Staff are screened daily and sent home if they have a fever or COVID-19 symptoms. Patients and guests are screened before entering the hospital. Physician office patients are screened on the phone the day before their appointment and again when they enter the office to check-in. Information about where to seek care is provided for patients and guests who have COVID-19 symptoms.
All staff are wearing protective masks. Patients and visitors who are allowed are required to wear a mask, bandana, scarf or similar face covering.
All patient rooms and clinical areas are thoroughly sanitized before and after each patient. High-touchpoint areas are sanitized frequently throughout the day. Staff practice frequent hand washing, and hand sanitizer stations and dispensers are available throughout our main campus and outpatient locations.
Patients may ask their provider’s office if they would prefer a telehealth (telemedicine) visit. Our physician offices have many enhanced safety measures if you prefer or need to have an in-office appointment.
For many services and physician office visits, patients are called ahead of time and pre-registered to reduce the time they will need to spend in a waiting room.
Waiting areas are arranged for social distancing, and we have reduced the number of patients in waiting rooms by spacing out appointments. Some physician offices and outpatient services ask patients to call when they arrive for their appointment and then wait in the car until they are ready to be seen. At our main campus, there are “sick” and “healthy” waiting areas.
Emergency Department and hospitalized patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are isolated from other patients. Staff follow strict protocols while caring for isolation patients, including wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) upon entering and exiting all isolation patient rooms for their safety and the safety of other patients.
All patients undergoing elective surgical procedures are required to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to the surgical procedure. In order to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff, enhanced screening questions will be asked prior to Sleep Center appointments and other elective minor procedures.
Henry Community Health will begin limiting visitation for the safety of our patients, visitors and care team.
Emergency Department Visitation:
· COVID or suspected COVID patients – no visitors
· Non-COVID patients – 1 visitor
· Pediatrics (17 and under) 1-2 visitors at provider’s discretion
Two visitors will be allowed per day on HCH campuses for the following patients:
· Non-COVID inpatients
· Non-COVID surgery patients
· At a patient’s time of discharge
· When accompanying a minor
All visitors must be over the age of 18 and may visit between 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Visitors will be screened upon entrance or asked to self-screen before entering. Visitors will be required to wear a mask and follow safety protocols while on site.
COVID patients may continue to identify a designated visitor who can visit one hour per day during their inpatient stay. The visitor will be required to wear personal protective equipment provided by HCH. The PPE will consist of a disposable gown, gloves and N95 respirator. HCH staff will educate the visitor on proper wearing of PPE following CDC guidelines.
For the safety of patients, visitors and our team members, HCH recommends staying home if you are not feeling well.
COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that is caused by a virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
(SARS-CoV-2). The disease is also known as coronavirus disease or novel coronavirus. In some people, the virus may not cause any symptoms. In others, it may cause a serious infection. The infection can get worse quickly and can lead to complications, such as:
- Pneumonia, or infection of the lungs
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS. This is a condition in which fluid buildup in the lungs prevents the lungs from filling with air and passing oxygen into the blood
- Acute respiratory failure. This is a condition in which there is not enough oxygen passing from the lungs to the body or when carbon dioxide is not passing from the lungs out of the body
- Sepsis or septic shock. This is a serious bodily reaction to an infection
- Blood-clotting problems
- Secondary infections due to bacteria or fungus
- Organ failure. This is when your body’s organs stop working
The virus that causes COVID-19 is contagious. This means that it can spread from person to person through droplets from coughs and sneezes (respiratory secretions).
This illness is caused by a virus. You may catch the virus by:
- Breathing in droplets from an infected person. Droplets can be spread by a person breathing, speaking, singing, coughing, or sneezing
- Touching something, like a table or a doorknob, that was exposed to the virus (contaminated) and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes
You are more likely to be infected with this virus if you:
- Are within 6 ft (2 m) of a person with COVID-19
- Provide care for or live with a person who is infected with COVID-19
- Spend time in crowded indoor spaces or live in shared housing
Symptoms of this condition can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear any time from 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. They include:
- A fever or chills
- A cough
- Difficulty breathing or feeling short of breath
- Feeling tired
- Headaches, body aches, or muscle aches
- Runny or stuffy (congested) nose
- A sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Some people may also have stomach problems, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Other people may not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Your health care provider will talk with you about ways to treat your symptoms. For most people, the infection is mild and can be managed at home with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medicines.
Treatment for a serious infection usually takes place in a hospital. It may include one or more of the following treatments. These treatments are given until your symptoms improve.
- Receiving fluids and medicines through an IV
- Some medicines have been approved for the treatment of people with serious infection who are being treated in the hospital; in addition, certain medicines that treat other diseases are being used on a trial basis to see if they are effective for treating severe cases of COVID-19
- Supplemental oxygen: extra oxygen is given through a tube in the nose, a face mask, or a hood
- Positioning you to lie on your stomach (prone position): this makes it easier for oxygen to get into the lungs
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine: this treatment uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open; a tube that is connected to a motor delivers oxygen to the body
- Ventilator: this treatment moves air into and out of the lungs by using a tube that is placed in your windpipe
- Tracheostomy: this is a procedure to create a hole in the neck so that a breathing tube can be inserted
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): this procedure gives the lungs a chance to recover by taking over the functions of the heart and lungs; it supplies oxygen to the body and removes carbon dioxide
Follow These Instructions at Home: Lifestyle
- If you are sick, stay home except to get medical care; your health care provider will tell you how long to stay home; call your healthcare provider before you go for medical care
- Rest at home as told by your healthcare provider
- Do not use any products that contain nicotine or tobacco, such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and chewing tobacco; if you need help quitting, ask your healthcare provider
- Return to your normal activities as told by your healthcare provider; ask your health care provider what activities are safe for you
- Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your healthcare provider
- Drink enough fluid to keep your urine pale yellow
- Keep all follow-up visits as told by your healthcare provider; this is important
To Protect Yourself:
Take precautions to avoid infection.
- Stay away from people who are sick
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your mouth, face, eyes, or nose
- Avoid going out in public; follow guidance from your state and local health authorities
- If you must go out in public, wear a cloth face covering or face mask; make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth
- Avoid crowded indoor spaces; stay at least 6 ft (2 m) away from others
- Disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched every day; this may include:
- Counters and tables
- Doorknobs and light switches
- Sinks and faucets
- Electronics such as phones, remote controls, keyboards, computers, and tablets
To Protect Others:
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, take steps to prevent the virus from spreading to others.
- If you think you have a COVID-19 infection, contact your health care provider right away; tell your health care team that you think you may have a COVID-19 infection
- Stay home; leave your house only to seek medical care; do not use public transport, if possible
- Do not travel while you are sick
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Stay away from other members of your household; let healthy household members care for children and pets, if possible; if you have to care for children or pets, wash your hands often and wear a mask; if possible, stay in your own room, separate from others; use a different bathroom
- Make sure that all people in your household wash their hands well and often
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve or elbow; do not cough or sneeze into your hand or into the air
- Wear a cloth face covering or face mask; make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth
Get Help Right Away If:
- You have trouble breathing
- You have pain or pressure in your chest
- You have confusion
- You have bluish lips and fingernails
- You have difficulty waking from sleep
- You have symptoms that get worse
These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.). Do not drive yourself to the hospital. Let the emergency medical personnel know if you think you have COVID-19.