What is Coronavirus and how can I protect myself and my loved ones?
A new virus, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), has been declared a Public Health Emergency by the World Health Organization as of late January 2020. This is a type of coronavirus that causes mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
As global and domestic cases of COVID-19 rise, SCL Health has implemented additional measures at our care sites to protect the health of everyone we serve, including:
- We are actively monitoring updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local health departments.
- We have procedures in place should a patient present with symptoms.
- Travel screening protocols have been activated, and any individual who meets the criteria established by the CDC is placed in isolation and local health departments are notified to assist with further testing.
- We are also carefully monitoring supply chain issues to ensure adequate personal protection equipment (PPE) and other supplies are available as demand increases.
Temporary Visitor Restrictions
People with respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, sore throat, aches, fever) are not permitted to visit patients at the hospital. Additionally, children under the age of 18 will not be allowed in patient care areas (with the exception of immediate family on the Mom/Baby Unit).
Healthy visitors must follow these guidelines:
- Clean your hands before and after visiting a patient.
- Cover your cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your sleeve. If using a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately after use.
- Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- To properly clean your hands, follow the CDC’s guidelines: wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
We ask that you limit the number of visitors and be aware that the length of visits may be limited.
Read our Patient and Family Letter.
How to Protect Yourself and Stay Healthy
It’s important to stay informed on updates regarding COVID-19 - the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is the best source of information regarding COVID-19.
Just like other viruses, COVID-19 is spread through person-to-person contact and by coming into contact with infected surfaces. Signs and symptoms of infection with the new coronavirus can be mild to severe and include fever, cough and respiratory symptoms. Symptoms may appear 14 days after exposure. Those with underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or chronic lung disease should take extra precautions to avoid unnecessary exposure. Currently, a vaccine for COVID-19 is not available.
To avoid the illness, it is important to remember everyday actions that can help contain the spread of disease, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and always after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
More Information about COVID-19
Additional information and resources can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website and from our partner, National Jewish Health.