(3-18-20) Numerous changes in program schedules taking place at Mercer Health –

Mercer Health Discontinues COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Drive-Thru Testing Center Due to New Directives from Governor

Due to new directives issued today from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, COVID-19 testing is to now be preserved for hospitalized patients and symptomatic hospital workers.  Therefore, Mercer Health’s Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Center at the Mercer County Fairgrounds will no longer be utilized.  The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation and Mercer Health continues to respond proactively while working within the recommendations of the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Mercer Health Postponing Elective Surgeries and Procedures

In line with recommendations from the U.S. Surgeon General and American College of Surgeons and consistent with other hospitals in Ohio, Mercer Health is postponing elective surgeries and procedures beginning Thursday, March 19.  Patients affected by this change will be contacted directly from your physician’s office.

Elective status of surgical cases will be determined by the clinical judgement of our physicians using criteria to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients. Surgical procedures deemed necessary to avoid risk to life, permanent dysfunction, progression of disease, or risk of rapidly worsening symptoms will still be performed. Elective cases that do not meet these general criteria will be subject to postponement. This is in line with the recommendations provided by the Ohio Hospital Association.  This measure is being taken to conserve critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies that are necessary to care for patients with COVID-19 and to preserve bed capacity in our facilities for these patients.  This change will also minimize the number of people entering the hospital who don’t need urgent medical care, which will reduce unnecessary exposure risks to patients, their family members and our staff during this time of public health concern.  We appreciate our patients’ understanding as we work to address this public health concern.

In addition, some patients may be asked to reschedule doctor or other medical appointments for their safety and to ensure ongoing and future healthcare needs can be met.  Mercer Health Medical Group offices including primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN and others are also offering phone visits as appropriate.  Phone appointments will meet insurance requirements and will be billed normally.  If you have an appointment that your provider feels can be done over the phone or should be rescheduled, your provider’s office will contact you.  If you are unsure if you should still go to your appointment, contact your primary care provider to help make that determination.

Further Visitor Restrictions beginning Thursday, March 19th    at all Mercer Health Locations

Beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020, no visitors are permitted at any Mercer Health location, due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus).  These visitor restrictions apply to all Mercer Health facilities.

Exceptions:

  • One (1) support person for Childbirth Center patients
  • End of Life situations – close family and clergy only
  • One (1) support person for surgical patients
  • Minor patients (<=18 years old) limited to only parents, guardians or primary caregivers
  • One (1) support person for individuals with significant disabilities

 

Visitor Screening/Protocols

  • All visitors to the hospital will be subject to screening for symptoms and travel or exposure history
  • Visitors will be asked to leave the facility if they have had symptoms of the seasonal flu or COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, cough, fever, chills, headache, vomiting sore throat, muscle aches or diarrhea, in the past 48 hours or exposures in the last 14 days.
  • If a patient requires a driver, the driver will be asked to wait in their car until the patient’s appointment is completed.
  • Visitors cannot leave the patient’s room and must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after leaving the building.
  • Visitors may enter :
    • On the East side of the hospital by using the Emergency Entrance
    • On the West side of the hospital by using Entrance #3: West Entrance or Entrance #2: South Entrance, but will be stopped near the West Registration for screening.
  • These entrances at the hospital will be temporarily closed to the public:
    • Entrance #4: The Cedar Table Entrance
    • Entrance #1: East Entrance

 

Thank you for your cooperation as we work to protect the health and safety of our patients, staff, visitors and the community.