TIFTON – Officials with Tift Regional Medical Center (“TRMC”) announced late Thursday evening that a patient received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result.

This confirmed positive test is the first for the health system. The patient is currently being treated at the hospital.

TRMC officials also announced that they have sent 27 COVID-19 tests to labs. Of the 15 test results received to date, 14 have been negative. The Georgia Department of Public Health has been notified of this positive case.

“In light of this announcement, our team continues to take every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at all of our hospitals, clinics, and facilities,” says Dr. David McEachin, Chief Medical Officer.  “We continue to encourage the community to utilize our hotline before visiting any of our facilities.”

The hotline allows individuals to speak to clinical staff. The number for the hotline is 877-719-5787. This number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Any person who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 is instructed to call the toll-free hotline before they visit a health care facility.

As of March 19, mandatory screenings will occur at all employee entrances as every employee reports to work. This includes a thermometer test and screening questions.

Additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include limiting all visitors from entering all facilities, including outpatient clinics. Limited exceptions are listed in the updated guidelines. No visitors are allowed in Southwell Health and Rehabilitation, the skilled nursing facility located in Adel. An exception may be made for compassionate care situations such as end of life.

Non-essential vendors, including manufacturers’/pharmaceutical representatives, are not allowed in Southwell Facilities:  Tift Regional Medical Center, Southwell Medical, Southwell Health and Rehabilitation, and all clinics and departments of these facilities. Flowers, gift and food deliveries are also suspended. The health system is also restricting public access to the Patient Financial Services/Business Office and Medical Records. Those departments will operate primarily by phone and via online services.  

Entrances at Tift Regional Medical Center will also be limited to the main 20th Street entrance and the Emergency Department entrance on the corner of 20th Street and Lee Avenue. Southwell Medical patients and visitors will be limited to the main entrance. All individuals who go through these entrances will be screened for possible COVID-19 symptoms.

A committee consisting of medical staff and administration meets daily to assess concerns, communications, and preparations.

“We will continue to evaluate our procedures and policies to ensure we reduce the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate our team for their dedication to providing the best care possible to our patients during this time,” said Dr. McEachin.

For more information and updates from Southwell regarding COVID-19, visit www.tiftregional.com/COVID-19.

For accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 visit www.southhealthdistrict.com/covid19, www.dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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