Last Updated: April 1, 2020
About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are closely monitoring the international spread of Coronavirus, also called COVID-19. We are here to provide the information and care you need, and want to ensure our community stays safe and healthy.
What is Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a newly discovered coronavirus that causes respiratory illness that can spread from person-to-person. It was first identified during an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
How is St. Mary's Health System preparing for COVID-19?
We are committed to following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s precautions and screening guidelines to care for our patients and visitors. We are a part of a multidisciplinary, systemwide task force across Covenant Health-member organizations that is carefully monitoring this situation and developing strategies to be prepared, along with local, state and federal officials.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Individuals with COVID-19 may have mild to severe respiratory illness, including symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some people, usually the elderly or immunocompromised, may experience more severe complications, such as pneumonia.
What can I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
You can take basic precautions and practice good prevention practices, including:
- If you feel sick, stay home and avoid travel.
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick or have flu-like symptoms.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue. Then, discard the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces with a household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Do I need a face mask?
Covenant Health and its member facilities are committed to making all efforts possible to reduce the transmission of the virus within our facilities to our patients and staff. With these considerations, all staff working in our hospital where patient care is delivered are required to wear a mask. Additionally, patients entering the hospital should be given a surgical or cloth mask upon entering the facility which must be worn in all common areas. The current situation is fluid and dynamic and these processes may change or be modified moving forward.
CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators outside of workplace settings (in the community). Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet). CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes or nose, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue. People who are sick should stay home and not go into crowded public places or visit people in hospitals. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility). Please do not hoard facemasks.
Is there treatment for COVID-19?
Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.
What should I do if I think I am sick with COVID-19?
First, avoid visiting our patients and public places. If you’ve traveled recently to an impacted area or if you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have an appointment with us, please call the office where your visit is scheduled to notify us in advance. We will provide you with additional instructions.
English is not my primary language. Where can I get more information?
Click the links below to view a video, offered in several languages, from the CDC about COVID-19:
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
Here are some useful links from the CDC that we have curated to help answer your most common questions:
For the most up-to-date information, please visit the CDC’s website.