Archives Atrium Health Navicent Offers Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for COVID-19 1:11 pm

Atrium Health Navicent is now offering outpatient COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments at five central Georgia locations.

If administered within the first week of COVID-19 symptoms onset, the one-time therapy is highly effective in neutralizing the virus and preventing symptoms from worsening, helping prevent progression of the disease that might otherwise require hospitalization. The treatment is administered through intravenous infusion, delivering medication directly into a patient’s bloodstream.

The therapy is intended for use in individuals who have recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness, or those who are unvaccinated and have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.

“Atrium Health Navicent is committed to supporting our community’s health and wellness as we continue to battle COVID-19. We’re proud to offer mAb treatments as another tool to help reduce the impacts of this devastating illness,” said Atrium Health Navicent President and CEO Delvecchio Finley. “While this treatment is highly effective, we also urge everyone to become vaccinated. Vaccination remains the best proven method for reducing the risk of serious COVID-19 illness and reducing the pandemic’s spread.”

The therapy, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by emergency use authorization, is not a replacement for vaccination. A Phase 3 clinical trial showed that the antibody therapy reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 70 percent or more, in patients who received the drug intravenously, compared to those who received a placebo.

Monoclonal antibody treatment is available via a physician’s referral for eligible adults and children aged 12 and older at Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center, Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin, Atrium Health Navicent Peach and Monroe County Hospital, an Atrium Health Navicent Partner.

“As the Delta variant continues to spread through central and South Georgia, mAb treatment offers another care option to help save lives,” said Dr. Patrice Walker, Chief Medical Officer for Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center. “It is important to remember, this treatment doesn’t replace COVID vaccines as our community’s most powerful tool to prevent serious coronavirus infection.”

To find a vaccine provider, visit dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.

For assistance in choosing a primary physician, visit navicenthealth.org and select “Find a Doctor.”

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org.

 

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Atrium Health Navicent Physicians Urge Patients to Consider Virtual, Primary and Urgent Care Options for Non-Emergency Care 2:47 pm

Physicians urge patients to seek out the best care option for their needs

 

With the local rise of COVID-19 cases and subsequent increase in hospital emergency room patient volumes, Atrium Health Navicent encourages patients to consider virtual, primary and urgent care options for non-emergency care. In the event of an emergency, patients should call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

In addition to primary care services provided by the Atrium Health Navicent Medical Group’s physicians’ offices located across central and South Georgia, Virtual Visits are available for health conditions typically treated through primary and urgent care, such as allergies, bronchitis, sinus infections, strep throat, pink eye, hypertension, gout, rashes and stomach discomfort.

First launched by Atrium Health Navicent last spring, the platform allows patients to connect to board-certified doctors using their phone, tablet or computer.

Local providers from the Atrium Health Navicent Medical Group, including primary care providers and pediatricians, consult with patients using the platform between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, ensuring patients have access to their trusted local doctors during regular business hours.

Since its launch in 2020, patients have competed more than 4,500 Virtual Visits.

The Virtual Visits platform is designed as an on-demand service, with no need to make an appointment. Patients can access Virtual Visit by visiting myatriumhealth.org or using the MyAtriumHealth app available through the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Virtual Visit should not be used for life-threatening conditions. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

“Virtual Visits offers an alternative to traditional, in-person visits to a physician’s office, allowing patients to consult with a doctor, receive a real-time assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan,” said Dr. Dean Kindler, Senior Vice President for Operations and Physician-in-Chief for Atrium Health Navicent Medical Group. “This service offers quality care from the convenience of home, something many health consumers have found helpful during the pandemic.”

Many specialty physicians’ offices also offer virtual visits. For more information, patients are encouraged to ask their physician’s office directly.

Children seeking treatment for ear infection, shortness of breath, strep throat, urinary tract infection and wheezing must still see a provider at an in-person office visit.

