CARTI’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 Safety Precautions

March 5, 2020

Updated as of 3.30.2020

As we continue to navigate the impact of coronavirus in the communities where we treat patients, CARTI will be making the following operational changes to ensure the health and safety of our patients, caregivers and team members.

Effective March 30:

  • Based on updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, updating symptom questions to include:
    • Congestion
    • Cough
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever of 99 degrees
    • Headache
    • Runny nose
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Sore throat
    • Due to widespread community transmission and illness of Covid-19, we advise all patients to self monitor for any of these symptoms and to contact us if they experience any of them, especially if they are new or different symptoms.
  • Implementing telemedicine appointments to allow patient care to be provided at a safer distance. Physicians who are offering this service will notify appropriate patients. 
  • Temporarily relocating patients who are currently being treated at CARTI facilities in Clarksville, Heber Springs and Magnolia.
    • Clarksville appointments will be moving to the CARTI Cancer Center in Russellville, located at 209 S. Portland Avenue. Click here for directions
    • Heber Springs appointments will be moving to the CARTI Cancer Center in Conway, located at 2605 College Avenue. Click here for directions
    • Magnolia appointments will be moving to CARTI in El Dorado, located at 528 West Faulkner Street. Click here for directions
  • Temporarily closing The Hope Bistro at the CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock. Per our update on March 16, no outside food delivery will be allowed at any CARTI facility. We encourage patients to bring food that has been prepared at home.

Effective April 6:

  • Temporarily suspending radiation oncology services at CARTI’s Baptist Health Medical Center Little Rock clinic and moving to CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, located at 8901 CARTI Way. Click here for directions
  • North Little Rock medical and surgical oncology appointments will take place at the new CARTI CARTI Cancer Center in North Little Rock, located at 3400 Springhill Drive. Click here for directions.

If a patient is experiencing any respiratory symptoms, or answers yes to any of the following screening questions, please call our nurses line at 501.906.3000, available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and weekends from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

SCREENING QUESTIONS

  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?                                         
    • Congestion
    • Cough
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever of 99 degrees
    • Headache
    • Runny nose
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Sore throat
  • Have you been with someone who has COVID-19 or is in quarantine pending a test?
  • Have you traveled out of the state or country in the last 14 days?
  • Have you been in large groups of 50 or more in the last 14 days? 
  • Have you had close contact with anyone who lives in, works in, or visits one of the following?
    • Briarwood Nursing and Rehab, Little Rock
    • Apple Creek Nursing and Rehab, Centerton
    • The Villages of General Baptist West, Pine Bluff

We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide our patients and their caregivers with the highest level of safety protocols at each of our treatment facilities.

Updated as of 3.24.2020, 3 p.m.

To continue providing the safest treatment environment for our patients across the state, CARTI is implementing updated visitor policies. The restrictions will go into effect Thursday, March 26, at 6 a.m.

The updated visitor policy includes:

  • No visitors will be allowed at a CARTI facility, unless they are accompanying a first-time patient or the patient is physically challenged and unable to complete the appointment on their own.
  • Visitors must be 16 years or older. 
  • All visitors must go through a health screening before entering the building.
  • If a patient meets the criteria for having a visitor, they are limited to having one visitor with them. 

Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Exceptions include:

  • Patients who are undergoing a surgical or IVR procedure will be allowed a visitor who can drive them home. 

For patients who do not meet the criteria for having a visitor accompany them into the facility, but who must have someone drive them, their visitors will be allowed to remain in their cars in the CARTI parking lot, or to drop them off and pick them up after their appointment.

Updated as of 3.24.2020, 9:50 a.m.

As we continue to navigate the impact of coronavirus  in the communities where we treat patients, CARTI will be making the following operational change to ensure the health and safety of our patients, caregivers and team members.

  • Effective Thursday, March 26
    • Heber Springs medical oncology appointments will be moving to the CARTI Cancer Center in Conway, located at 2605 College Avenue. Click here for directions

If a patient is experiencing any respiratory symptoms, or answers yes to any of the following questions, please call our nurses line at 501.906.3000, available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and weekends from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

SCREENING QUESTIONS

  1. Have you been around someone who has been out of state within the last 14 days?
  2. Have you been around someone who has tested positive for coronavirus/COVID-19?
  3. Are you currently caring for anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus/COVID-19?

As always, CARTI operates under thorough infection control procedures. These protocols and systems continuously evolve as we endeavor to safeguard the health and safety of our patients, visitors and healthcare workers, and to minimize the risk of COVID-19 at CARTI and within our community.

