What we are doing for preparedness
Information is flowing at a rapid pace as the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve. We are closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the infection rate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and virus tracking systems. We have established an emergency command center to monitor resources and plan our response.
Our expert clinicians regularly care for patients with severe respiratory illnesses and other infectious diseases. Our clinicians follow specific procedures using the tools and techniques in place to protect themselves, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
For patients, if you have an appointment at any of our locations for any reason, please view the section below.
Learn More about COVID-19
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms and recent travel history.
Unless it is an emergency, stay home if you feel sick, even if your symptoms are mild. To reduce your risk of catching or spreading illness, do not go to work, school or public places, and avoid public transportation if possible.
If you feel like you need medical care, you are encouraged to call before you go to a doctor’s office or urgent care center and describe your symptoms over the phone. If symptoms are severe, you can also call 911.
Answer Questions to Determine Your Risk
When you call a health care provider, you will be asked about your risks for COVID-19. Risk factors include recent travel to certain countries or areas of the U.S., or exposure to an infected person.
You may be asked:
- In the last 28 days, have you traveled outside of the United States or to communities with broad outbreaks?
- Have you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19? (Close contact means having been within 6 feet of that person for an extended time, or being exposed to their cough or sneeze.)
- Do you have a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing?
- Has a public health officer said you were potentially exposed to COVID-19?
Follow Your Health Care Provider’s Instructions
Based on your answers to these questions, the care provider will provide instructions over the phone. You will be told if you need to be evaluated. Based on your risk for COVID-19, your health care provider may recommend that you:
- Continue to monitor your health and call back if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.
- Stay home and await further instructions.
- Report to a medical care facility for evaluation. If possible, it’s best to go alone to your appointment. Do not bring children or other family members unless you require assistance.
- Go to a clinic or emergency department, or call 911, if you have more severe symptoms, such as higher fever and severe shortness of breath.
Practice Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- If you go to a care facility and you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have traveled to designated areas, you will be asked to wear a mask upon arrival.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water. Be mindful to wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or using the bathroom, and before preparing or eating food.
- If you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow, not your hand, or use a tissue, and then immediately throw it away.
- At home and work, clean often-touched surfaces such as doors and doorknobs, cabinet handles, bathroom hardware, tabletops, phones, tablets and keyboards regularly with disinfectant.
The possibility of having a contagious illness is concerning but doctors, nurses and other caregivers are working together with national and international agencies to identify and provide care to patients while avoiding spread of the illness in the community.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle and/or body aches
- New loss of taste and/or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion and/or runny nose
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- A person infected with COVID-19 may spread the virus for several days without having any symptoms.
- COVID-19 may spread through tiny droplets in the air or when a person touches another person, object or surface where droplets are present.
- COVID-19 can be diagnosed with a laboratory test
- For information on medications currently being used to treat COVID-19, see the Drug Therapy FAQs above on this page.
- Practice physical distancing and remaining 6 feet away from individuals.
- At home and work, clean frequently-touched surfaces such as doors and doorknobs, cabinet handles, bathroom hardware, tabletops, phones, tables, remote controls, keyboards regularly with disinfectant.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water. Be mindful to wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or using the bathroom, and before preparing or eating food.
- If you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow, not your hand. You may also use a tissue and then immediately throw it away and wash your hands.
- Stay home if you are sick
COVID-19 is caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus is now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.
Antiviral medications are currently being tested to see if they can address symptoms.
Register for a COVID-19 vaccine here.
We are committed to treating every patient who needs medical care. Our expert, well-trained clinicians regularly care for patients with severe respiratory illnesses and other infectious diseases. Our providers and staff follow best practices, using recommended tools and techniques to protect themselves, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
We are closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the infection rate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other tracking tools.
We will rely on our emergency management plan and practices to care for suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19.
For the protection of our patients, visitors, and non-employees, our plan includes screening patients and guests. Depending on the status of the spread of the disease in the community, we may limit the number of hospital entrances in order to stage for respiratory screenings. We may also choose to restrict visitors for the protection of our patients and staff. These decisions will be announced through signage and other notices.
We are also screening employees who have symptoms, have traveled by sea or air, or who have household members who have recently traveled internationally or domestically by sea or air.
We care for infected patients in isolated areas of the hospital. Access to these areas is limited to a small group of staff who only care for patients in that area. The materials used to care for infected patients are isolated and handled using the most current infection-control practices.
For the safety of all, our environmental care staff uses evidence-based disinfection procedures and products. We are confident patients entering our facility for inpatient or outpatient care are safe.
We understand the public’s high level of concern and are committed to protecting our patients’ privacy.
Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19.
Symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can be severe and some cases have caused death. This new coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test.
Prevention involves frequent hand-washing with soap and water, coughing into a tissue (throw away immediately) or the bend of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.
At Hillcrest HealthCare System, we continue to focus on the safety of our patients, their families, our staff and providers. Please be aware of the following visitor restrictions.
- By entering the facility, you attest that you do not currently have any COVID-19 symptoms (see the ABOUT COVID-19 section above) and you have not been exposed to someone with known or suspected COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- Clinic restrictions:
- Utica Park Clinic: Please minimize the number of family members who accompany a patient for outpatient procedures or clinic visits.
- OHI clinics: Only one visitor may accompany a patient to a visit.
Thank you for your cooperation.
This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest recommendations and best practices.