Thank you for taking time to watch my COVID-19 videos. I will continue to use this format so that you can watch if from your cell phone or any computer that has speakers.
However, I have heard from several of you that you would prefer to read my comments due to noise disruption in your workplace. I understand. As a result, we will include a transcript of my comments with each video if you would prefer to read them. Baptistleader.org now includes that transcript for today’s video. Thank you.
Good Friday morning. I hope by now you were able to see my video from Wednesday. If not, please view it first. There was some important information there that I want to be sure you know.
For today, I want to cover 3 quick items: CDC guidelines to protect yourself and your family, PTO considerations for the future, and Baptist testing for COVID-19.
First, in order to protect yourself and those you love, the CDC recommends that you:
- Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people
- Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts
- Avoid shopping trips
- Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible, including your work station, particularly at the beginning and end of your shift.
- Limit or reconsider travel
I know these recommendations are not always easy to follow, because we all live busy lives and as some of you already noted, I touched my face in the last video. I’ve got to be more careful. But your health is important to your loved ones, to our patients, and to me, so I encourage you to consider these recommendations carefully.
And while we are speaking of limiting travel, I have had several of you ask me about PTO for upcoming things that you have planned. Each entity is currently adopting its own position on PTO to prepare for this outbreak based on their individual capacity demands. We do have some entities at this time asking our team members to make alterations or resubmit for PTO approval based on changing staffing needs. Please understand, we know that you have earned your PTO and need to rest and refuel. Every effort will be made to honor every approved PTO request. However, I do want you to consider that as this outbreak multiplies, we will all need to work with each other as best we can to meet the needs of our patients while still providing for your time away. Please consider the CDC’s recommendations on travel and please be as flexible as possible in the future as the need arises. On the other hand, some of you are in a completely different category. You are worried because you do not have enough PTO in your bank. If you fall into this category, please speak with Human Resources if they can be of assistance. We do have a PTO donation policy as a possibility and are working on other options to maximize our flexibility at this time. But it is certainly a good idea to actively manage your own PTO until we get through this together.
Finally, I am thrilled to report that our lab partner AEL has increased their capacity to run Covid-19 tests to between 3000-4000 tests per day at their Memphis location. This is a huge increase over the 100-200 that our health departments were able to process. Those tested will still need to meet criteria in order to protect the availability of swabs, which the media often refer to as testing kits. We are hoping to open additional Baptist testing locations around the region as we acquire more swabs next week. So, our capacity to test, and our turn-around time on results should improve significantly in the coming days.
That’s all for today. If you are scheduled to be off this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful time at home with your family. I know for my family, being isolated together has meant rediscovering board games and home cooked meals. I have a few board game recommendations if you’re interested. But if you are scheduled to work this weekend, thank you. I pray for God’s Spirit to fill your workplace and establish the work of your hands as He keeps you safe.
I’ll be back again on Monday. Thank you.