COVID-19 symptoms? CoxHealth is offering free Virtual Visits. Use code: COVID.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that has spread to several countries, including the United States. Most cases are mild, but severe cases can be fatal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- 80 percent of the population may experience mild symptoms, such as fever or flu-like symptoms that they treat at home
- 15% may seek medical care, such as visiting an Urgent Care or Emergency Department
- 5% may require critical care, meaning being admitted as an inpatient
- 1.6% of confirmed cases (confirmed cases representing between 5-10% of all infections in the community) will die.
The current situation is dynamic and evolving. Prevention is key. Communities and community members can engage in precautions to protect yourself and our community, even if you are not ill and don’t have symptoms.
For updates and general information in our community, visit health.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirus.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding COVID-19. The hotline can be reached at 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What is CoxHealth doing?
CoxHealth regularly plans and prepares to manage a wide variety of illnesses and injuries throughout the communities it serves. A team of health care providers regularly meets to assess the current situation in the local area and how to best prepare to care for patients. We want to reassure the community we are prepared to take care of the community when they need us.
Non-Urgent Surgeries Postponed
As CoxHealth and Mercy Springfield prepare to serve patients diagnosed with COVID-19, the health systems have made the decision to evaluate and potentially postpone some elective surgical procedures that are not urgent.
In this case, elective procedures may encompass any procedure that is not an emergency. Patients whose procedures are impacted will be notified as soon as possible, but since this is a fluid and evolving situation, there is no specific time frame for surgeries that may be postponed. Patients should assume that their procedure will continue as scheduled unless told otherwise.
This decision is not taken lightly, given the fact that it will inconvenience patients. However, it’s felt that the systems must be prepared to care for patients in emergency situations who are impacted by symptoms of COVID-19 and require hospitalization to potentially save their lives.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, beginning on Monday, March 23, CoxHealth will only be allowing hospital patient visits in the following areas:
- End-of-life care: The patient’s clinical team can make exceptions at their discretion.
- ICUs: No visitors except end-of-life care.
- NICU: Only the parents/guardians of the neonate are allowed to visit one time per day. If the baby has only one guardian, one additional support person older than 18 years may be authorized for visits. The designated persons will remain the assigned persons throughout the duration of admission.
- Pediatrics: One parent or guardian per day.
- Child Psych: One parent or guardian is allowed to visit during regular visiting hours as posted.
- Labor and Deliver and Postpartum: One support person for labor and delivery patients.
- Procedural Areas: One visitor who has been identified as the designated driver for the patient may wait in the designated waiting area of the procedural department.
- Emergency Departments and Urgent Cares: One visitor to be the designated driver.
Visitors in the areas of the hospitals not mentioned above will not be allowed.
Visitors meeting the above criteria may visit during normal visiting hours.
- Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at entry.
- No visitor will be allowed into our facilities who shows symptoms of suspected COVID-19.
- Visitors are asked to limit your movement within the hospital to only your patient’s room and public restrooms.
- Please use good hand hygiene during your visit.
- Please do not enter the hospital if you are ill.
Please note: No one under the age of 18, with the exception of those seeking medical care, will be permitted into CoxHealth facilities.
This is an evolving situation and updates will be shared on CoxHealth social media pages as they become available. We want to thank the community for their understanding and cooperation in trying to help our community stay safe.
Coping with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Shortages
With the current worldwide shortages on personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and face shields, hospitals everywhere are looking for new ways to keep patients and health care professionals safe. At CoxHealth, we teamed up with Jordan Valley Innovation Center to create a special shield that can be work over masks. Learn more on our Innovation Page.
CoxHealth Fitness Centers Closed
All CoxHealth Fitness Centers closed until further notice amid concerns around COVID-19. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we feel it is the best decision for the health of our members, staff and community.
To compensate for the time the centers are shuttered, all members’ contracts will be extended that same amount of time once the centers reopen. When a reopening date has been determined, members will be notified via email and social media.
Members who have questions about the closures may call 417-269-5959 or 417-335-7720 (Branson).
What should you do?
CoxHealth, along with the Springfield Greene County Health Department, is asking the community to begin taking precautions now to prevent the spread of illness.
Most people who develop the illness will have mild symptoms. However, they could spread the illness to those who are at higher risk for complications.
Take everyday precautions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or having been in a public place. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent 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.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (i.e., tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and 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.
For those in high-risk categories:
The illness seems to affect high-risk individuals particularly hard. People in those groups should start taking action now to limit activity around big groups of people. We recommend staying at home as often as possible to reduce the potential for exposure.
In regard to COVID-19, people considered high risk include:
- Adults over the age of 60
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and cancer
A chronic medical condition in this scenario would include any condition that lasts more than six months and limits daily activities or requires ongoing monitoring or treatment. These groups have been identified because of the significantly higher fatality rate associated with this illness.
People who match these criteria should take enhanced precautions to get ready now for COVID-19. View more information from Springfield - Greene County Health Department.
What do I do if I have symptoms?
- If you are sick with traditional cold and flu symptoms such as a fever and cough, stay at home and care for yourself as you usually would, and if needed, use Virtual Visits. Virtual Visits are currently FREE to those with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever over 100.4, cough and shortness of breath). Use code: COVID.
- If you have flu symptoms and are in the high-risk category described above, call your primary care physician to discuss your illness.
- If you are experiencing emergency warning signs of COVID-19, including: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to arouse; bluish lips or face; report to an emergency room.
- For more information about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19, view this CDC fact sheet.