March 17, 2020
 
Many of you have reached out for more details about how Carilion is responding to the COVID-19 situation, and I wanted to update you on our guidelines and preparations. 
 
Let me start by thanking you for your partnership and support. At times like this, it is important for all of us - healthcare providers, elected officials and administrative leaders - to work together to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable among us. 
 
Clinicians at Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital and our many other clinics in the region are closely monitoring the latest COVID-19 guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization. We have received many questions about screening and testing for COVID-19. Our providers are highly trained to properly screen patients using the following guidelines.  
 
  • We ask individuals to consider their symptoms before calling or coming to the hospital or their health care provider. Many people have minor symptoms and do not require medical care or testing and can stay home rather than coming into an office or facility. 
  • For those who have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms, we encourage them to call their health care provider. Their provider will let them know what to do next.
  • Those who do not exhibit symptoms will not be evaluated or tested for COVID-19.
  • As always, anyone who has flu-like symptoms should avoid close contact with others and wash their hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

As an extra layer of defense, Carilion has implemented some precautionary measures, like changing our visitor policy, to promote safety in our hospitals and encourage social distancing.

Rumors spread quickly in a small-community like ours, especially during times of uncertainty. Please be wary of rumors and be sure to check information using trusted sources. 

While it is difficult to envision calmer seas ahead amid this present storm, we will get through this and Carilion will do it with our communities and their leaders in mind. The health of our patients is our top priority, and Carilion is fully prepared and confident in the measures we have taken and the protocols we are using to treat patients who have the virus while protecting our staff and other patients. Thank you for your help ensuring our community members are informed. 

Stay well,

Carl T. Cline, Jr.

Vice President, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital 

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