x
Breaking News
More () »

Austin's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Austin, Texas | KVUE.com

Patients entering St. David's emergency rooms will get verbal health screening

The screenings start Thursday and are a precaution to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus. There are no confirmed cases in Travis County.

AUSTIN, Texas — Patients and visitors entering any emergency department with St. David’s HealthCare will be screened at the door in order to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.

There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in Travis County. Austin health officials said Wednesday there are individuals being tested for the virus in Travis County, but their test results are still pending. The current risk to the public is low, Austin Public Health said.

During the press conference Thursday afternoon, St. David’s Chief Medical Officer Ken Mitchell explained that the hospital is implementing the new verbal respiratory screening starting on Thursday to protect its patients and staff members.

“They’ll ask a few simple questions like if you have a fever, cough, sore throat or flu symptoms, and if the patient answers yes, they will receive a mask," Mitchell said. "It will be a simple surgical mask.”

RELATED: 

Austin health officials: Coronavirus test results pending, risk to public still low

List: Companies pulling out of SXSW 2020 amid coronavirus concerns

'No evidence closing SXSW is going to make the community safer;' Austin health official says risk to public still low

In addition, any family member or visitor with the patient will also receive a mask.

“This is done to protect other patients in the waiting rooms and our staff as the patient is assessed in the emergency room,” Mitchell added.

If the patient has recently traveled to the countries that the CDC has called a level three country, such as China, then the patient will be assessed more quickly and placed in a special room that has negative air pressure, the doctor explained.

At this time, there is no set date on when St. David’s will stop the screenings.

WATCH: Coronavirus: What makes the new mutation different

PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: 

Arrest made in connection to missing Georgetown man, City says

List: Companies pulling out of SXSW 2020 amid coronavirus concerns

No. You cannot use Tito's Vodka as a replacement for hand sanitizer.