Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions | White River Health System

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

Information Update

March 27, 2020

White River Health System (WRHS) facilities are screening employees for the presence of fever at the beginning of every shift.  Visitors are not allowed except for special circumstances. Out of an abundance of caution, patients admitted to the hospital for an unknown respiratory illness are cared for in isolation by healthcare staff using Centers for Disease Control infectious disease protocols and the recommended level of personal protective equipment (PPE) until the Coronavirus is ruled out.  

Several weeks ago, when the first case of the Coronavirus was announced in the United States. WRMC began implementing plans to care for patients presumed to have the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including isolation rooms with separate ventilation and PPE for healthcare staff. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1.     Is the hospital locked down or under quarantine?

Visitors are not allowed at this  Employees are being screened before beginning their shift.  Temperature screenings are to ensure the health and safety of our patients and employees and limit the spread of respiratory illness. All patients are asked to use the Emergency Department (West) Entrance.  All other entrances are closed until further notice.

 2.     What changes were made to visiting hours?

Visitors are not allowed at this time. Patients with the following exceptions are allowed one visitor. 

  • Critically Ill Patients
  • Patients Receiving End of Life Care
  • Mothers In Active Labor
  • Patients Having a Surgical Procedure
  • Pediatric Patients

3.     Is it safe to pick-up patients being discharged?

Yes, if the person picking up the patient comes into the building, they will be screened for fever.

 4.     Are patients being admitted for other medical care?

Yes, our facilities are providing emergency care, inpatient care, and outpatient test and procedures.  Clinics are maintaining normal business hours.  Visit www.whiteriverhealthsystem.com for the hours of your WRHS clinic or provider.

If a patient with respiratory symptoms needs to be seen in the Emergency Department or admitted for care, they should put on a mask as soon as they enter the building. If coming from a provider or healthcare facility, the patient should have a mask before coming to the facility.

If you have fever on the day of a scheduled test or procedure, call the hospital department where the test or procedure is schedule and notify your physician. 

 5.     Should residents wear masks in public?

If you are well, a mask offers no additional protection from respiratory illness.

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), you should wear a mask to prevent you from infecting others.

6.  I have an upcoming appointment at SCMC, WRMC, or a WRHS Clinic.  Should I go? 

Unless your provider advises you to reschedule, plan to keep your appointment.  As with any illness, contact your provider prior to your appointment if you are not feeling well to determine if you need to reschedule your appointment. 

7.     What should I do if suspect I’ve been exposed to the Coronavirus?

Use the Coronavirus Assessment tool on this page or WRHS telehealth service, WaveLink offers a free assessment 24/7.  Use the code COVID-19 in the Enterprise box. The virtual visit is a set of assessment questions by a certified Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). You will be asked about your exposure. You will be given instructions if it is determined you should be screened for Coronavirus or treated for respiratory illness.  You may also call your primary care provider for instructions. 

The following people are a risk

People who recently traveled internationally or to an affected area. Recent International travel or travel to an affected area.

People who have had close contact with someone who is infected or traveled to an affected area.

Close contact with a healthcare worker treating a patient with Coronavirus.

 8.     What should I do if I have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms?

If you have a medical emergency, Dial 911.

Stay home. 

You may use  WRHS telehealth service, WaveLink, to connect with a provider 24/7 using a smartphone or tablet.  You may also contact your primary care provider or clinic.

Limit exposure to other members of your household.

Treat symptoms with over the counter medications

 9.     How can I protect myself and my family?

Stay Home except for work and medical appointments

Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes. Throw the tissue away. Use the bend in your arm to cover coughs and sneezes if no tissue is available.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soap and water.  Use Alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Use a brand with 65-95% alcohol.

 

If you need medical care, use WRHS telehealth service, WaveLink for a virtual visit using your smart phone or tablet or call your primary care provider.  If you are experiencing a medical emergency dial 911.

CDC Prevention Recommendations