Coronavirus: What you need to know
HealthSource Saginaw is monitoring the worldwide response to the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, a major global health concern. HealthSource executives are in contact with the local and state health officials to take all precautions to protect our patients, residents, and staff.
As the virus spreads within the U.S., the elderly and those with multiple medical problems are at highest risk. Because the populations we work with are at high risk for complications with this virus we have restricted visitation and limited non-essential healthcare personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations. We are encouraging communications through the phone or via the internet with video chat, and have setup tablets on our units to allow patients and residents to communicate with their loved ones.
What is COVID-19?
The 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention has more information here.
Does everyone with COVID-19 need medical treatment?
No. The vast majority of cases diagnosed thus far around the world have been mild or without symptoms and may be cared for by staying home and using comfort care similar to those for a cold: fluids, rest and over-the-counter medications. Hospitals will focus on caring for those who have more severe cases of the virus, such as populations with underlying health issues that put them at greater risk.
Who gets tested for COVID-19?
The CDC has issued guidance to healthcare providers for determining which patients need testing. Providers will use their judgement of a patient’s symptoms, travel history, and risk factors to evaluate a patient.
How can I prevent the spread and stay healthy?
The CDC offers tips on preventing COVID-19 infection. Simple precautions are most effective:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you have symptoms of respiratory illness or are caring for someone who is sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wear a face mask if you are sick or have symptoms.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, especially in common areas of your home or work setting.
- Although currently there is no vaccine for COVID-19, the CDC recommends that people age 6 months and older get a flu vaccination to stay healthy.
What are the symptoms?
According to the World Health Organization, common signs of COVID-19 infection are similar to the common cold. They can include:
- respiratory symptoms
- shortness of breath
In rare cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
What should I do if I think I might be infected?
Call your doctor if you…
- Develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19
- Develop symptoms and have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
Call before you arrive if you think it’s possible you have a COVID-19 infection. If you have a trusted healthcare provider, please contact them for advice and care. As always if there is a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
What is HealthSource Saginaw doing to address the coronavirus?
We have activated our Emergency Operations Plan. Leaders and experts from across our organization are monitoring the evolving situation and adjust operations accordingly. We are following guidelines from the CDC and the World Health Organization. In addition, HealthSource executives are in regular contact with local and state health officials.
In order to protect our community, HealthSource has implemented the following:
- We are closely following all CDC guidelines and recommendations related to COVID-19 for testing and patient care
- Visitor restrictions have been implemented
- We have obtained video chat tablets for patient and resident use while visitation is restricted
- Nurse Managers and Program Executives are in communication with families on a daily basis
- All patients and residents are being monitored for sign of COVID-19 on a daily basis
- More frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common areas and shared surfaces
- Staff members are being screened daily at start of shift
- Outlining/mapping isolation procedures and areas
- Continuous close monitoring of supplies, including personal protective equipment to protect our patients, residents, and staff
- All self-service food and refreshment stations will be removed from the facilities. An increase in pre-packaged foods will be available
What are the current visitor restrictions?
Protective visitor restrictions are currently in place. We are restricting visitors within HealthSource Saginaw to protect our patients, residents, and staff. All routine visiting is being suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, residents, staff, and community.
The decision to restrict visitors was difficult and made only after careful consideration of our infection control practices and recommendations from national health experts. We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors may be allowed.
Please note these exceptions only apply if a visitor screens negative for symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, and shortness of breath).
We appreciate your understanding during these unique circumstances. Our goal is to protect you, your loved ones, and our staff.
Where is the best source of up-to-date information about COVID-19?
Information related to the virus will continue to grow. In addition to checking this page for updates, stay connected to other reliable sources. Here are links to websites with COVID-19 information:
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization