| COVID-19 Information
NHCP COVID-19 Updates
1. Initiatives to Reduce Spread of COVID-19
• COVID/Flu Tent: Our flu tent will allow patients with respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath), a history of travel, and believed exposure to COVID-19, to be screened prior to entering the emergency department (ED) at NHCP. The flu tent began providing services March 6, 2020, and is open 24/7.

Those who are seeking evaluation for flu-like illness or potential COVID-19 infection will be directed to the flu tent where they will be checked in, triaged, and evaluated by a licensed provider, all within the tent. During the triage process, the providers will determine if further evaluation and testing is needed, or if patients can proceed home for self-observation. The flu tent is primarily a screening process to determine the right course of care for patients and not all patients will be tested. 

• Pharmacy Tent & Drive-Thru Pharmacy: A pharmacy tent was stood up March 20, to minimize the foot traffic inside the hospital. The tent is for patients either picking up refills or filling new prescriptions from outside the hospital and hours of operation are Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

NHCP is also leveraging the 13 Area drive-thru for picking up prescriptions, new or refills. The main hospital has absorbed the workload for all refills for NBHC Port Hueneme and Temecula due to decrease in staffing at the branch clinics.

• Drive Thru Screening Tent: Our drive through screening site is an appointment based screening site for pre-surgical patients and pre-deploying service members. Here we conduct COVID-19 test collection prior to surgery or deployment. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

2. Medical Services

Bottom Line Up Front: Protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff and conserving limited resources are our top priorities at this time and NHCP is taking the following precautions:

• Resume wellness and preventive visits, prioritizing care to high risk patients and preventive care that was deferred, particularly for maintaining active duty readiness and deployability.

• Limit dental services to readiness exams and non-aerosol generating procedures until conditions change.

• Continue to encourage use of telehealth / virtual health for care delivery as appropriate.

• Continue to limit points of entry at all facilities to ensure all staff, patients, and visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

• Limit visitors to ensure social distancing is maintained.

• Ensure outpatient facilities and waiting areas have adequate space for maintaining social distancing.

• Promote use of the Nurse Advice Line for care options for all beneficiaries, 1-800-TRICARE, option 1.

• Continue to appropriately triage patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

• Designated specific rooms for known or suspected COVID-19 patients.

Acute Services: Acute services across all service lines continue to be maintained.

Routine Services: Each clinic is assessing the capability, need, and safety for resuming routine services at this time. Clinical decisions to restart services and procedures will be based on a risk assessment by subject matter experts.

Mental Health: Mental Health will continue to provide outpatient and acute services, observing social distancing and COVID-19 screening procedures to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Continuing Psychiatric Care: Patients requiring continuing psychiatric care will remain in their barracks/housing and utilize telehealth care options. Some patients may require in-person care and NHCP will continue to support that care. Patients will contact the outpatient Mental Health Clinic to schedule a telehealth appointment or discuss their care needs. 

Emergency Department Psychiatric Evaluations: There is no change to emergency department psychiatry evaluations and care.

Outpatient Mental Health, SARP, and TBI: These services have transitioned to telehealth, meaning care is provided telephonically for all non-urgent care. Patients can be brought in for urgent care situations, as determined by a provider. Patients should contact the clinic to schedule a telehealth appointment.

Primary Care: All Area Branch Health Clinics (ABHC) and NHCP will remain open for primary care services and acute care. Face-to-face appointments for urgent care services will be available as well as virtual appointments for routine medical needs.

The Pediatrics Clinic will continue well child visits and immunizations for children, newborn through 12 months.

Appointments can be made through the appointment Call Center at 760-725-HELP (4357). Clinic hours, which are Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., are not being reduced at this time.
Surgical Services:  Services will be maintained for all sub-specialties (ENT, general surgery, oral maxillofacial surgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics and urology) to include urgent, emergent, acute, post-op, cancer, trauma, and readiness and LIMDU needs.
Elective procedures have resumed, health care providers at NHCP will prioritize cases to maintain active duty readiness and deployability. Health care providers and specialists will also determine whether the risk of delaying a procedure outweighs safety and logistical concerns.

Clinical Support Services:
Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT):  PT and OT clinics are open for normal business hours at all locations. Currently, the clinic is seeing patients with acute injuries and postoperative conditions taking priority to allow for social distancing. Patients with chronic conditions, including pain will likely experience longer wait times to schedule appointments but will be evaluated and given home exercises.

Pharmacy:  The NHCP pharmacy has expanded coverage to support the flu treatment clinic and rapidly prepare over-the-counter cough and cold medications, and prescription medications, such as Tamiflu. Hours of operation are:
• Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Saturdays, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Pharmacy tent:  A pharmacy tent was stood up March 20, to minimize foot traffic inside the hospital. This service is for patients either picking up refills or filling new prescriptions from outside the hospital. Operating hours are Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

13 Area Drive-thru Pharmacy:
The13 Area drive-thru is being leveraged for refill and new prescription pick-up. Patients can select this option when calling the refill line at 1-866-286-8249.

Radiology: NHCP’s Radiology Department is back to routine appointments and supporting all emergency department, admitted, and surgical or post-operative patients. Routine obstetric ultrasound and nuclear medicine cases are also still being supported.

Dental Services:  Dental services will continue to provide care in support of active duty readiness and emergencies. Dental clinics are performing routine annual exams for active duty members, as well as aerosol producing procedures in closed door treatment rooms for class II and III (treatment of active dental disease) active duty members. Dental cleanings are still on hold at this time.

Billing Office:  There have been no changes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Modified Visitor Policy
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety our patients and safe, NHCP is restricting visitors during the pandemic. In alignment with current visitation policies at hospitals throughout California, NHCP is prohibiting visitors across ALL areas of the hospital April 3, 2020.
The following areas will allow only ONE (1) healthy adult visitor who has been screened for COVID-19 by NHCP staff:
• Labor & Delivery
• Mother Baby Unit
• Pediatric patients (accompanying visitor must be a parent or caregiver)
   • Two adults can be accompany infants two weeks and under for their appointments. 

Medical providers and nurses will work with families on a case-by-case basis who have special circumstances, such as a critically ill or injured family member.

Patients with mobility limitations can be provided an escort upon arrival to the hospital and can contact the Quarterdeck for assistance at 760-725-1288.

 By NHCP Public Affairs 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic information