St Joseph’s Healthcare has issued a directive that the hospital will be introducing COVID-19 testing for every patient being admitted to its facilities.
The directive sates, “given the rise of the omicron variant, with community rates of COVID-19 being at the highest they have been during the pandemic, there is an ongoing risk of admission of patients that are not displaying COVID-19 symptoms, but infectious to others. “
The process will begin on Tuesday Dec. 27 in the Emergency room with full implementation of testing all admitted patients Wednesday Dec. 28. Further testing of current inpatients will occur on Thursday Dec. 30.
Summarizing the new procedures:
• All newly admitted patients are to be tested for COVID-19
• Patients will be determined to be high-risk, low-risk and COVID-not-suspected. All are to be tested for COVID-19.
1. High-risk are to be tested, isolated, given a full respiratory panel and monitored.
2. Low-risk are to be tested, isolated and monitored. Low risk are those with symptoms but COVID-19 is low on the diagnosis, such as a patient with abdominal pain from presumed appendicitis. Symptoms would include malaise, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
3. COVID-not-suspected are to be tested – no isolation.
• Patients who refuse swabbing will be treated as COVID-positive and low-risk.