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Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Updated 03-26-2020

Call our 24/7 Ask a Nurse Hotline at 310-517-1111

Key Facts for Our Community

  • Starting March 16, 2020, Torrance Memorial Physician Network is limiting visitors to one per patient in all patient care areas. See below for more information.
  • If you are experiencing mild symptoms (cough or fever), self-isolate at home until 24 hours after the resolution of fever and/or improvement of respiratory symptoms. If symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider. Click here for a complete list of primary care providers. For severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath, it is recommended you be seen in an emergency room.
  • Torrance Memorial strongly discourages all visitors with flu-like symptoms from visiting patients or staff. Please DO NOT VISIT if you have any of the following: cough, fever (T>100.4), body aches or sore throat.
  • All planned community events, lectures, classes and support groups are canceled through April 30.

Off-Campus Lab Station

Torrance Memorial will be offering limited testing to ONLY those patients with a Torrance Memorial physician order and a scheduled appointment.

Patients without an order form from a Torrance Memorial physician and confirmed appointment will not be tested at this location. To obtain a medical screening to determine if testing is required, please contact your primary care provider. If patients have questions pertaining to testing, they can call our COVID Health Line at 310-891-6717.

Torrance Memorial is following the CDC’s testing criteria and will not test patients with mild symptoms, such as cough and fever. To determine who gets tested for the virus, Torrance Memorial follows all CDC and Public Health guidelines, which includes evaluating for relevant symptoms, travel history and potential exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Travel History - from geographic areas of active infection within the past 14 days requiring hospitalization
  • Close contact with symptomatic persons returning from such areas or with a person known to have COVID-19 requiring hospitalization

As things change, we will be sure to keep our staff, patients and community updated. Please visit the Los Angeles Department of Health and CDC for recommendations for home isolation.


Update to Visitor Restrictions Policy

Effective March 19, 2020

Torrance Memorial’s top priority is to protect the health and well-being of our patients, staff and physicians. In accordance with the CDC and the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, we have updated our visitor restriction policy in all patient care areas.

Inpatient Units:

  • Starting March 19, 2020, at 8:00 PM, no visitors will be allowed in any inpatient areas until further notice with the exceptions below:
    • Pediatrics and NICU: One parent/guardian per patient will be allowed at a time after screening.
    • Labor and Delivery: One visitor per patient will be allowed at a time after screening.
    • Compassionate Care: Visitor permission may be allowed at the discretion of our care teams. Limited to no more than two visitors at a time.

Surgery Waiting Areas:

  • No visitors will be allowed in surgery waiting areas.

Emergency Department:

  • One visitor per Emergency Department patient.
  • These exceptions will allow the visitor to enter the facility, after screening, and go to the patient’s bedside.
  • No visitors are allowed to wait in the lobby or waiting rooms.

Hunt Cancer Center: At this time, only patients will be allowed into the Hunt Cancer Center. Visitors will not be allowed at this time.

Outpatient Services (Imaging, Cardiology, Endoscopy, Infusion Center, Radiation Oncology, Polak Imaging, Breast Diagnostic Center, etc.):

  • One visitor/caregiver allowed to accompany the patient if the patient requires assistance only.

Torrance Memorial Physician Network Offices:

Effective March 16, 2020, Torrance Memorial Physician Network offices are limiting visitors in all patient areas to reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and influenza. One person is allowed to accompany each patient to an appointment, unless an aide or assistant is required.

All Patients and Visitors:

  • Starting March 20, 2020, any visitors who are allowed will be screened for symptoms, travel and contact history, and temperature checked by our staff at the door. Visitors who leave and come back will need to be re-screened.
  • Visitors who are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough), travel history or close contact with symptomatic persons returning from areas with high geographic infection will not be allowed and instructed to return home.
  • All visitors must be 12 years or older.
  • All visitors will be provided a visitor sticker designated for that visit and must be worn at all times.
  • Any additional visitors will not be allowed into the facility to use the lobby, waiting areas or cafeteria.
  • Volunteer Escort Services will continue to provide wayfinding assistance.
  • We encourage family, caregivers and friends to use alternative methods of communications such as phone or video chat.

Medical Center Temporary Entrance Closures:

In order to best maintain restricted access to visitors, the following measures will be implemented:

  • West Discharge entrance will be closed.
  • Patient discharge will be redirected to the Lundquist Tower Main Lobby South Door.
    • To coordinate patient pick-up, please call 310-325-9110 ext. 31800.
  • West Entry will be staffed by a screener and open Monday - Friday from 7 AM - 8 PM.
  • Outpatient Surgery West Entry (under the bridge) will be staffed by a screener and remain open Monday - Friday from 5 AM - 5 PM.
  • West Tower will be by badge entry only.

We understand these restrictions will be difficult for patients and their loved ones. Please know that this decision is to protect the ongoing wellness of our patients, staff and our community.


Cancellation of Elective Surgeries and Procedures

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, elective surgeries, procedures at Torrance Memorial will be postponed. This difficult decision was based on recommendations from the American College of Surgeons and consulting with the chiefs of surgery, OBGYN, anesthesia, senior management and other concerned proceduralists.

We are committed to ensuring that all our patients have access to the care they need as well as remaining committed to our community by ensuring that our staff, supplies and resources remain available for the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinical leadership and proceduralists will review scheduled procedures and identify those that can be postponed while ensuring optimal patient care. Proceduralists will connect with patients to advise them of these changes and rationale for postponement.

We understand that this decision will cause inconvenience for our patients and staff. Please be assured that we will be making every effort to reschedule these surgeries and procedures as soon as possible. Urgent and emergent procedures will continue as needed.

