Due to the recent spike in cases, please see our new Visitor Policy effective Thursday July 16th at 5pm.
As of 9/28 we have had over 3,548 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Calhoun County and have had 152,983 cases throughout the state. We currently have 23 known positive COVID-19 patients in our hospital, which is down from last week! View relevant news links here.
What to Expect From Us to Keep You Safe
Due to an increased number of COVID-19 cases in the Calhoun County area, officials at RMC and Stringfellow Hospitals announced today they are reinstating the earlier restrictions restricting hospital visitors. Effective Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 5:00p.m., the reinstated policy calls for Anniston-based hospitals to restrict all hospital visitation by family members, visitors and non-essential health care personnel at RMC and Stringfellow Hospitals. Visitors will only be allowed for compassionate care for end-of-life patient cases, support persons with disabilities and one support person allowed for maternity cases.
- Our Environmental Services team follows CDC Guidelines, and we have partnered with Clorox to utilize their Healthcare Disinfection Toolkit.
- First, we utilize the Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayer for ceiling-to-floor cleaning at time of discharge.
- We then wait 2 minutes, then follow-up with the use of Clorox bleach spray and germicidal wipes for outside vents, door knobs, etc. all the way down to power cords.
- Finally we use UV lights to sanitize our HVAC systems.
- We have also added more negative-pressure rooms.
- Patients are being stopped at the ER entrance and checked for fever, flu-like illness, and recent travel.
- Individuals that need to be further assessed for possible COVID related illness are sent to a separate secured entrance to the ER.
- This allows us to triage them in a more private and secure area with proper PPE.
- They will then be sent to the next appropriate destination dependent upon their triage assessment.
We originally set up a Monday-Friday off-site specimen collection site as a resource for our community physicians.
Our offsite “tent” testing is beginning to transition into our long-term plan for community testing. Starting the second week of June, the tent will only be open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-4pm through June 25th.
If you would like info on obtaining a physician order, please call our hotline at 256-235-5600.
Messages from Our Staff
Dr. Magadia’s Weekly Musings Blog
Here you’ll find a weekly musings blog by our very own infectious disease specialist. Below are links to and summaries of each of his blog posts.August 7th (White Coat Ceremony Speech)– So, why am I boring you with story of my life? And why during your white coat ceremony? Plain and simply because Medicine and its most visible and easily recognizable symbol, the white coat, are intertwined…
View Past Musings
July 2nd– About 4 months into pandemic, we have some data now about long-term outcomes on those who got sick to the point that they had to be hospitalized. Some of the patients that we have seen in the hospital are now rolling in in our clinics/offices for post discharge follow-up. So I want to talk about that for a minute.
July 8th– To mask or not to mask… A study done by van Doremalen, et al, in mid March, which I briefly discussed on my previous blog on March 21st, somehow answered that question incompletely. They found that infectious viruses could remain in the air for up to three hours.
July 24th– Going 6 months into this pandemic, we are still learning a lot of things about this thing. However, we know more now than we did back in March. There’s still a lot of unknowns about this thing but we could certainly say that this organism is predictable in its unpredictability. Or is it unpredictable in its predictability? Tomatoes, potatoes.
July 28th-I did not think I will have to discuss Hydroxychloroquine or Plaquenil anymore but here we are again. Plaquenil, early on during the pandemic, was touted as a “miracle drug” based on personal experience or anecdotal evidence. But as more scientific and well-controlled clinical trials showed no efficacy and even higher potential for adverse events…
May 18th– There’s a lot of talk about the Chinese experience with Remdesivir (RDS) vs placebo (PLC) as reported by Wang, et al. It was the first double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center randomized clinical trial (DB, PC, MCRCT) on RDS that was done in February and March 2020 but was not published in Lancet until the end of April 2020. There was unintended almost malicious early release of this study’s results on the WHO website that was immediately taken down after few hours.
May 19th– We finally released our last patient from the COVID ward today. This nonagenarian had been with us in the hospital for 44 days. We have gotten really close to her with her charming demeanor while occasionally exhibiting pleasant dementia.
June 1th-Welcome back. It has been a relatively quiet 2 weeks at our hospital’s COVID ward. Not so much for the rest of the country. Unless you have been living under a rock the past few days, you know that there are groups gathering in different cities across the country in protest about social injustice, specifically related to the unfortunate events that happened in Minneapolis…
June 17th-This past Monday, the US FDA revoked the EUA (emergency use authorization) for hydroxychloroquine sulfate aka Plaquenil and its parent drug chloroquine phosphate. We could pretty much say that the concept of Plaquenil therapy with COVID-19 is dead as a doornail. We have removed that as part of our regimen in our hospital.
