Willis-Knighton Health System Receives Its First Presumptive Positive COVID-19 Patient

Mar 15, 2020

Patient Treated at WK Pierremont Health Center and Released to Home Isolation

Willis-Knighton Health System has received its first presumptive positive result for a patient with COVID-19. The patient was tested Thursday, March 12, at WK Pierremont Health Center and results were returned Friday, March 13, according to Martha Whyte, MD, director of Louisiana’s Region 7 Office of Public Health.  

The “presumptive positive” result means the patient’s sample returned positive for COVID-19 at the state lab in Baton Rouge. The sample has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for a second test to verify.

To protect the patient’s privacy and abide by HIPAA guidelines, Dr. Whyte was limited in information she could release but said the patient was a male and had a travel history that put him at risk of contracting the virus.

“WK Pierremont healthcare workers did everything right,” says Lisa Stamper, director of Willis-Knighton Infection Prevention and Control. “Absolutely. They did a perfect job.”

Stamper says healthcare workers knew the patient was coming. They used appropriate personal protective equipment – gown, mask, gloves and goggles – and they isolated him immediately per hospital and CDC guidelines.  No one in the ER – care providers or others – was exposed, Dr. Whyte says. The patient was released to home isolation.

“Willis-Knighton Health System is working hard to monitor and adapt to this ever-changing situation to care for our patients in the safest way possible, protect our caregivers and prevent the spread of infection to those who are most vulnerable to this virus,” Stamper says.

Entrance to Willis-Knighton hospitals is now restricted according to CDC guidelines and visitors are screened, including a brief questionnaire and a temperature check. Visiting hours at all hospitals are weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. All campus activities involving the public are cancelled until further notice

“We are confident in our ongoing efforts to adjust processes as needed to enable us to continue to deliver exceptional care and support our community throughout this pandemic and beyond,” Stamper says.