“The increased virtual care options available to patients in central and South Georgia – virtual visits, virtual behavioral health, virtual hospital and virtual pediatric infectious disease consultations – are direct benefits and examples of the added value afforded by our strategic combination with Atrium Health,” said Dr. Sanford Duke, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for Atrium Health Navicent. “Virtual care options expand our expertise, offering immeasurable benefits for our patients and the communities we serve.”

Atrium Health Navicent also offers care at three urgent care locations:

For assistance in choosing a primary physician, visit navicenthealth.org and select “Find a Doctor.”

 About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org.

 

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Southeast Georgia Health System Expands Access to COVID-19 Antibody Therapy Treatment 6:41 pm

Vaccines are still the very best way to prevent COVID-19 or to avoid severe illness, hospitalization or death from the virus. However, for those individuals who test positive for coronavirus and have underlying health conditions, Southeast Georgia Health System offers an outpatient monoclonal antibody therapy that may help avoid hospitalization or severe illness.

 

Regeneron monoclonal antibody therapy (Regeneron infusion) helps the immune system stop COVID-19 from spreading in people with mild to moderate symptoms. The antibodies are synthetic proteins that are manufactured in a lab. The therapy is not new, doctors have long used this treatment to deliver drugs or radioactive substances directly to cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given monoclonal antibody therapy emergency use authorization for the treatment of COVID-19. According to the FDA, clinical trials showed that COVID-19 patients who received antibody infusions had a significant reduction in hospitalization and death compared to patients who received a placebo.

 

“We have seen patients with significant comorbidities, meaning those who have two or more diseases or medical conditions, avoid hospitalization and have reduced recovery time as a result of infusion,” says Beth Hall, R.T.(R), manager, Physician Practices, Southeast Georgia Physician Associates. “In some patients, the treatment also helps prevent coronavirus complications.”

 

There’s an important exception, however. “The treatment is most effective when given as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms and a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result. Ideally, within five days but not more than 10 days after onset,” Hall explains.

 

The Health System began offering antibody infusions in November 2020 at Glynn Immediate Care Center in Brunswick. Due to the increased number of positive COVID-19 patients, the therapy is now also offered in a dedicated section of the Brunswick Campus hospital.

 

“Our goal is to treat as many high-risk patients as possible to prevent symptoms from progressing to severe illness and hospitalization,” says Daniel Miller, M.D., emergency medicine physician at Glynn Immediate Care Center and member of the Health System’s medical staff. “We’re doing everything we can to prevent further COVID-19-related deaths in our community.”

Hall adds, “We can currently accommodate up to 30 patients daily, and hope to begin offering treatments seven days a week soon. Treatments take between 20 minutes to an hour, with an hour of observation afterwards.”

 

Do You Qualify for Treatment?

Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults and adolescents (12 years and older) with a BMI greater than 25. Vaccinated and unvaccinated high-risk individuals can receive antibody infusions if they meet the following criteria:

 

Qualified individuals must be referred by their primary care doctor or evaluated at Glynn Immediate Care Center. The referral must include an infusion order, a copy of the positive COVID-19 test result, and an office note from the physician confirming the patient qualifies for the therapy. The outpatient antibody therapy is only available by appointment; no walk-ins are accepted. There is no cost to the patient for the therapy; however, an administration fee will be filed with the patient’s insurance company.

 

An Ounce of Prevention

It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s certainly true with the COVID-19 vaccine. While there is no cure for COVID-19 currently, the vaccine provides significant protection. And, if someone is vaccinated and becomes infected with the Delta variant, they are less likely to develop serious symptoms or be hospitalized. For a pandemic weary nation, getting more people vaccinated is the surest, quickest way to protect our country, our loved ones, our economy and return to a sense of normalcy.

 

The Health System offers free COVID-19 vaccinations on the following days:

 

 

To schedule an appointment, visit sghs.org/covid19-vaccine. The vaccine is also available at Georgia Department of Public Health vaccination clinic locations. To find a clinic, go to gachd.org/vaccine or call 912-230-5506.