March 21st-It is incumbent upon us medical professionals to read up and study on our respective fields as people rely on us for information. We can not propagate a false lead on something published but has not been validated and peer reviewed like the report that certain blood types protect one from or make one more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 or on something published in a not so refutable site.
March 29th– My RMC Family, As of Friday March 27th, we have done 236 testings for SARS-CoV-2 between both hospitals, drive through and JSU Student Health Center. Calhoun County currently has three positive cases.
April 8th-I spend a good bit of time at the hospital’s COVID19 ward. Between making rounds and donning/doffing PPEs plus the necessary evil of writing down the notes after reviewing patients’ labs, putting orders and updating their family over the phone or sometimes on FaceTime, these consume the better part of my day.
April 14th– One of the frequently asked questions of me about this thing is “How long am I contagious after I recover?” which is often followed up by “Do I continue to shed the virus even after testing negative?
Stay Informed Using These Reliable News Links
View any of the below links from external news sources this month:
- 8/30/20: Thirty New Cases of COVID-19 in Calhoun County; Calhoun County saw 30 newly-diagnosed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, as new-case numbers begin to trend upward statewide, according to numbers released Sunday by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
- 8/24/20: RMC doctor discussed medical aspects of COVID-19; Dr. Almena Free, a physician at Regional Medical Center in Anniston, said there were 17 people in one of the hospital’s COVID-19 units, and eight or nine were on a ventilator. In the hospital’s second unit, she said, there were seven patients.
- 8/20/20: New virus cases, hospitalizations continue to trend downward; Hospitals around the state reported 1,105 COVID-19 patients Thursday, the lowest total in more than a month, according to ADPH. Statewide hospitalizations peaked at 1,613 on Aug. 5.
- 8/15/20: Phillip Tutor: The ‘contact person’ for COVID in our schools;
The pandemic’s persistence won’t allow unrestrained optimism, so let’s assume this basic premise: Students at Calhoun County’s schools are headed back to class — thousands of them — and some will get sick.
- 8/12/20: Neck gaiters may be worse than no mask at all, study suggests; The researchers found that while most of the cotton, cloth or surgical-style masks tested were effective at limiting the amount of respiratory droplets a person expelled while talking, the “neck gaiter” or neck fleece actually resulted in more small droplets being expelled (This article cites the article below).
- 8/07/20: RMC Favorite: Inexpensive, Accessible Device Provides Visual Proof that Masks Block Droplets; Hand-made cotton face coverings provided good coverage, eliminating a substantial amount of the spray from normal speech.On the other hand, bandanas and neck fleeces such as balaclavas didn’t block the droplets much at all.
- 8/07/20: Calhoun County Commissioner Eli Henderson dead of COVID-19 at age 83; James “Eli” Henderson, the longtime Calhoun County Commissioner who was a walking textbook in how to get elected in rural Alabama, died early Friday afternoon at Regional Medical Center in Anniston after several days of struggle with COVID-19, according to his daughter, circuit clerk Kim McCarson. He was 83.
- 8/06/20: Cleburne County Nursing Home records 32 COVID-19 cases; After only having two positive cases of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, the Cleburne County Nursing home now has a total of 32 cases between residents and staff as of Thursday afternoon. Of the 32 cases, 30 were asymptomatic.
- 8/03/20: Up to 20 Dead COVID-19 in Calhoun County; 4 more people have died over the weekend. The coronavirus COVID-19 may have killed as many as 20 people in Calhoun County — more than twice the official death toll — local officials said in a press conference at Regional Medical Center in Anniston Monday afternoon.
View Past Coronavirus News Links
- 7/25/20: COVID workload stretching staff at RMC; Infections have ramped up in the last two weeks, stretching hospital staff as the numbers grow. Another 62 people had tested positive for the virus in Calhoun County since the day before, according to Alabama Department of Public Health numbers released Friday morning. The county’s cumulative total since March reached 970, and 480 of those cases — about 49 percent — had been confirmed in the prior 14 days.
- 7/23/20: JSU president announces he’s COVID-19-positive; “Earlier today I did go to the student health center to receive a COVID-19 test,” Killingsworth said Thursday evening. “Unfortunately, it came back positive, so I am in isolation at this point.”
- 7/23/20: COVID beginning to strain ICU capacity as Calhoun County nears 900 cases; Calhoun County’s hospitals are transferring trauma patients as far away as Nashville now that a surge in COVID-19 patients has begun to strain intensive care units here and across the state, according to hospital officials.