Updated as of 3.20.2020

As we navigate the increased coronavirus diagnoses across Arkansas, CARTI will be making the following operational changes to ensure the health and safety of our patients, caregivers and team members. 

  • Effective March 23, North Little Rock medical and surgical oncology appointments will be moving to the CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, located at 8901 CARTI Way. Click here for directions. 
  • Additionally, construction on the new CARTI Cancer Center in North Little Rock has been expedited with the opening date for medical and surgical oncology services to occur on Monday, April 6, two weeks ahead of the original date of April 20.
  • To align with local and state mandates, The Hope Bistro at the CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock will suspend dine-in service. Grab and go options are available for pickup for patients and staff only. No outside visitors are allowed at this time.

“We are grateful to our patients and their families for supporting us as we make necessary shifts during these uncharted times,” said Adam Head, president and CEO of the statewide cancer care provider. “We are making these changes with the highest level of regard for the health and safety of everyone who visits a CARTI facility. While these changes impact where and when a patient may be seen, it does not change the level of care they will receive at CARTI. We remain committed to providing world-class cancer care to all of our patients and will continue to do so throughout the entirety of this pandemic.” 

If a patient is experiencing any respiratory symptoms, or answers yes to any of the following questions, please call our nurses line at 501.906.3000, available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and weekends from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

SCREENING QUESTIONS

  1. Have you been around someone who has been out of state within the last 14 days?
  2. Have you been around someone who has tested positive for coronavirus/COVID-19?
  3. Are you currently caring for anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus/COVID-19?

As always, CARTI operates under thorough infection control procedures. These protocols and systems continuously evolve as we endeavor to safeguard the health and safety of our patients, visitors and healthcare workers, and to minimize the risk of COVID-19 at CARTI and within our community.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

  • Restrict travel. 
  • Practice social distancing and remain at home and at least six feet away from others, when possible. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and remember that gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene. 
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. 
  • Monitor local news media for updates, community mandates and requirements.

Updated as of 3.16.2020.

In light of the recent influx of coronavirus diagnoses in Arkansas, we are doing everything possible to ensure the health and well-being of our patients, caregivers and team members. Our executive leadership and medical team continues to monitor this global pandemic on a minute-by-minute basis and are initiating appropriate protocols. 

Starting Monday, March 16, CARTI’s elevated precautions include:

  • Drive-thru pre-screening locations for patients and caregivers to utilize. 
    • To view the pre-screen and parking location directions for the CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, click here.
    • All additional locations will utilize drive-thru and outdoor pre-screening locations outside of the main door of the facility.
    • Because of these elevated precautions, all patients should arrive 40 minutes before their appointment to account for additional time needed to go through the pre-screen process and fill out paperwork.
  • Rescheduling all nonessential appointments. It is our hope that by reducing the number of patients in our clinic spaces, we can reduce the  possibility of exposure for our patient population until we have a better handle on the situation.
  • Canceling all nonessential appointments for our specialty clinics, including The Breast Center at CARTI and The Cancer Genetics and Risk Management Clinic.
    • Diagnostic patients will continue to be seen at The Breast Center.
  • No outside food delivery will be allowed at any CARTI facility. We encourage patients to bring food that has been prepared at home.
  • Closing the Gift Shop at the CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock.
  • Discontinuing on-site coffee service at all facilities.

If a patient is experiencing any respiratory symptoms, they should call our nurses line at 501.906.3000, available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and weekends from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

As always, CARTI operates under the most thorough infection control procedures. We have protocols and systems in place to safeguard the health and safety of our patients, visitors and healthcare workers, and to minimize the risk of COVID-19 at CARTI and within our community.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your medical team or call 501.906.3000.

Updated as of 3.11.2020.

In light of a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Arkansas, CARTI has moved into Phase II of its coronavirus safety precautions. While there are no known exposures for any CARTI patients or team members, these elevated precautions have been set with the health and safety of our patients, their caregivers and our team members as our greatest priority. 

As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we have postponed all patient education events and volunteer opportunities until further notice. This includes all educational classes, support groups and other patient resources that meet at CARTI locations. Additionally, we have closed down The Hope Bistro to outside guests who are not patients, caregivers or team members.

