The two patients confirmed by Austin Public Health this morning as presumptive positive cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Austin-Travis County were tested at St. David's HealthCare facilities.

One of the patients was tested on March 11, 2020, at St. David's Emergency Center-Bee Cave and was subsequently released and sent home for self-quarantine that same day. The other patient arrived via EMS at St. David's Medical Center on March 11, 2020, and was placed in isolation.

Our hospitals are safe. Everyone entering our facilities—patients, visitors, employees, physicians and vendors—undergoes a verbal screening before entering to ensure that people coming into our facilities are safe and appropriately triaged. In addition, we have infection prevention protocols in place within our facilities to ensure that our staff are wearing personal protective equipment, when needed, and that any patient suspected of having COVID-19 is isolated and separated from other patients and visitors in the facility. We are also continuously evaluating our supply of personal protective equipment, and we are confident in our inventory.

As the COVID-19 scenario continues to unfold, it is important that we reserve our emergency departments for patients with emergent medical conditions. We are encouraging patients to access the most appropriate site of care for their medical needs. If a patient has flu-like symptoms or thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19, they should call their primary care doctor or go to an urgent care clinic. If they are having trouble breathing, or have some other type of related emergent condition, they should go to an emergency department.

The community can feel confident in this region's healthcare system, our level of preparedness, the quality of care and the spirit of collaboration. We all train for scenarios like this every day. This is what we're called to do. The community needs us, and we're answering that call to care and serve.

David Huffstutler
President and Chief Executive Officer
St. David's HealthCare