April 7, 2020
ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO – The St. Charles County Department of Public Health and CenterPointe Hospital in St. Charles, have confirmed that, to date, more than 20 staff and three patients at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19. CenterPointe has acquired its own diagnostic tests and to date, more than 60 staff from the facility have been tested, including those without symptoms who may have been exposed and who, under current state and federal guidelines, would not ordinarily meet the criteria for testing.
The hospital has been working closely with the Department of Public Health to contain the virus since the first positive case was reported there on Saturday, March 28. In partnership with the proper authorities, CenterPointe is actively working to open a dedicated unit to treat the acute mental health needs of area patients who have tested positive, with a separate area to treat those who are under investigation for having the virus. Employees who test positive are quarantined at home.
“The health and safety of our patients and staff is a daily priority,” says Scott Williams, CEO at CenterPointe. “We continue to gather information to determine how best to proceed, and that is why we value our partnership with St. Charles County Public Health staff in making these important decisions. We, like every other health care provider in Missouri and the entire country, have been scrambling and turning over every stone to find PPE for our staff. We were relieved to finally receive a shipment of N95 masks on Wednesday, March 24, which we began to distribute to our staff immediately.”
“Under the guidance of the St. Charles County Public Health Department, we have quarantined affected units, and made an independent decision to temporarily halt admissions starting last Sunday, March 29,´ Medical Director Azfar Malik, M.D., says. “We have units which have been emptied, thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and, in combination with proper use of PPE by our staff, will be available to safely accept admissions imminently in order to serve the mental health needs of our community at this unprecedented time.”
Dr. Malik is working directly with staff and patients to educate all stakeholders on proper procedures and practices to assist CenterPointe in creating and maintaining the safest environment possible.
Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms such as dry cough and fever, should isolate themselves from others and call a healthcare provider. People who visited the facility but do not have symptoms do not need to self-quarantine unless they notice COVID-19 symptoms. If you have questions, call the St. Charles County Public Health Information Hotline from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 636-949-1899, or visit sccmo.org/COVID for more information.
Mary Enger, St. Charles County Communications Director, 636-949-1856, or 636-443-1008, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Sheila Hunt, CenterPointe, at 636-345-6150