News
Home / Home / Keeping You Safe as We Recover

Keeping You Safe as We Recover

Roper St. Francis Healthcare is closely monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety of our patients, teammates and physicians is our number one priority. Our leadership and infection prevention teams are meeting regularly to assess the latest developments, prepare our care teams and review the latest DHEC and CDC guidelines to monitor patient symptoms across all of our facilities. We are preparing for increased levels of admitted patients and are working specifically to prepare for acute COVID-19 patients. We continue to work on increasing supplies, flexing staffing and solidifying workflows to safely navigate our patients to the best venue of care.

In an Emergency


In an emergency situation, every minute matters. Call 911 or visit the ER. Here’s a list of Roper St. Francis Emergency Room locations. Please don't suffer at home during this crisis. We’re keeping ER patients whose symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 separate, isolating them from everyone else and performing intense cleaning to ensure your safety.



Visitor Restrictions


We're taking extra precautions to keep our patients, teammates and community safe. Roper St. Francis Healthcare is joining all area hospitals in implementing a NO VISITOR policy to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in a collaborative effort to keep our patients and staff safe.

We recognize the importance of a person being available during a patient’s hospital stay to relay information related to the patient’s care and to help prepare for discharge. We will allow one person to help support patients during their stay. We are still operating under a no-visitation policy and allowing a support person will be a controlled circumstance. We are asking the following guidelines be followed: 

  • Upon admission, patients will be asked to designate who will be the support person.
  • The support person will be screened and issued an identification badge at one of our manned entrances.
  • The support person must wear a mask while in the hospital. A mask will be issued upon arrival if they do not already have one and they should keep this mask for future use.
  • For safety reasons, the support person should remain in the patient’s room and access the cafeteria or public restrooms only when necessary. Waiting rooms remain closed.
  • We are asking that the support person leave by 7 p.m. daily. Overnight stays are allowed only under clinically warranted circumstances.
  • We are providing a “support person pass” allowing them to return the next day. The support person will still be screened at the entrance again and issued an ID badge.
  • The designated support person may change at 24-hour intervals. A nurse should be notified when a change is necessary and they will document this in the medical record.


Guidelines for Patients Visiting Our Doctor's Offices 


It’s an honor to care for our patients, so we are introducing a few new guidelines to keep them and our care team safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Only patients whose physician determines it is clinically necessary will have an in-office visit. All others will be offered a virtual visit.
  • Prior to patients’ arrival, we will do a pre-visit telephone call that will include a COVID-19 screening.
  • Per CDC guidelines, patients and their support person should wear a mask when leaving their home and in the practice. Homemade masks and/or scarves will be acceptable. If a patient does not have a mask, we will provide one.
  • Patients and their support person who must be over the age of 16 will be screened before entering our waiting room. If patients or their support person are experiencing flu-like symptoms or suspect exposure to COVID-19 through travel or other means, they will be directed to Roper St. Francis Virtual Care.
  • Their time in our waiting room will be kept to a minimum and all waiting rooms have been rearranged to optimize social distancing.
  • Our waiting rooms are disinfected throughout the day using recommended CDC and EPA disinfectants and cleaning chemicals (like Sani-Cloth Bleach wipes).
  • Our team is wearing masks, and those delivering care also will wear gloves.


Imaging Services


Imaging services have resumed and to ensure the safety of our patients and teammates, we are implementing these safety measures: 

  • Patients will be contacted prior to their appointment to determine if they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors.
  • Each room will be sterilized before and after every procedure.
  • All teammates providing patient care will be masked, gowned and gloved.
  • We have implemented an intensive seven-step cleaning protocol and are using the recommended CDC and EPA disinfectants and cleaning chemicals (like Sani-Cloth Bleach wipes) to clean all areas.
  • We are maintaining social distancing. Patients are asked to wait in their vehicle until it’s time for their appointment and when they come in, they are kept a safe distance of six feet or more from others.
  • Per CDC guidelines, patients should wear a mask when leaving their home and in our facilities. Homemade masks and/or scarves will be acceptable.

View a list of imaging and lab sites.



Consolidation of Labor and Delivery Services


We will be consolidating all Labor and Delivery services to Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley to provide the best patient experience possible while ensuring everyone’s safety.

The Labor and Delivery units at Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital will be temporarily closed effective April 11, and Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital will be temporarily closed effective April 17 as we prepare for the potential surge of COVID-19 patients in the tri-county area. Our experienced and dedicated Labor and Delivery nurses and OB/GYN physicians from across our healthcare system will care for patients at our West Ashley campus.

We are expecting the greatest influx of COVID-19 cases in the Lowcountry by late April or early May. There are so many unknowns about what may happen during the coming days and weeks, but we are confident this change will best serve and protect our mothers and their newborns. We are being proactive in making this decision now to ensure the safest environment possible.

Consolidating Labor and Delivery services to our Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital campus ensures that we will have a large enough space to accommodate projected volumes as well as access a Level 2 nursery, if needed. It also helps us gain efficiencies of scale in staffing, equipment and resources that will help us through whatever might occur.

