3/17/20 – Message to Patients and Families,
We take the health and safety of you, your families and our employees very seriously. In our efforts to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have adopted the following protocols.
- As a patient, you are at high risk of complications and death if infected with this virus. For this reason we recommend for your own safety that you shelter at home and do not leave the home. Care should be provided by as few caregivers as possible. Otherwise, you should remain at least six feet from other individuals. We also recommend telephone and video visits with friends and loved ones, instead of in home visits. We realize this is difficult, but it is intended for your own safety.
- We are closely monitoring government agencies (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and local health departments) for all updates and guidance. As a healthcare provider, we want to assure you that we are following all recommendations of the CDC, the state and local health officials.
- At this time clinicians are evaluating the need for visits and only essential visits will be made to reduce contact and risk of infection. We will be in contact with your physician and our clinician willkeep you informed of any changes in your plan of care.
- Chaplain and social worker visits will be conducted over the phone if possible.
- As always, our clinicians follow the strictest infection control practices and handwashing guidelines.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself and Others
- Know How it Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Who is at higher risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergencywarning signs include*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay home if you’re sick
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone whois sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and Disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. If you have concerns about Coronavirus, we urge you to review the CDC guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
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