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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

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.

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.

Exceptions to this policy will be made for extenuating clinical circumstances. We appreciate your support and understanding during this time. 

For our pregnant patients, we are allowing one visitor per patient who will stay as the support person for the duration of their hospital stay.  



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.​​

 

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).



Remote Visit Offered in all Roper St. Francis Physician Partners Practices


All Roper St. Francis Physician Partners specialties are offering virtual visits for all scheduled patients whose clinical needs can be met remotely. This change is in accordance with the recently released CMS guidelines and an effort to keep patients in the safety of their homes while enabling them to have face-to-face interaction with their physicians.

Roper St. Francis Physician Partners office staff are contacting scheduled patients and confirming they are interested in having a virtual visit as well as ensuring they have the required equipment and support for a successful virtual visit.



Drive-thru Specimen Collection


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

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


Because we care about our community and keeping our patients and teammates safe, we will suspend all elective, non-urgent cases as of March 20 at 5 p.m. We recognize that the majority of our surgeries, while labeled elective, are necessary. We are doing our best to balance healing our patients with protecting them from potential exposure and harm and preserving our long-term PPE supply and staff responding to COVID-19. We also are heeding the urging of state and federal authorities. We will continue to perform emergent and urgent cases as well as those that are "life-and-limb threatening."



How Should the Public Prepare for COVID-19?


Roper St. Francis Healthcare stresses that there is no need for members of the public to buy masks, such as N95 particulate-filtering respirators. Such masks are needed by the health care workforce and they must be properly fitted by a trained professional to be effective. Members of the public do not need to wear a mask if they are exhibiting flu-like symptoms and on their way to a medical facility.

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.

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.  

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