Iberia Medical Center Reinforces Importance of Masking and Vaccination

Photo courtesy of MGN

Over the past several weeks with the surge in Covid-19 cases across Acadiana, Iberia Medical Center continues to refine hospital health and safety policies and reinforce the importance of masking and vaccination.

Posted: Jul 30, 2021 4:53 PM

New Iberia - Over the past several weeks with the surge in Covid-19 cases across Acadiana, Iberia Medical Center continues to refine hospital health and safety policies and reinforce the importance of masking and vaccination.

Changes to IMC’s consolidated entrance policies and visitation for the continued safety of our patients, staff, physicians and visitors were made earlier this month.

Main Campus entrances for the public are limited to:

Medical Office Building Entrance during regular business hours
Main Campus Front Entrance (5:30am – 5:00pm)
Main Campus ER Entrance

IMC's inpatient visitation policy has been reinstated to allow one unique, assigned visitor at a time during established visiting hours. Previously, patients were allowed to change visitors per day. IMC's full visitation policy including this change is as follows:

Outpatient Testing: Patient Only (Exceptions: patient is a minor or is developmentally challenged)
Inpatients at Main and North: One asymptomatic visitor at a time during established visiting hours. Visitor may not stay overnight.
Inpatient Rehab: One asymptomatic visitor allowed during established unit visiting hours
Inpatient Behavioral Health: One asymptomatic visitor allowed during established unit visiting hours
Inpatient Laboring Moms: Spouse/Partner allowed
Special needs patient: (i.e. developmentally challenged) Spouse/Partner OR family member
Pediatric Patients: Two parents or guardians
End-of-Life Patients: Spouse/Partner or Adult Family Member. Adult is defined as 18 or older.
Surgery: One adult for surgical patient (pre- and post-surgery) Visitor may not stay overnight.
Emergency Department: No visitors unless patient is a minor or is developmentally challenged.
Covid-19 positive patients: On a limited basis
No visitor under 18 will be allowed to enter either facility.
Social distancing guidelines and proper wearing of mask will be required at all times while inside the hospital and medical office building facilities.

For everyone’s health and safety, masks are required to enter Main and North campuses, medical office buildings on both campuses as well as the IMC Physician Network practices and will be strictly enforced.

Iberia Medical Center’s administrators and medical staff leadership monitor Covid-19 patient volume daily. Updates from the Region 4 Office of Public Health are also received and reviewed daily.

This week, Iberia Medical Center has had a daily Covid-19 inpatient census ranging from the low 20s to the low 30s. The daily average number of Covid-19 inpatients in the ICU and requiring a ventilator is 4-6. Iberia Medical Center currently has no inpatients who were previously fully vaccinated, and since the beginning of July, has had only one patient admitted after full vaccination.

Dr. Moses Kitakule, pulmonologist and IMC Covid-19 Medical Director, reports that the age of Covid-19 inpatients currently at IMC is materially younger, on average, than Covid-19 inpatients in 2020. He reported that he is currently seeing inpatients ages 40-50.

Iberia Medical Center continues to offer the Covid-19 vaccine to employees who are interested in receiving the vaccine. The hospital is hosting employee education and vaccine events. With many locations throughout our community to obtain vaccinations, Iberia Medical Center is offering support to those locations and redirecting its nursing resources to the administration of monoclonal infusion therapy, the lifesaving therapy that was introduced in November 2020 for patients with mild to moderate symptoms who are at risk for developing severe illness. The goal of the therapy is to lessen the severity of Covid-19 and help reduce hospitalizations.

Iberia Medical Center continues rigorous cleaning and sanitization practices at both campuses and follows the stringent environmental cleaning protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

During the pandemic, Iberia Medical Center has purchased new state-of-the-art ventilators and other respiratory equipment and has a full supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), and has sufficiently expanded the number of negative pressure rooms (also referred to as isolation rooms) to prevent airborne diseases and viruses such as Covid-19 from transmission.

Regarding surgical procedures, hospital leadership and key members of the medical staff evaluate the evolving situation daily including reviewing the daily census and surgical caseload to determine capacity. As of Thursday, July 29, 2021, inpatient and outpatient surgeries are continuing with strict patient screening protocols in place.

Iberia Medical Center continues performing outpatient Covid-19 lab and radiology testing through the drive-up process at the North Campus. Physicians can order testing for same day service.

“During this current Covid-19 surge in Acadiana, we remain committed to caring for our community. We are so thankful to have dedicated and compassionate employees and physicians who are living our mission every day,” states Dionne Viator, Iberia Medical Center CEO.

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