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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

What we are doing for preparedness

Information is flowing at a rapid pace as the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve. We are closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the infection rate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and virus tracking systems. 

Our expert clinicians regularly care for patients with severe respiratory illnesses and other infectious diseases. Our clinicians follow specific procedures using the tools and techniques in place to protect our patients and themselves, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

What we are doing to help people cope

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused increased stress and anxiety across our community. Our partners at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler have complied these resources to help. https://www.uthct.edu/covid19-mental-health

03/20/2020 4:38pm

What you can do to help

You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following the CDC guidelines on How to Protect Yourself & Others.

 

For patients, if you have an appointment at any of our locations for any reason, please view the section below.

Learn More about COVID-19

If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms and recent travel history.

Unless it is an emergency, stay home if you feel sick, even if your symptoms are mild. To reduce your risk of catching or spreading illness, do not go to work, school or public places, and avoid public transportation if possible.

If you feel like you need medical care, you are encouraged to call before you go to a doctor’s office or urgent care center and describe your symptoms over the phone. If symptoms are severe, you can also call 911.

Answer Questions to Determine Your Risk

When you call a health care provider, you will be asked about your risks for COVID-19. 

You may be asked:

  • In the last 28 days, have you traveled outside of the continental United States?
  • Have you traveled to areas with broad outbreaks? 
  • Have you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus? (Close contact means having been within 6 feet of that person for an extended time, or being exposed to their cough or sneeze.)
  • Do you have a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing?
  • Has a public health officer said you were potentially exposed to COVID-19?

Follow Your Health Care Provider’s Instructions

Based on your answers to these questions, the care provider will provide instructions over the phone. You will be told if you need to be evaluated. Based on your risk for COVID-19, your health care provider may recommend that you:

  • Continue to monitor your health and call back if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.
  • Stay home and await further instructions.
  • Report to a medical care facility for evaluation. If possible, it’s best to go alone to your appointment. Do not bring children or other family members unless you require assistance.
  • Go to a clinic or emergency department, or call 911, if you have more severe symptoms, such as higher fever and severe shortness of breath.

Practice Prevention

  • Everyone entering our facilities (patients, visitors, vendors, employees, etc.) is screened (questions and temperature) and asked to wear a mask before entering. 
  • Social distance.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water. Be mindful to wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or using the bathroom, and before preparing or eating food.
  • If you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow, not your hand, or use a tissue, and then immediately throw it away.
  • At home and work, clean often-touched surfaces such as doors and doorknobs, cabinet handles, bathroom hardware, tabletops, phones, tablets and keyboards regularly with disinfectant.

Stay Calm

The possibility of having a contagious illness is concerning but doctors, nurses and other caregivers are working together with national and international agencies to identify and provide care to patients while avoiding spread of the illness in the community.

Symptoms

  • People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: Symptoms of Coronavirus

Transmission

  • COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes. How COVID-19 Spreads

Treatment

  • COVID-19 is not treatable with antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections.
  • It may be treated by addressing symptoms, such as reducing fever. Severe cases may require hospitalization.
  • If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone

Prevention

COVID-19 may be prevented by social distancing, covering your nose and mouth with a mask, frequent, thorough hand washing, coughing into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with people who are infected. How to Protect Yourself & Others

A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available.
Answer: FALSE.
Currently there is no vaccine for the new coronavirus. Scientists have begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective may take months.

 

You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by taking acetic acid or steroids, or using essential oils, salt water, ethanol or other substances.
Answer: FALSE.
None of these recommendations protect you from getting COVID-19, and these practices may be dangerous. The best ways to protect yourself from this coronavirus, and other viruses, include:

  • Wear a mask when around others.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, sneezing or coughing.
  • Practicing hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water. Be mindful to wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or using the bathroom, and before preparing or eating food.
  • If you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow, not your hand, or use a tissue, and then immediately throw it away.
  • At home and work, clean often-touched surfaces such as doors and doorknobs, cabinet handles, bathroom hardware, tabletops, phones, tablets and keyboards regularly with disinfectant. For a list of EPA-approved disinfectants, visit: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

We are committed to treating every patient who needs medical care. Our expert, well-trained clinicians regularly care for patients with severe respiratory illnesses and other infectious diseases. Our providers and staff follow best practices, using recommended tools and techniques to protect themselves, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

We are closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the infection rate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other tracking tools.

We will rely on our emergency management plan and practices to care for suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19.

For the protection of our patients, visitors, and non-employees, our plan includes screening patients and guests. Depending on the status of the spread of the disease in the community, we may limit the number of hospital entrances in order to stage for respiratory screenings. We may also choose to restrict visitors for the protection of our patients and staff. These decisions will be announced through signage and other notices.

We are also screening all employees.

We care for COVID patients in isolated areas of the hospital. Access to these areas is limited to a small group of staff who only care for patients in that area. The materials used to care for COVID patients are isolated and handled using the most current infection-control practices.

For the safety of all, our environmental care staff uses evidence-based disinfection procedures and products. We are confident patients entering our facility for inpatient or outpatient care are safe.

We understand the public’s high level of concern and are committed to protecting our patients’ privacy.

Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19.

Symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can be severe and some cases have caused death. This new coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test.

There is no vaccine for coronavirus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. How to Protect Yourself & Others

Patient Guidelines

We are closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the infection rate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and virus tracking systems.

To help identify and treat patients while avoiding the spread of the disease, we are asking all patients to follow these guidelines when seeking care:

  • If you feel ill and it is an emergency, call 911. Describe your symptoms and provide any information you have about recent international travel or contact with someone known to have COVID-19.
  • If you feel ill and it is NOT an emergency, call your primary care or specialty care provider, or an urgent care center, and describe your symptoms over the phone before going to any of these locations. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
  • Do you have a fever, a cough or shortness of breath?
  • In the last 28 days, have you traveled outside of the continental United States?
  • Have you traveled to areas with broad outbreaks? 
  • Have you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus? (Close contact means having been within 6 feet of that person for an extended time, or being exposed to their cough or sneeze.)
  • Have you been notified by a public health official that you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19?
  • For more severe symptoms, such as higher fever and severe shortness of breath, you may be advised to go to a clinic or the emergency department.
  • The day before any medical appointments, call the office. Be prepared to answer the above questions.
  • If possible, please go alone to any appointments. Do not bring children, family members or friends unless you need assistance. Especially, do not bring anyone who has a cough, a fever or shortness of breath or is considered medically vulnerable.

This page is updated regularly with recommendations from CDC, WHO, etc. Last updated July 14, 2020.