Health Systems Release Joint Statement on COVID-19

March 18, 2020

A message to the Northwest Arkansas community from your regional healthcare providers:

Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Mercy, Northwest Health System, Washington Regional Medical Center, UAMS Northwest and the Veterans HealthCare System of the Ozarks.

Many of you saw Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s press conference today, confirming Northwest Arkansas’ first COVID-19 case. Our regional health care providers and state agencies are working together to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Together, we are taking proactive and preventive measures to address the influx of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our country and state. We are working closely with the Governor, the Arkansas Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, municipal authorities, Northwest Arkansas Council, the U.S. Congress and area employers to maximize our resources and to provide the best care to those that may be impacted by COVID-19.

The health and safety of our patients, co-workers, providers and community is our top priority. With confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Northwest Arkansas, we must all work together to stop the spread of this virus. The situation is evolving, and we will do our best to keep our community informed.

What our community needs to know about COVID-19:

  • COVID-19 symptoms include: fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  • Please practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others.
  • If you are concerned about your symptoms:
    • CALL US FIRST! We are all receiving questions from concerned citizens. Some of those concerned have been showing up at our hospitals and clinics. We ask that people not do that. Please call us so we can screen you on the phone to determine next steps.
    • NOTE: If you are concerned for your child’s health, please call the 24/7 Pediatric Hotline at 1-800-743-3616 for a pediatric COVID-19 screen.
    • WHY? The best way to protect our patients, staff and visitors is to practice consistency.

Many area hospitals and clinics are temperature screening all individuals entering those facilities. Many of us are screening our own co-workers, nurses and physicians as they go to work each day.

We are limiting the number of visitors that can come into the hospital. When you enter our clinics, many of us are checking in patients but then ask that they wait in their vehicle. Once ready to see them for their appointment, they will be texted to enter the facility. This helps prevent congregating in our reception areas.

We apologize that this may be an inconvenience, but we are doing things we believe are necessary to protect you. We are trying to protect the patients we already have in our facilities. AND we are trying to protect our healthcare workers that are very vulnerable right now. Not knowing if people coming into our facilities have the coronavirus or not could be harmful to our health care workers. If they become ill and must be quarantined, then we will have a much more difficult situation. Practicing your social responsibility allows us to do the best job in taking care of you.

Screening and Testing

Screening: A COVID-19 Screening confirms if you have COVID-19 symptoms: fever, cough and shortness of breath. Temperature check, listen to lungs, etc.

Testing: A provider will determine if a test is recommended or required. It is a swab test that is inserted through the nose that will capture cells in the nasopharyngeal region. The sample currently is sent to a lab to determine if positive or negative. Test results currently take 3-4 days.

Test Kit: With the limited number of coronavirus testing kits available in the community, we are only testing people who meet the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines and criteria as follows:

  • Symptoms of an upper respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath) that has not previously been diagnosed by a health care provider as another illness, such as flu or strep, AND at least one of the following:
    • Are age 65 or older OR
    • Have a chronic health condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or immunodeficiency OR
    • Have had contact with someone who has had a positive coronavirus test OR
    • Are a healthcare worker

We can’t emphasize enough the criteria regarding testing. We ask that employers and organizations NOT send people to clinics or health care facilities for testing. Again, there is a limited number of coronavirus testing kits available. We are only testing people who meet the above guidelines.

Who to call?

Here are your current resources:

Arkansas Department of Health Call Center: The department has activated a call center to answer questions from healthcare providers and the public.

  • 1-800-803-7847 (8 a.m – 4:30 p.m)
  • 501-661-2136 (after hours)

Arkansas Children’s: If your child is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or any health concerns, call to speak with a pediatric nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • 1-800-743-3616 (24 hrs / 7 days a week)

Community Clinic: The following four clinic locations are screening:

  • Community Clinic Siloam Springs, 500 S. Mt. Olive, Siloam Springs, AR, 72761
  • Community Clinic Rogers Medical, 1233 W. Poplar St. Rogers, AR 72756
  • Elmdale Elementary School-Based Health Center, 420 N. West End St., Springdale, AR, 72764
  • Prairie Grove Elementary School-Based Health Center, 801 Viney Grove Road, Prairie Grove, AR, 72753

Call 479-751-7417 to make an appointment. Monday – Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and  1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

COVID-19 UAMS Hotline: UAMS has set up a coronavirus hotline for people who have questions or feel they may have symptoms.

  • 1-800-632-4502

Mercy NWA COVID-19 Evaluation Site opens Friday, March 20.

An evaluation site exclusively for patients who have a fever of at least 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms including cough or shortness of breath and either have traveled to a high-risk area or have had contact with a known patient. Anyone seeking a test must call Mercy’s Coronavirus Evaluation Site line. Those not pre-screened will be turned away.

  • Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. -12 p.m.
  • 479-717-7585

Northwest Medical Plaza Bentonville COVID-19 Screening and Testing

  • 601 S.W. Regional Airport Blvd., Bentonville, AR, 72713
  • 479-306-7507

Northwest Health Plaza Eastside COVID-19 Screening and Testing

  • 2158 Butterfield Coach Road, Suite 100, Springdale, AR 72764
  • 479-306-7507

ONLINE SCREENING: UAMS HealthNow is available for free COVID-19 screenings. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to patients of all ages across Arkansas and is accessible from a smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer with video capabilities. Learn more.

Washington Regional Hotline: An established hotline to determine if further evaluation or testing is warranted. 7 days a week from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

  • 479-463-2055

Washington Regional Coronavirus Screening Clinic Fayetteville

  • 3318 N. North Hills Boulevard, Fayetteville
  • Open 7 days a week 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Washington Regional Eureka Springs Family Clinic: Drive-thru screening area. As patients enter the parking lot, they will be screened for symptoms of the coronavirus.

  • 146 Passion Play Road, Suite A, Eureka Springs
  • Monday - Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Veterans enrolled in VA health care: For veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of COVID-19, flu or cold, contact the VA at 800-691-8387 before going to scheduled appointments. Clinical staff are available to provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice and triage. This service is available at no cost to Veterans enrolled for VA health care.

  • 800-691-8387

Additional Trusted Resources

This is a coordinated effort of your Northwest Arkansas Health Systems and the State of Arkansas