Information on COVID-19

Dear Patients and Families of The Hospice of Baton Rouge,

We would like to take this opportunity to update you on The Hospice of Baton Rouge’s preparation efforts related to Covid-19 (coronavirus). Our leadership team including administrative nurses and physicians are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with others across the state, with our local agencies and the CDC.

While we are not currently in a high risk area, we do want to be vigilant with our preparation efforts. We will do our best to update you as situations change in our community.

To protect patients and their families, we are using CDC protocol to screen our employees and volunteers for signs of infection. Staff who screen positive for signs of respiratory illness will not be visiting patients or reporting to work.

Please know that our services, supplies and visits may be limited at this time as we prioritize where our resources are needed most.

The CDC has identified older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. According to the CDC, early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness.

This is likely because as people age, their immune systems change, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection, and because many older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness. Age increases the risk that the respiratory system or lungs will shut down when an older person has COVID-19 disease.

That’s why the CDC is recommending that people at higher risk take the following actions:

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications, food, and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact, and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds.

Among the CDC’s advice are these common-sense tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

What to do if you develop symptoms:

  • Avoid contact with others
  • Call your Hospice nurse or the office and report your symptoms, where you’ve been traveling and if you had close contact with a sick person

Is there a vaccine for the virus?

  • There’s currently no vaccine to protect against 2019-nCoV infection.  This year’s flu vaccine does not protect against coronaviruses.

Is there a treatment for the virus?

  • There’s currently no specific treatment for coronavirus, although we may be able to help relieve symptoms.  The good news is that most people with the virus recover on their own without specific treatment. 

Is there a test available to our patients?

  • Our hospice organization does not have access to the testing required to identify 2019-nCoV.  The Louisiana Department of Health has the ability to test and then those tests have to be sent off to Atlanta for further confirmation.   

Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your loved ones.  Feel free to contact our office with any further questions or concerns @ 225-767-4673.

Catherine Schendel, CEO

The Hospice of Baton Rouge

 

Guidance for Home Care of People Not Requiring Hospitalization for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

               https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-home-care.html

Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities:

               https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html