leader for more than a century, we believe this is an important step to help protect our entire community.

We will continue to update our followers if other policies and processes are revised, following recommendations from the CDC and other government and health care agencies#COVID19 #NoVisitorsPlease #SocialDistancing #FlattenTheCurve 
 

March 11, 2020 - Reports with False Preventive Measures

False reports are circulating that say drinking alcohol can reduce the risk of COVID-19. This is not true. Saint Luke’s follows CDC guidance:

  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Wash for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, after blowing your nose or coughing.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes