Dear Valued Patient:
Your safety and wellbeing continue to be at the heart of all we do.
We know that this is a time of uncertainty, as we wonder what this new coronavirus (COVID-19) will bring to our families and our community. Instead of focusing on what we don’t know, we encourage you to focus on WHAT WE DO KNOW.
We want to make sure you stay properly informed, so we are sending you periodic updates via email. Misinformation is easily shared, so it is important to stay educated and receive information from credible sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov), the Florida Department of Health (http://www.floridahealth.gov/) and Lakeland Regional Health (myLRH.org). For questions about the virus, please call the Florida Department of Health, 863.519.7911, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Over the next few weeks and months, it is likely we will receive many patients infected with the virus. We want you to be confident that the teams at our Lakeland Regional Health physician practices and Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center are staying informed and prepared. We stand ready to care for our community with compassion and expertise. While this coronavirus may be new, treating infectious diseases is something we do every day. We are trained and equipped to safely care for patients while protecting the health of other patients and team members.
We want to share what we know with you.
New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing
For nearly 80% of those who catch the coronavirus, the symptoms of cough and fever will be mild, similar to the common cold, and can be handled at home without ever being tested.
Those whose symptoms are severe and in need of medical attention are asked to call their provider (863.284.5000 if your primary provider is with Lakeland Regional Health) or the hospital (863.687.1100 and ask for the Emergency Department). Calling first allows us to provide you with important instructions.
As always, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, please call 9-1-1 immediately.
Social distancing, which reduces one’s chance of coming into contact with germs, is strongly recommended by the medical community. We each play a very vital part in slowing the spread of this virus, and we hope you are taking this downtime to heart.
Can I Visit a Patient at the Medical Center?
To assure the safety of our patients and their visitors, our visitation policy has changed.
If you are experiencing cough, shortness of breath or fever OR have been in close contact with a person known to have Coronavirus (COVID-19) or recently traveled from an area with an ongoing spread of Coronavirus or traveled by commercial air, domestic or international, in the last 14 days you will not be able to visit a patient at this time.
Patients who are accepting phone calls can be reached by calling 863.687.1100.
In addition, we are limiting our visitors at this time to: no children younger than 17 years old and one visitor per patient unless you are a parent of child in our care. The same guidelines apply to guests accompanying patients at our outpatient care locations throughout Polk County.
As conditions change, our visitation policy may be further altered.
Does prevention really help?
We know that certain measures can help us avoid catching viruses. Though the message to WASH YOUR HANDS AND NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE has been heard a lot, it is absolutely true. It is also important to stay home if you are sick.
Though life is very much far from the routine right now, our hope is that you and your family are staying healthy and safe. Thank you for trusting us to serve you as we come together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community.
Elaine C. Thompson, PhD
President and CEO, Lakeland Regional Health
Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE
President and CEO Elect, Lakeland Regional Health
Timothy J. Regan, MD
President, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center
Chief Medical Officer, Lakeland Regional Health
Daniel O. Haight, MD, FACP
Vice President, Community Health
Medical Director, Infection Prevention
Lakeland Regional Health