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Coronavirus: Need to Know - Long Term Care


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Maintaining a Safe and Effective Care Environment

A safe and effective care environment is our highest priority, and Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) hospitals and medical practices have undertaken the necessary steps to protect our patients, visitors and workforce as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves.

Know Before You Go

Please note WMCHealth hospitals and medical practices do not test for COVID-19. Currently, testing for COVID-19 is only conducted by the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and select centers.

If you seek care at one of Bon Secours Charity Health System's Emergency Departments and feel you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please call 845.858.7030 for Bon Secours Community Hospital, 845.368.5029 for Good Samaritan Hospital, 845.987.5125 for St. Anthony Community Hospital, PRIOR to your arrival.  

Also, with health and safety in mind for all, we are currently suspending all visitation at Mount Alverno Center, Schervier Pavilion and St. Josephs Place.  

Our Plans for Care

All WMCHealth hospitals and medical practices have long-standing and the most up-to-date protocols in place to respond to infectious diseases. These protocols include, but are not limited to, strict adherence to care guidelines, protective attire and the use of negative-pressure environments to contain airborne pathogens. We routinely train our staff on these protocols and protocol adherence is monitored by infection prevention specialists.

As an added safety precaution, multilingual signs are present at key hospital entry points asking patients and visitors to share their potential for exposures, such as recent travel, symptoms and local exposure.

If a patient arrives at a WMCHealth member hospital or medical practice with a suspicion of COVID-19 exposure or if key symptoms are present, the patient will be masked and escorted to an isolated and contained area for additional evaluation and care in cooperation with public health agencies, such as the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Testing for COVID-19 is conducted by the DOH, CDC and select centers only. After a thorough examination and in consultation with public health agencies, it would be determined if the patient’s condition warranted hospitalization or release under DOH oversight with strict, DOH-imposed isolation instructions and regular DOH monitoring.

Our Commitment

WMCHealth is committed to providing a safe and comfortable care environment for patients, their families and our staff at all of our member hospitals and medical practices throughout the Hudson Valley. Our care specialists are working collaboratively with public health agencies and closely monitoring COVID-19 developments. Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information and prevention tips.

Updated: March 9, 2020


Prevention

Adherence to smart, everyday habits can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and many other viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these everyday preventive actions to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:

  • 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.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has the latest COVID-19 information. Call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov.


Some common questions, with answers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19):

Q. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

A. Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses that usually last for a short amount of time with symptoms including: runny nose; headache; cough; sorethroat; fever and a general feeling of being unwell. In some cases, human coronaviruses can cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with respiratory and cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants and older adults.

Q. How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

A. Anyone exhibiting a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever with a general feeling of being unwell should see a healthcare provider. Importantly, notify your healthcare provider about potential exposures, such as international travel within the past 30 days.

Q. How is COVID-19 transmitted?

A. COVID-19 is transmitted via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory infections are spread.

Q. How is COVID-19 treated?

A. There is no specific treatment for coronavirus at this time beyond general care one might receive for respiratory infection.

Q. Are there precautions I can take to protect myself from COVID-19?

A. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Q. I received the flu vaccination. Will my flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

A. The flu vaccine is not known to prevent COVID-19.

Q. Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

A. There is no vaccine at this time.

Q. Should I wear a facemask to protect myself?

A. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend facemasks for those that are well to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The effective use of facemasks should be limited to those with flu-like symptoms or other respiratory infection.

Q. What precautions/actions is WMCHealth taking to manage the situation?

A. All WMCHealth hospitals and medical practices follow stringent infection prevention protocols. These protocols include, but are not limited to, strict adherence to care guidelines, protective attire and the use of negative-pressure environments to contain airborne pathogens. We routinely train our staff in these protocols and protocol adherence is monitored by infection prevention specialists.

As an added safety precaution, multilingual signs are present at key hospital entry points asking visitors to share their potential for recent exposures.