- 7/20/20: Anniston’s RMC opens more COVID-19 beds as admissions continue rising; “We need your help, because we are stretched right now,” said Louis Bass, the hospital’s CEO, to about 800 people watching the online broadcast. “We need you to understand, this is a very real issue.”
- 7/17/20: RMC renews ‘no visitors’ policy as COVID-19 cases climb; Anniston’s Regional Medical Center said today it will again bar most visitors to the hospital as the number of patients it’s treating for COVID-19 keeps climbing and the virus spreads rapidly through Alabama.
- 7/13/20: The Push for a Statewide Mask Order in Alabama; The Alabama Hospital Association said they support the idea of statewide face mask order.
- 7/09/20: Birmingham Physicians Sending Letter to Local Schools about COVID-19 Safety; The physicians, who are parents themselves, have already sent the letter to many schools, and their goal is to send it to every school in the greater Birmingham area. They believe more medical voices are needed in the conversation about school safety during the pandemic.
- 7/09/20: RMC hits new high for COVID-19 patients, Alabama virus count rising faster; Coronavirus infection in Alabama continued to spike, with more than 2,100 new cases reported by state officials and ever-climbing numbers of people being treated in hospitals.
- 7/03/20: Local COVID-19 cases spike up; Jax Fest to be fireworks only; Thursday the 2nd saw 43 residents of Calhoun County getting positive test results in a single day, according to numbers released by the Alabama Department of Public Health Friday morning.
- 6/29/20: Calhoun County sees higher rate of COVID-19 cases in last 2 weeks
- 6/10/20: RMC has been working with officials in several communities to provide temporary pop-up testing sites in Hobson City, Roanoke, Constantine, County Ag Center, and Glen Addie Apartment Homes, and Oxford Civic Center, in addition to the testing site set up by the Medical Arts Building.
- 6/3/20:Free COVID-19 testing planned for Piedmont as local cases resume rise
- 5/11/20: COVID-19 testing coming to county ag center– The temporary drive-in site will be located at the Calhoun County Agricultural Center on Thursday.
- 5/08/20: FDA-approved Facility Set to Decontaminate N-95 Masks in Alabama– Healthcare providers now have a free service that will decontaminate previously worn N95 respirator face masks so the masks can be safely reused.
- 4/28/20: Safely Home– RMC discharges COVID-19 patient after 15 days on ventilator
- 4/22/20: 85 cases in Calhoun County– Nearly 5,600 in Alabama positive for Coronavirus, 197 have died and nearly 700 are being hospitalized
- 4/22/20: RMC working to expand COVID testing locations– Glen Addie Homes apartments it the public housing complex and the site where RMC Hospital and the City of Anniston is hosting a drive thru and walk up COVID-19 testing location.
- 4/13/20: Stay at Home Order May be Bending the Curve, Officials Say– At least eight people had been hospitalized in Anniston with the coronavirus by Tuesday, three of them now on ventilators. Another 18 were hospitalized under investigation as possible COVID-19 patients- those showing some coronavirus symptoms who haven’t tested positive.
- 4/10/20: Honda Donates 200 Face Shields for RMC– Honda manufactured and donated 200 face shields for our hospital workers.
- 3/23/20: Live AL Data on COVID Cases, by County– Confirmed Cases, Reported Deaths, and Died From Illness are reported in real time. Total tested and testing sites are updated once a day.
- 3/19/20: Press Release Concerning Temporary No Visitor Policy
- Accessing Your Medical Records During COVID-19 Season– RMC Health Systems recommends that you do not come to the hospital to get copies of your medical records. The best option to get your medical records is to create an account with Chartfast.com, our release of information service, using the above link.
- 3/19/20: Media Release: Drive Through Screening Site
- 3/18/20: First Resident of Anniston with Coronavirus Reported
- Dr. Magadia’s Coronavirus Blog– Here you’ll find a blog updated weekly by our very own infectious disease specialist.
- Podcast feat. Dr. Magadia and RMC CEO Louis Bass– Phillip Tutor of The Anniston Star interviews Regional Medical Center CEO Louis Bass and Dr. Raul Magadia about the global pandemic of COVID-19.
- View Live GIS Map Data on Coronavirus from Johns Hopkins– Visit the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center where experts help to advance understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives.
- CDC Informational Resources & What To Do If You’re Sick– View information regarding list of symptoms and what you can do to keep our community safe.
- World Health Org: Rolling Updates- Events as They Happen– View an online repository of relevant news articles as they occur.