We anticipate that this policy will be in effect for at least the next two weeks, but will be re-evaluated as the COVID-19 situation evolves.


Non-Urgent and Screening Imaging Endoscopy and Cardiology Exams

Non-urgent, screenings and surveillance exams, such as mammography, CT lung and bone density, will be rescheduled until after April 15. Exams that are diagnostic or associated with a current treatment plan will continue as scheduled. Clinical leadership will evaluate cases weekly. Outpatient departments will notify patients affected by these changes.


General Torrance Memorial Campus Information

Cafeterias:

  • Revive Café in the Specialty Center building will be closed effective Tuesday, 3/17/2020
  • Bottled water purchases in retail areas will be limited to 1 bottle per person, per visit
  • We will be decreasing number of tables in dining area to increase spacing between seated customers
  • Yang Café & Helena’s: In order to increase speed of service and limit the number of customers waiting in line at the grill, we will be closing “made to order” options.
  • Food Services Changes Temporarily Limit Outside Food Deliveries for Staff
    • We are encouraging staff to restrict the use of all external catering, including GrubHub, for meetings or personal meals and only use in-house catering services (preferably, boxed meals). This will allow us to ensure proper food preparation and safe food handling. We are restricting any non-essential visitors access to patient areas, so all outside food deliveries service must be retrieved by the ordering unit’s personnel in the main lobby.
    • Additionally, we are eliminating self-serve food options in all cafeterias. This includes the salad bar, soup station and any other self-serve, customer-handled food products.

Patient Food Services

  • Food Services Changes Temporarily Limit Outside Food for Patients
    • To minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and potential food contamination, we are not allowing patients to receive food from outside sources (e.g. homemade or restaurant prepared food). Food services can be contacted if special patient needs arise.
  • Restricting bottled water delivery on the patient units to only those units that do not have an ice & water dispenser. Patients will continue to receive bottled water if ordered with their meals. We ask patients not call Nutrition Services for individual waters at times other than their meal delivery. Between meal water needs should be provided from the patient nourishment rooms on the unit.

Valet: Until further notice, valet services in the main parking structure will be suspended. Self-parking still available for patients. See Map.

Community Events, Lectures, Classes & Support Groups: All planned community events, lectures, classes and support groups are canceled through April 30.

Vendors: Vendors who do not provide direct healthcare services to patients will not be allowed to visit any clinical facility. Vendors who are engaged in other activities are encouraged to meet with respective staff via telecommunication. All vendors will be screened at designated entry points, including the Emergency Department.

Gift Shop: The Auxiliary’s Gift Shop in Lundquist Tower will limit hours to Monday-Saturday 10:00am-2:00pm, Sunday 12:00-4:00pm for the next two weeks.

Pet Visitation & Eucharistic Ministry: Pet Visitation and Eucharistic Ministry volunteer visits are suspended until further notice.


Supporting Torrance Memorial

Over this last week, we have seen an outpouring of love and support from our South Bay community. We have been working closely with our Supply Chain Operations to ensure our staff have the necessary supplies and have set up a donation page with accepted items and guidelines.

To make a donation of any kind, please visit TorranceMemorialFoundation.org/Donate.

We are currently accepting the following items:

  • COVID-19 Relief Funds - This fund was created to provide additional resources to our patients and to further support our staff and physicians.
  • Donation of Supplies - You can view our supply donation guidelines here. Donations must be in unopened, original packaging and in accordance with approved hospital standards. At this time, we are not accepting homemade supplies.
  • Offers of Support - For other offers of support such as food, we encourage you to use our in-kind donation form and provide as much detail about your donation/offer as possible. These submissions will be reviewed, and a member of the Torrance Memorial Foundation will reach out to you.

We are forever thankful to our South Bay community for coming together during these difficult times and are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy. Thank you from everyone here at Torrance Memorial.


How is Torrance Memorial Prepared?

Torrance Memorial is closely monitoring and responding to any new developments received from the CDC and state and local health authorities. Our physicians, nurses, infectious disease specialists, emergency room staff and administrators have developed a hospital-wide plan that will be enacted if patient(s) with symptoms present to the hospital.


Why is there a tent in front of the Emergency Department?

You may notice a tent outside the Torrance Memorial Lundquist Emergency Department. This triage tent will provide additional capacity for a potential increase in patient volume. They are key steps in our proactive planning as testing of patients increases.


General Information

What is COVID-19?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified at the end of 2019 during an investigation into an outbreak of respiratory illness and pneumonia in Wuhan, China.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. At this time, there are no anti-viral medications currently available to treat COVID-19. Your healthcare provider may recommend rest, fluids and over-the-counter medicines.


How do people catch COVID-19?

The virus is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread when someone touches a contaminated surface, such as a door handle.


What should I do if I have any of these symptoms?

Unless your symptoms are severe such as difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider first, rather than showing up in the office or emergency room. When you call or visit, be sure to note your symptoms, and travel history or exposure to a person diagnosed with the virus. People who are experiencing mild symptoms may not need to visit their physician but rather stay home.


Does CDC recommend the use of facemask in the community to prevent COVID-19?

Health officials in the U.S. do not recommend the use of masks among the general public because risk of infection is low and limited to close contacts (e.g., husband and wife).


How can I protect myself?

The following tips will help to prevent COVID-19 as well as other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are showing symptoms of illness.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneezes with a tissue or sneeze into your elbow. Throw the tissue in the garbage and make sure to clean your hands afterwards.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Helpful Resources

For more information about COVID-19, visit the following links:

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and LA County Department of Public Health

For more information, call the Ask a Nurse hotline at 310-517-1111

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