 

For more information about the monoclonal antibody infusion, please call the Health System’s COVID-19 hotline at 912-466-7222.

 

About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, three immediate care centers, five family medicine centers and numerous employed physician practices. The Health System has multiple outpatient specialty care centers, including the only CyberKnife® M6 Program in Georgia, and a Cancer Care Center accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The Health System is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. For more information, visit sghs.org.

 

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SGMC Offering Two COVID-19 Vaccine Drive Thru Locations on Saturday 7:18 pm

South Georgia Medical Center will operate two COVID-19 vaccination drive-thru locations on Saturday, Aug. 28 from 9am-3pm. All unvaccinated persons 12 and older are encouraged to visit either the SGMC Main Campus or SGMC Smith Northview Campus to receive their free COVID-19 vaccine.   

  

The hospital says they already have 500 people scheduled to receive their second COVID-19 dose at the Smith Northview location, which is why the decision was made to open up a second location on that day. Event organizers say they have a goal of 1,000 total vaccinations for this Saturday.  

  

SGMC will also be administering the third COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who are immunocompromised according to CDC guidelines.   

  

COVID-19 positive hospitalization numbers within the health system have doubled in the last two weeks and testing demand has hit record highs with more than 1,000 tests performed daily.  

  

“The only way out of the pandemic is to increase our region’s vaccination rates. The data at our hospital is on trend with the nation, vaccinated individuals are far less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19,” said SGMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Dawson. “Our teams have been working around the clock with increasing volumes, tests, and treatment, so I believe the fact that they are willing to work an additional Saturday to help vaccinate our community speaks volumes.”  

  

SGMC will be administering the Pfizer vaccine and interested individuals can pre-register online at sgmc.org, call 229-433-1068, or simply visit the SGMC Main Campus located at 2417 N. Patterson Street or the SGMC Smith Northview Campus located at 4280 N. Valdosta Road in Valdosta on Saturday, Aug. 28 from 9am-3pm.  

  

For more information, visit sgmc.org 

SGMC Offering COVID-19 Third Dose to Immunocompromised People 2:32 pm

South Georgia Medical Center is now offering an additional shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised as per CDC guidelines.  

 

According to the CDC, people who are currently receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood, have received an organ transplant and are taking medication for their immune system, have received a stem cell transplant within the last two years, have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency, have advanced or untreated HIV, or active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs for the immune system will fall into this category.  

 

“This group of people are at high risk to contract the virus, and we’re very happy to be able to offer them the third dose. We’ve seen many different types of people come get the first two vaccines and they’re just so excited to receive them, now being able to offer an extra dose of protection to those most vulnerable will just be another step in helping us move past this pandemic,” says Director of Infection Control Scarlett Rivera.  

 

SGMC is administering third doses of both Pfizer and Moderna and will provide individuals with the same mRNA vaccine they received for their first two doses as a continuation of their series.   

 

SGMC Smith Northview Campus located on 4280 North Valdosta Road is administering COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals who qualify between Monday-Friday, from 9:30am-4pm.  

 

SGMC will continue to follow CDC guidelines as eligibility for the third dose expands.  

 

For more information visit sgmc.org.  

Southeast Georgia Health System Offers Third Dose to Immunocompromised Individuals 12:48 pm

Following the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Southeast Georgia Health System is now offering a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to individuals with specific immune conditions at its Brunswick and Camden Campus vaccine clinics.

Currently, the CDC is only recommending moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals receive the third dose. This includes people who have:

People should talk to their health care provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

Those seeking a third dose must provide documentation of their medical condition from their physician. They must receive the same vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna, as received for their first and second dose. The third dose can be received as early as 28 days after the second dose. Those who received their first and second doses earlier this year are eligible now as long as they qualify based on the CDC conditions listed above.

