• 12 MAR 20
    • 0
    What You Should Know About COVID-19

    What You Should Know About COVID-19

    Your safety is our top priority

    We know you may be concerned about news of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and its implications for the health of you and your loved ones. Your safety and well-being are our top priority.

    • We are taking all necessary measures and precautions to protect the safety of our patients, residents, and staff.
    • What is Bear Valley Community Healthcare District doing to protect patients?
    • We are screening all patients for symptoms of fever, (100.0F or above), cough or shortness of breath and for a history of travel within the past 14 days from foreign countries or communities with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus.
    • If we have a confirmed or potential patient with COVID-19, we will institute standard infectious disease protocols, as well as additional measures, to prevent the potential spread of the virus. All health care providers who have contact with the patient will use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

    How concerned should I be about the coronavirus?

    Coronaviruses can cause the common cold and pneumonia. Most people infected with the novel coronavirus have mild symptoms, like having a cold or a mild flu. A small fraction of people, however, will develop more severe respiratory symptoms, have difficulty breathing, and require hospital care. Those who are prone to getting sicker from this virus include:

    • Older adults
    • Individuals with compromised immune systems
    • Pregnant women
    • Individuals who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

    Is there anything I can do to protect myself?

    It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health crisis. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the novel coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

    Here are the current CDC recommendations to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

    • Take everyday preventive actions for respiratory infections, such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when sick, unless you have trouble breathing, and washing hands often.
    • There is currently no treatment for the coronavirus except to treat individual symptoms, such as fever with a fever reducer, or other over the counter medicines.
    • Avoid traveling to places with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus. A good place for reliable travel information can be found on the CDC’s travel advisory page . CDC.gov/coronavirus

    If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. (An outbreak is when a large number of people suddenly get sick.) Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.

    If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

    Get Ready for COVID-19 Now

    • Have supplies on hand
    • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
    • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
    • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
    • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.

    Take everyday precautions

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Take everyday preventive actions
    • Clean your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
    • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
    • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
    • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
    • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
    • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
    • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.

    It is also important that you listen to public health officials who may recommend community actions to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19, especially if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. · For more information visit the CDC’s website. · For more information on COVID-19 and California’s response visit the CDPH website.

    Should I wear a mask?

    The CDC does not recommend the use of face masks for the general U.S. public to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including the novel coronavirus.

    The best way to protect your health is by practicing preventive measures listed above and staying 6 feet away from others who are ill.

    Do you perform the test for coronavirus at Bear Valley?

    We do not do testing here, but we can collect the specimens needed and send them out to a lab in California where they do the testing. We work with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health to determine which patients meet the criteria to have a test done.

    I think I may have coronavirus. What will happen if I come in the hospital or clinic?

    Because this is an infectious disease, we have to take precautions to protect our patients, residents and staff members. We will take you to a special room and the staff who care for you will wear special masks, gowns, and gloves. We bring you in to the facility, keeping at least 6 feet away from others to decrease their exposure.

    We ask that you call ahead before coming in. This will give our staff time to prepare for your arrival. When you arrive, stay in your car, if possible, and call again to let us know you’re here.

    Someone will come out to meet you and give you a face mask to wear, and a blanket to wrap in. The staff member who comes out will be wearing protective equipment. Visitors and family members will be restricted and determined on a case by case basis.

    What can I do if I have more concerns?

    You can find information about the virus from these websites. · CDC / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . (updated daily with advice for public cdc.gov/coronavirus · California Department of Public Health cdph.ca.gov · World Health Organization who.int · U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration osha.gov

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