COVID-19 Latest CoxHealth Updates 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. Visitor Restrictions Anyone entering a CoxHealth facility will be required to wear a mask or face covering. This includes both visitors and patients. Visitors must also wash their hands when entering and exiting a patient's room. Visitors are encouraged to stay six feet away from the patient.We are allowing hospital patient visitors in the following areas:Inpatient: Patients may have two visitors per day between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in most areas of CoxHealth’s hospital facilities, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the health system’s ICUs and Step-Down Units. ICUs are also open for visiting from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. While only one person may visit per day, the person who visits may change from one day to the next. Visitors are also allowed to leave the facility and return in the same day. Patients being admitted into the hospital who decline a COVID-19 test will still have regular visitor access.End-of-life care: Patients who are at end-of-life or on comfort care will be able to have up to two visitors at a time; exceptions can be made for critical decisions and based on nursing judgment.NICU: Two visitors are allowed at a time; exceptions can be made for critical decisions.Pediatrics: One guardian 24/7. Two guardians allowed during visiting hours; exceptions can be made for critical decisions.Labor & Delivery: Two visitors at a time; exceptions can be made for critical decisions. One support person may remain with the patient 24/7 while they are in the hospital. The second visitor may also be present during the birth, but will need to follow the system’s current visiting hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. after the mother transitions to postpartum status.Surgical and Procedural Areas: Two support people are allowed for the duration of the surgery.Emergency Departments and Urgent Cares: Two visitors for the duration of the visit.Clinics: Two visitors are allowed, and children are allowed in clinics.COVID Units: Patients on our COVID units (outside of the 5th floor west tower at South) will be allowed one visitor once per day during the hours of 10 a.m. to noon. or 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Other restrictions may vary based on patient condition.Special circumstances: Visitors will be allowed for patients with special needs (development delays, inability to speak for themselves, times when medical decision making is needed outside of normal visiting hours or life-altering news occurring outside of normal hours).Child/Adolescent Psych: No changes.Additional general rules for visitors:No visitor will be allowed into our facilities who shows symptoms of suspected COVID-19 or who has had a positive test in the last 10 days.Visitors are not allowed if they have fever, cough, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, sore throat, vomiting/diarrhea, muscle pain or loss of taste and smell.Visitors are not allowed if they have been exposed to a close contact who has COVID-19 in the last 10 days.Please use good hand hygiene during your visit.Please note: Child visitors are allowed, but must be older than 14 years old to enter critical care units.This is an evolving situation; areas may need to temporarily limit visitors at different times during the pandemic. We want to thank the community for their understanding and cooperation in trying to help our community stay safe. If your loved one is in the hospital and you would like to send them a special card, you can use our complimentary CoxHealth CareMail service. Frequently Asked Questions FAQs Are CoxHealth clinics open and seeing patients? Are we doing anything special from a safety perspective? Who should be tested and how is the test done? What should I do if I have any COVID-19 symptoms? How is COVID-19 spread? What are lasting impacts from COVID-19? What constitutes “close contact”? Why should I wear a mask in public? What is the effectiveness of antibody testing? Are CoxHealth clinics open and seeing patients? Yes, CoxHealth clinics are ready to serve patients for emerging and ongoing health needs. We know COVID-19 concerns have made many patients apprehensive about visiting their doctor or the hospital. However, for some, delaying or neglecting medical care can be a serious risk. Please don’t delay seeking medical care when it’s needed. Are we doing anything special from a safety perspective? Our priority is ensuring that patients have a safe experience when they visit CoxHealth facilities. We’ve always had rigorous cleaning protocols in place, but we’ve now increased how often cleaning is done. In some cases, high-touch areas – such as door handles and elevator buttons – are cleaned four times as often as they were before.Other efforts include:Screening and checking the temperature of patients and employees before they enter a CoxHealth locationMasking all employeesAdjusting waiting areas so that seats are at least 6 feet apartRequesting patients wait in their cars for appointments at some locationsExpanding Virtual Visits and providing primary and specialty care visits from home Who should be tested and how is the test done? Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. Generally, we recommend testing if you have any of the symptoms listed above, or if you've had close contact (being within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. For more guidance on what to do in your specific exposure case and when to test, call your provider or use our Virtual Visits service. What should I do if I have any COVID-19 symptoms? COVID-19 symptoms may include cough, fever of 100.4 or greater, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, call your primary care provider or see our Treating COVID-19 At Home page for guidance. How is COVID-19 spread? COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that primarily spreads from person to person, such as when someone coughs or sneezes. This happens more frequently when people are 6 feet or less apart from one another. What are lasting impacts from COVID-19? There are many people who get COVID-19 and experience no or mild symptoms, and most get better within weeks of illness. However, some people do experience post-COVID conditions. These can include a range of new, returning or ongoing health problems people, which can present as different conditions for different lengths of time. These post-COVID conditions may also be known as long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID or chronic COVID. What constitutes “close contact”? “Close contact” refers to anyone who is within 6 feet of other people for a prolonged period of time and those who have been in contact with an infected individual’s secretions. In this case, “prolonged” is up to the interpretation of local health authorities looking into the situation. They determine what amount of time makes the most sense. Why should I wear a mask in public? Wearing a mask helps protect people around you from the virus. Given the range of symptoms related to COVID-19, there are many instances when people don’t realize they’re ill but can still pass along the virus to others. If everyone wears a mask, it helps us protect each other. What is the effectiveness of antibody testing? Antibody testing involves testing an individual’s blood to see if a sample contains antibodies, which are produced when someone has fought the virus. In other viruses, the presence of antibodies can mean that an individual has some immunity. It’s unknown at this time if this is true of COVID-19 or how reliable antibody testing is.CoxHealth does not currently offer antibody testing.