The Health System will offer third dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at both of its vaccine clinics on the Brunswick and Camden campuses. Walk-ins are permitted based on vaccine availability; appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure vaccine availability. To schedule an appointment, visit sghs.org/covid19-vaccine. The schedule is as follows:

The Health System anticipates being able to provide third doses to everyone age 12 and older by September 20, 2021 based on CDC guidelines.

The Georgia Department of Public Health vaccination clinic locations are listed online at gachd.org/vaccine or call 912-230-5506.

 

About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, two comprehensive Cancer Care Centers and multiple specialty care centers, including orthopaedic and spine care, joint replacement, breast care, maternity, outpatient rehabilitation, sleep management and wound care. The Brunswick Campus Cancer Care Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and offers the only CyberKnife® M6 with MLC technology in Georgia. Additionally, the Southeast Georgia Physician Associates medical group includes more than 160 providers working in 20 different medical specialties at more than 50 locations. The Health System is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. For more information, visit sghs.org.

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SGMC Relaunches Drive Thru COVID-19 Testing 12:43 pm

South Georgia Medical Center re-opened its drive thru COVID-19 testing at a new location to provide area residents safe and convenient access to testing. The drive thru is located on the main campus in the parking lot of the Surgery Center Building at 2417 N. Patterson St. in Valdosta, and is available Monday-Friday, from 8:30am-4pm.

 

SGMC has seen a significant increase in the demand for testing in recent weeks, testing upwards of 500 people daily. Unfortunately, another number is also up, the testing positivity rates.

 

With the Delta variant being much more contagious, it’s important to revisit easy access to testing that can enable patients infected with COVID-19 to seek early treatment, possibly preventing hospitalization, serious complications and community spread.

 

“Our drive thru testing service is a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19. This service is designed to provide on-demand testing that may not be readily available elsewhere and it serves as a much more convenient alternative to the Emergency Room,” shared SGMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Dean.

 

In the last week, SGMC has experienced as high as a 40 percent positivity rate of all ages tested. Unlike the wave of infections before, positive cases are being found in all age groups. More than half of positive cases are in those 19-49 years of age, and nearly 20 percent are 18 and younger.

 

SGMC reminds everyone that COVID-19 vaccinations are available at the SGMC Smith Northview campus Monday-Friday, from 9am to 3:30pm, and can be scheduled at sgmc.org/vaccine or by calling 229-433-1068.

 

“Vaccination rates are climbing and that is very good news. Vaccinating against this virus is our way out of the pandemic and back to life as we knew it before the onset of this dreaded contagion,” said Dean.

 

For more information regarding SGMC’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, testing, vaccinations, or treatment visit SGMC.org or call 229-333-1000.

Southeast Georgia Health System Offers Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing 12:43 pm

Southeast Georgia Health System offers free nasal swab PCR (molecular polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 testing at its Brunswick and Camden campuses for symptomatic and asymptomatic (no symptoms present) individuals. The PCR test detects if an individual is infected with COVID-19. Rapid testing and antigen testing are not available.

The Health System’s outpatient COVID-19 testing sites are available to anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or in need of a COVID-19 test due to a recent exposure. Physician referrals are not required. Individuals experiencing serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, should visit the Emergency Care Center.

The Brunswick Campus drive-through COVID-19 testing site is located in the parking area across from the Emergency Care Center on Kemble Ave. Testing is available Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., pending available testing supplies. Appointments are not necessary.

The Camden Campus COVID-19 walk-in testing site is located at 202 Lakeshore Drive in St. Marys. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Primary Care at 912-882-6767. Testing is available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

In addition, the Georgia Department of Public Health offers Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long and McIntosh County residents access to COVID-19 testing. More information is available by visiting the website at covid19.gachd.org or calling 912-230-5506.

The Health System continues to offer its free COVID-19 screening hotline at 912-466-7222. Operating Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., the hotline is staffed with Health System nurses and advanced practice providers.

