Lehigh Valley, Pa. (March 16, 2020) – Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and St. Luke’s University Health Network are in regular communication as the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves. Today the health networks are sending this joint message regarding surgical services.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the surgeon general, Jerome Adams MD, and the American College of Surgeons have recommended that hospitals limit elective surgical procedures. These measures are intended to allow hospitals to be prepared for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases as well as to limit patient and caregiver exposure.
LVHN and St. Luke’s are announcing that some elective surgeries will be postponed. The new policy will take effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020 and will last at least two weeks. This will not affect urgent /emergent surgery or any other elective surgery where delay could cause a negative impact on our patients’ health.
Patients whose procedures are postponed are being contacted individually. Postponing elective surgeries helps prevent the spread of disease and helps hospitals conserve precious resources such as blood, ventilators and protective equipment for providers.
Both LVHN and St. Luke’s have taken measures to promote the safety and health of the communities we serve, but we can’t do it alone. Each person plays a major role during this unprecedented crisis. There are steps you can take.
- Wash your hands – Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds throughout the day, especially after touching commonly touched surfaces, before eating and after using the restroom.
- Avoid large crowds – The best thing you can do for the safety of everyone in our community is stay home. Minimizing exposure to the virus is our first and best line of defense.
- Know the symptoms – A dry cough, fever and chest tightness are all symptoms of COVID-19.
- Continue with healthy habits – Keep your scheduled doctors’ appointments and procedures.
- Stay-up-to-date – Stay connected by checking updates from your health network’s website (SLHN.org/covid-19 or LVHN.org/covid19).
- Stay home – If you feel sick, contact your health provider and he/she will inform you of next steps. We are reserving COVID-19 tests for people who exhibit symptoms to conserve resources. You can use the following methods to contact a health provider at your preferred health network.
- Complete an E-Visit (detailed questionnaire visit submitted to a provider) by visiting MyLVHN.org or your MyLVHN app.
- Call the MyLVHN Nurse Information line at 1-888-402-LVHN.
- Complete an LVHN Video Visit by downloading the MyLVHN app.
- Call your St. Luke’s Physician Group practice.
- Download the St. Luke’s App and utilize the video visit feature to connect with a doctor
- Call St. Luke’s Coronavirus hotline at 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537), option 7
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LVHN and St. Luke’s implemented common hospital visitation restrictions to limit any confusion in the community. The “No Visitation, No Access Policy” has been implemented for all LVHN and St. Luke’s hospitals and outpatient facilities. You can read those policies at SLHN.org/covid-19 and LVHN.org/covid19.
LVHN and St. Luke’s will continue to stay in contact as the COVID-19 crisis continues to provide the highest level of care to our community.