We are taking these proactive steps because the safety of our patients, teammates and medical staff is our No. 1 priority. Delivering a baby is one of the most memorable times in a mother’s life, and we are committed to doing all we can to help our patients celebrate this milestone moment.

We look forward to resuming deliveries at Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital and Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital in the future.



Free Roper St. Francis Virtual Care


If you have immediate health concerns and wish to speak to a medical professional, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is offering free virtual care consultations and screenings to anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in the Lowcountry. Patients who have fever, coughing and shortness of breath can speak with a provider online between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. any day of the week at no charge. Patients should use the promo code COVID19.

If you are sick please review the information about COVID-19 symptoms on the CDC website before starting a virtual visit.  Those under 16 years of age cannot be screened for COVID-19 through a virtual visit. Patients under 2 years of age cannot be treated through virtual care for any illness.  

Note: Patients have been experiencing extremely long wait times. For a shorter wait, we recommend selecting “Get Started” to be connected to the first available provider instead of selecting a specific provider. 



Ask a Nurse


Not sure where to go with questions about your health? We’re here for you. The Roper St. Francis Ask a Nurse Line is staffed by experienced nurses and is a free service for the community. Our nurses are available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. They’ll help you determine if you can manage your care at home and help you decide what to do next. Call (843) 549-4ASK (4275).



Drive-thru Specimen Collection


We are providing drive-thru specimen collecting for patients suspected of having COVID-19 who have already been screened by a Virtual Care provider or who are scheduled for surgery.

Patients are being seen from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Roper St. Francis Physician Partners Primary Care at 5133 Rivers Avenue in North Charleston.

Only patients with a testing order can use this service.



Elective Surgeries


As of Wednesday, April 22, Roper St. Francis Healthcare will resume certain surgical procedures. We want to help our patients who are suffering and in need of surgical relief while remaining vigilant and prepared to handle whatever the pandemic may bring. We are taking a thoughtful and careful approach that has been informed by national, surgical and anesthesia society guidelines to minimize COVID-19-related risks to patient and our healthcare team. All surgical patients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Our ability to test patients for COVID-19 on-site will enable caregivers to take a deliberate approach when deciding whether that's necessary before surgery. Testing will be required for certain non-emergent high-risk procedures. Get more information.



Donation of Critical Supplies


We are accepting donations for critical supplies such as personal protective equipment, faceshields, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Here is a complete list of items we can accept. We will accept any quantity, but these items must be sealed and in their original packaging. Donations can be delivered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 9165 University Blvd., Suite 200. No appointment or pre-approval is needed. If you have questions, please email Covid19Donations@rsfh.com.



How Should the Public Prepare for COVID-19?


The best prevention against COVID-19 is hygiene. Roper St. Francis Healthcare recommends having plenty of hand sanitizer and soap available. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds after touching objects and surfaces and immediately after interacting or shaking hands with others. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Tips to keeping yourself and your family healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Follow the CDC's recommendation for wearing a mask in public. 

Since the coronavirus symptoms are similar to a common respiratory virus, we will continue to educate our patients and the community about prevention, detection and treatment. Please visit the following links from the CDC for important information:



How Does Coronavirus Spread?


Information about how COVID-19 (formerly called 2019-nCoV) is thought to be spreading from ill people to others is available from the CDC.



What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?


Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Please review the CDC's signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection page for further information.



Can Coronavirus be Treated? 


Please refer to the CDC's prevention and treatment resources for information.



Is There a Coronavirus Vaccine?


There is no vaccine. The best way to prevent becoming infected is to avoid exposure. Proper hand washing is also essential to control the spread of the disease. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water is best, but if it is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and You - fact sheet (PDF)



What Causes Coronavirus?


The origins of coronavirus have been traced to Wuhan, China. If you think you may have come into contact with someone with the virus or you have traveled in Wuhan, China and are experiencing respiratory-like symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, or cough), please contact your provider and wear a mask before entering any Roper St. Francis Healthcare facilities.

Please monitor the CDC's Coronavirus page for the most up to date general information about the outbreak. Information and updates specific to Roper St. Francis Healthcare protocols or actions will be posted here as appropriate in the days ahead.
Free Virtual Care Screenings for COVID-19

Roper St. Francis Healthcare is offering free virtual care consultations and screenings to anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in the Lowcountry. New and existing patients who have fever, coughing and shortness of breath can speak with a Roper St. Francis Express Care provider between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. any day of the week at no charge. Patients should use the promo code COVID19.  



Virtual Visits Available to All Patients

Roper St. Francis Physician Partners is offering virtual visits for all patients whose clinical needs can be met remotely. If you are interested in changing your scheduled appointment to a virtual visit or would like to schedule a virtual visit, please contact your doctor's office.

eHEALTHLINK Newsletter

Subscribe today to the Roper St. Francis Healthcare monthly e-newsletter for informative articles and medical insights.

Copyright © 2020 Roper St. Francis All rights reserved. Pencil
Back to Top Chat