Southeast Georgia Health System also continues to offer free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to everyone age 12 and older. J&J vaccines are available for individuals age 18 and older upon request. The schedule is as follows:

Individuals may schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointment by visiting sghs.org/covid19-vaccine. Walk-ins are also welcome.

The Georgia Department of Public Health vaccination clinic locations are listed online at gachd.org/vaccine or call 912-230-9744.

 

About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, two comprehensive Cancer Care Centers and multiple specialty care centers, including orthopaedic and spine care, joint replacement, breast care, maternity, outpatient rehabilitation, sleep management and wound care. The Brunswick Campus Cancer Care Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and offers the only CyberKnife® M6 with MLC technology in Georgia. Additionally, the Southeast Georgia Physician Associates medical group includes more than 160 providers working in 20 different medical specialties at more than 50 locations. The Health System is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. For more information, visit sghs.org.

Protect Yourself from Heat-Related Illnesses this Summer 5:16 pm

As temperatures soar this summer, it’s important to be on the lookout for symptoms of heat-related illnesses and to take preventative measures.

Young children, those aged 65 and older, overweight individuals and those who are ill or taking certain medications are most at risk of developing a heat-related illness.

Physicians at Atrium Health Navicent warn the community of the following heat-related illnesses:

To lessen your risk of developing heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

“We see a significant increase in patients with heat illnesses as the heat and humidity go up during the summer. Heat exhaustion, and particularly heat stroke, can be life-threatening especially in the middle of the day,” said Dr. John Wood, Medical Director of the Emergency Center at Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center. “If you have to work outside try to work early in the morning or late in the afternoon and be sure to drink plenty of water. Take breaks often and cool off in the shade or an air-conditioned space. Heat-related illnesses can be dangerous, but can be avoided with proper planning and safety measures.”

Seek medical care if you experience early symptoms including cold, pale or clammy skin, nausea, vomiting, weakness or headache.

For emergency situations, call 911 or seek care at the nearest emergency center. Atrium Health Navicent offers emergency care at the following locations:

 

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org.

 

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Hamilton Medical Center using technology to clean air within hospital 2:55 pm

Needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) technology has been installed in every air handler system in Hamilton Medical Center. This improves the air quality in patient rooms, lobby areas, the cafeteria and offices. NPBI complements the already existing air filtration within the hospital.

 

NPBI technology helps reduce particles in the air by introducing ions into the space via the airflow in the ventilation system – without producing harmful levels of ozone or other byproducts. Contact with ions has microbicidal effects on certain viruses and bacteria, which ultimately disrupts their surface proteins and renders them inactive.

 

When the ions disperse throughout a space, they seek out and form bonds with particles in the air through a process called agglomeration. This creates a snowball effect in which particles of opposite polarity begin to cluster together. The larger a cluster of particles becomes, the easier it is for the ventilation system to filter it out of the air.

 

“Particles like dust, dander, smoke, mold, viruses and bacteria all can be suspended in the air we breathe, even though we can’t see them,” said Perri Correll, Infection Prevention director. “This technology significantly reduces those harmful particles and keeps our indoor air clean much like naturally occurring ion clean outdoors.”

 

Third-party testing has shown the NPBI technology dramatically reduces certain viruses and bacteria in the air. For example, in specialty testing with SARS-CoV-2, there was a 98.33% reduction in the air and 99.98% reduction on surfaces.

 

HMC continues to practice social distancing (including decals on floors and furniture) to prevent people from getting within 6 feet of each other. There are additional sanitizing stations throughout the facility, and Xenex germ-zapping robots use high-powered UV light to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses on surfaces. Staggered appointments are used to minimize the number of people in a given area. All guests and staff are screened as they enter HMC and other Hamilton facilities.

 

In addition to HMC, other Hamilton Physician Group and other Hamilton Health Care System locations have added screening, social distancing, additional sanitizing, staggered appointments and face mask requirements for all patients, support people and staff.

 

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