Hammond Henry Hospital

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Steps for Care

March 17, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Steps for Care                                        
March 2020

If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or believe you may have or have been exposed to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), here are some steps you can take to get the care you need. This information can help your medical provider can help to determine your risk and help you to stop the spread of germs, and potentially the virus, to others.

  1. Stay calm. – This is an uncertain time, with information changing daily.  The possibility of having a contagious illness can be scary, and we are closely monitoring and learning more about COVID-19 every day. We are working with the Henry & Stark County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in addition to local organizations to provide care to patients while avoiding the spread of the illness in the community.
  2. If you are ill, it is best to first call your healthcare provider. Do NOT go to your doctor’s office. – Unless it is an emergency, to reduce your risk of catching or spreading illness, stay home if you feel sick, even if your symptoms are mild. Do not go to work, school or public places, and avoid public transportation. If your symptoms are severe or you feel like you need medical care, call before you go to your healthcare provider’s office or Urgent Care. Describe your symptoms over the phone. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms and recent travel history. For general questions about COVID-19 and symptoms, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.
  3. Answer questions to determine your risk. –When you call your healthcare provider, you will be asked about potential risk factors for COVID-19. Risk factors include recent travel to certain countries or areas of the U.S., or exposure to an infected person. For instance,
    • Have you traveled in the last 14 days?
    • Have you traveled outside the country or to a community in the United States where the coronavirus is spreading?
    • Have you had close contact with anyone diagnosed with known coronavirus (COVID-19) infection or that is under evaluation for possible exposure? (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 any of the following symptoms: fever, a cough (or other cold or flu-like symptoms), difficulty breathing or shortness of breath?
  1. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions –Based on your answers to the screening questions, and on your risk for COVID-19, you will receive instructions over the phone. You will be told if you need to be evaluated, and if so, what to do next. Your health care provider may recommend that you:
    1. Continue to monitor your health and call back if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.
    2. Stay home and await further instructions.
    3. You may be asked to go to the emergency department if you have more severe symptoms, such as higher fever and severe shortness of breath.
    4. ONLY if directed to do so by your healthcare provider, report to your local Urgent Care for testing. If possible, it is best to go alone to your appointment. Unless you need assistance, do not bring children or other family members. (Once at Urgent Care, stay in your car and call the facility. You will be tested for influenza. These test results will take approximately 20 minutes.) If these results are negative, Hammond-Henry Hospital is required to contact the Henry and Start County Health Department and IDPH to receive authorization to administer a COVID-19 test. Results from this test can take up to 72 hours.
  2. Always continue to practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. –Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds 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 throw it away immediately afterward. At home, clean often-touched surfaces such as doors and doorknobs, cabinet handles, bathroom hardware, tabletops, phones, tablets, and keyboards regularly with disinfectant.

These procedures and screening questions are subject to change as the situation changes. Updates to this signage will be made as soon as possible.