COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. What is PMC doing to ensure patient safety?

Patient and care partner safety is our highest priority. We have detailed and thorough plans for patient care and protecting care partners (employees, medical staff and volunteers). PMC care partners have been trained and are prepared to care for patients with serious infections like COVID-19.

Several additional safety precautions have been implemented including:

  • Visitor restrictions at the hospital and our Ambulatory sites.
  • Everyone is pre-screened, including a temperature check, before being granted access into the building.
  • At the hospital, the pre-screening is done within an Alternate Care Site located adjacent to the Emergency Department.
  • Patients entering the building for care and who are sick with flu-like symptoms or fever are given a mask to wear.
  1. Should I be concerned if PMC is treating COVID-19 patients and/or should I cancel my appointment at PMC?

No. We care for patients with serious infections like COVID-19 routinely. We follow rigorous infection prevention protocols and treat patients with a suspected infectious disease with an abundance of caution. It is safe to come to PMC.

  1. Is PMC prepared to handle these COVID-19 cases?

Yes, PMC is prepared to treat patients with COVID-19. PMC also is prepared to do so at a pandemic level, if needed. That said, know that PMC will treat patients as part of a community wide plan in coordination with public health authorities.

  1. How is a patient treated for COVID-19?

The basic premise of preventing disease transmission is to identify patients who show symptoms, isolate those patients from others for appropriate assessment, and inform appropriate staff and authorities for further response. If people appear with symptoms, they will be asked to wear a mask and answer a series of questions about their health and travel. Based on their answers and vital signs, they will be isolated from other patients while COVID-19 test results can be verified. This may take several days.

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 are isolated and treated. Currently, there is no antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Specific interventions are taken in more severe cases, or with patients with compromised immune systems or complex illnesses.

  1. How do I know if I’m at risk for COVID-19?

We believe in keeping our community safe. Take our free online risk assessment. Visit Parrishhealthcare.com/COVID19HRA. This non-diagnostic quiz will assess your current risk factors for COVID-19. If at risk, you will receive invitation to speak to a member of our care navigation team who is ready to help you through next steps.‚Äč

  1. Where should patients call or show up if they suspect exposure to or have COVID-19?

If you have new symptoms associated with COVID-19 including a new cough, shortness of breath or a fever AND you have recently:

  • Returned from a COVID-19 affected area with widespread community transmission (currently China, Korea, Japan, Italy, or Iran) within the past 14 days OR
  • Returned from an area in the U.S. with COVID-19 community-spread transmission OR
  • Been in close contact with any confirmed COVID-19 person

Please call the health department at 321-454-7101 to speak with a medical professional about further evaluation.

  1. What should PMC tell patients about travel?

PMC recommends travelers follow CDC recommendations – cancel all nonessential travel to affected areas. Those with underlying health conditions should avoid nonessential travel to affected areas and areas with community spread.

  1. What exactly is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a newly identified respiratory virus in the coronavirus family, but it is more severe and spreads easily. Diagnosis is difficult because it shares several symptoms with influenza.

  1. How is COVID-19 transmitted?

COVID-19 is thought to spread similarly to influenza. That is, it spreads person to person through respiratory droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. These droplets can land on surfaces within about 6 feet and can spread to other people after they contact these infected surfaces with their hands and subsequently touch their face.

  1. Can I catch COVID-19 from contact with an object rather than a person?

Yes, you can catch COVID-19 from an object if the surface of that object has live virus on it. How long the virus can live outside an organism is unknown. Expert estimates range from a few hours to up to nine days, depending on the type of surface, surrounding temperature and environment.

  1. Can a person have COVID-19 without having symptoms?

Yes.

  1. Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health is developing a vaccine, but it will not be ready and approved for use for at least a year or more.

  1. What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your local health care provider or health department, and ask how best to be evaluated. Do not go to your health care provider or hospital without calling ahead first.

  1. What can I do to avoid COVID-19?

To avoid COVID-19, you should:

  • Keep your hands clean.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes to keep germs from spreading to others.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces routinely.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  1. Should I wear a face mask?

Regarding whether you should wear a face mask, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides this guidance: CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

  1. How will I know if there are cases of COVID-19 in my community?

Local departments of public health and the CDC are responsible for publicly reporting COVID-19 cases.

PMC is committed to the privacy of its patients and complies with all applicable laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. As always, PMC does not share patient-specific information with the media without prior authorization. Also, PMC collaborates with public health authorities, including the CDC and local public health authorities, as appropriate. These authorities are best-positioned to provide public health information.

About this Q&A:

Many of these answers reference statements and standards already communicated by the CDC, the definitive source for prevention and procedure for infectious diseases in the U.S.

Categories