Phase II of CARTI’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 Safety Precautions includes:

  • Visitors
    • Before Appointment
      • When making an appointment, all patients will be asked a set of screening questions:
        • Have you had fever of 100 within the last 14 days?
        • Have you had a cough or shortness of breath?
        • Have you or someone in your home been diagnosed with flu or pneumonia within the last 14 days?
        • Have you traveled out of the country in the last 14 days to a level two or three travel notice country as determined by the CDC?
          • Level 3 Travel Health Notice: CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel.
            • China 
            • Iran 
            • Italy
            • South Korea 
          • Level 2 Travel Health Notice: Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.
            • Japan 
      • Have you traveled outside of the state in the last 14 days?
      • Have you been on a cruise in the last 14 days?
      • Have you had contact with anyone who has a lab confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within 14 days of symptom onset?
        • If a patient must see their team and has active symptoms, we ask that they call our nurse triage line at 501.296.3000 before their appointment. Our nurse will provide guidance about whether they should come to the clinic or wait until their symptoms have subsided.
    • While at CARTI
      • Staff will be positioned at the main entrance of each CARTI facility to greet and assess temperature and level of risk for all visitors.
      • Patients with respiratory symptoms and other known risks of coronavirus exposure will be separated into predetermined isolation rooms for further evaluation by CARTI’s designated infection control representative. 
      • If a person passes the screening, they will be given a sticker giving them access to the facility for that particular day. 
      • Once granted access to the building, all visitors will:
        • Be asked to use hand sanitizer stations at clinic check-in and before and after entering clinical spaces.
        • Be asked to distance themselves when in a waiting area. 
        • Be asked to limit lab and clinic visits to essential guests only.  
          • Patients will only be allowed one asymptomatic guest.
          • No children under the age of 16 years will be admitted. 
        • All symptomatic patients will be masked.
  • CARTI Team Members
    • All team members have been instructed that if they have a fever greater than 100, in addition to any respiratory symptoms, they are to remain at home until their fever and symptoms have subsided. 
    • All team members will be screened for temperature and level of risk upon arriving at work.

Please note, because of these elevated precautions, all visitors to CARTI should account for additional time – approximately 10 minutes – needed to get through their visit.

If a patient is experiencing any respiratory symptoms, they should call our nurses line at 501.906.3000, available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and weekends from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

As always, CARTI operates under the most thorough infection control procedures. We have protocols and systems in place to safeguard the health and safety of our patients, visitors and healthcare workers, and to minimize the risk of COVID-19 at CARTI and within our community.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your medical team or call 501.906.3000.

Published 3.11.2020

In light of the global health development coronavirus disease (COVID-19), CARTI is taking every precaution possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of every person who enters a CARTI treatment facility. With a goal to offer the highest quality cancer care to our patients, our physicians, executive leadership and staff are continuing to monitor the current health situation and plan coordinated, strategic efforts.

While there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the state of Arkansas, we are doing everything possible to minimize the risk of exposure within a CARTI facility. 

As our patients and visitors, we need your help in following our recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. Below you will find ways you can reduce your risk of exposure within a CARTI facility and in your daily life within your community.

WITHIN A CARTI FACILITY

  • VISITORS TO CARTI
    • BEFORE ARRIVAL
      • When making an appointment, patients will be asked screening questions to evaluate possible symptoms. If you identify certain symptoms – cough, shortness of breath, runny nose or fever – we will work with your oncologist to set an appropriate plan of care.
      • We are asking patients to only bring caregivers who have not traveled, or have a household member who has not traveled, to China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea in the past 14 days. 
    • UPON ARRIVAL
      • When you arrive at our facility, you will be asked to evaluate your symptoms. If you identify certain symptoms, you will be instructed to go to the front desk to receive a mask you must wear throughout your visit.
      • We ask that all clinics and labs limit any non-essential visitors.
      • Before entering or leaving clinic space, please apply antiseptic hand sanitizer. 
  • CARTI TEAM MEMBERS
    • We also want you to know, all team members have been asked to self-report to their supervisor if they are planning to travel outside of the country.

WITHIN YOUR COMMUNITY

  • COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system. To protect yourself from respiratory illnesses that may increase your risk of developing COVID-19, we encourage everyone to:
    • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or with an antiseptic hand sanitizer. 
    • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. 
    • Avoid crowded areas and people who are sick. 

Our team will continue to closely monitor the health advisories and follow guidelines set by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Arkansas Department of Health. As new information is discovered, and in light of new guidelines or possible product shortages, it may become necessary at some point in the future to limit or restructure how some aspects of our clinics are operated. We will make every attempt to continue seamless, uninterrupted care for our most precious resource – our patients. 

As always, the health and safety of our patients, caregivers and team members is our highest priority. 

If you have any additional questions, please contact your medical team or call 501.906.3000.