On March 17 Director and State Health Officer for the Arkansas Department of Health Nathaniel Smith, MD, spoke during the governor's press conference, about JRMC's response to COVID-19, stating they had done incredible job of segregating patients.

Jefferson Regional Medical Center was the first hospital in the state of Arkansas to confirm the first coronavirus patient in the state on March 11.

On March 17 Director and State Health Officer for the Arkansas Department of Health Nathaniel Smith, MD, spoke during the governor’s press conference, about JRMC’s response to COVID-19, stating they had done incredible job of segregating patients.

Setting the model for other hospitals in the state, Smith said he had high confidence in their ability to care for patients with COVID-19 and repeated his statement last month when the press conference was held at JRMC.

“This county, this hospital has been on the tip of the spear,” said Smith. “They’ve been on our front lines in our battle against COVID-19 and have done a remarkable job in detaining and limiting the spread of COVID-19.”

In March, Management of Inpatient COVID 19 Positive and Suspected Patients was started, and according to the July 1 COVID-19 Hospitalizations census employee update for JRMC, the current in-house COVID-19 positives are seven and current in-house COVID-19 pending results is two.

On Monday the following updates took place to Jefferson Regional's visitation policy:

• In unrestricted areas, one visitor per patient per day. No visitors allowed in certain areas.

• Visiting hours will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Overnight visitation may be approved under certain circumstances and must be approved in advance.

• All visitors must abide by the visitation guidelines and be screened daily.

• Rehab patients may have one visitor from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Saturday and Sundays 1:30 pm – 7 pm.

• ICU patients who are negative for COVID-19 may have one visitor from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily

• Surgery Waiting Room and Cath Lab Waiting Rooms are open for the one visitor accompanying each patient.

• No visitors allowed in Radiology & Lab Waiting areas. Exceptions may apply for cognitive and physical impairments.

• Patients under 18 are allowed two visitors daily.

• All visitors must use the 40th Avenue entrance only.

• No visitors under 18 years of age.

• All visitors will be screened for COVID-19. People with fever, cough, sore throat or other flu-like symptoms are not permitted to visit any area of the hospital. People who have traveled to high-risk areas for COVID-19 or had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 are not permitted to visit any area of the hospital.

• Visitors are asked to bring their own mask if they have one.

• Visitors will be asked to stay in the patient’s room.

• Cafeteria will be available. Visitors are asked to please abide by the posted guidelines.

• Other visitation requests will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

JRMC did receive funds related to the Direct Care Worker and Non-Direct Care Worker Payment Program for the first five weeks on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 according to their COVID-19 employee update.

According to the Department of Human Services on June 8, 2020, communications were sent to all hospitals asking them to update information on their COVID-19 positive-inpatient admissions for the period January 1, 2020, through June 10, 2020. 

This information will be used to determine a second round of funding to hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots to ensure they are equitably supported in the battle against this pandemic.