COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic
We realize news of COVID-19 may create some anxiety, but we assure you we are prepared to continue to deliver high-quality care to the patients and communities we serve. Our top priority is keeping you and our team members safe.
It's important to remember our hospitals and clinics effectively care for individuals with contagious illnesses every day. Our medical staff and infection prevention leaders are experienced in preventing the spread of infection and have implemented the latest protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for screening and testing patients suspected, or confirmed, of having COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new virus that belongs to a large family of viruses called Coronaviruses. This type of virus infects humans and animals, but this new strain has not been seen in humans before 2019. The virus seems to have originated in Wuhan, China.
For more information, visit the CDC's website.
This is called a pandemic. What does that mean?
According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
What are COVID-19 symptoms?
Symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 1 to 14 days after an individual is exposed to COVID-19, but the average is 5 days.
What should I do if I think I've been exposed to COVID-19, or I've developed symptoms related to the virus?
First, stay calm. UnityPoint is taking extra precautions to provide a safe environment. If you have symptoms that include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and you have had contact with a person with COVID-19 OR have traveled to an impacted COVID-19 country in the last month, please call ahead to an urgent care, UnityPoint Clinic – Express, or your provider's office before going to a health care facility. Proper screening and assessment will occur over the phone, and you'll then be advised on next steps. These precautions are important, as they help protect others from being exposed to the virus.
How can I keep myself safe and healthy right now?
The CDC recommends the following:
- Wash your hands properly—and often—or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19
- Practice social distancing
- Stay home if you aren't feeling well
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
How is UnityPoint Health handling the pandemic?
The number of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 is constantly changing, but we are ready to respond to changes to provide the right care at the right time. We have initiated a core group of cross-functional experts and physicians from across our organization, and we are actively following guidance provided by the CDC and state departments of public health. Our leadership remains in regular contact with local, state and national public health officials as we work together to prioritize the care and safety of our patients, their families, guests and team members.
Can vendors still make routine deliveries of supplies to UnityPoint Health facilities?
If certain vendor deliveries are critical for ongoing patient care, then the answer is yes. These should be appropriately screened, making every effort to avoid vendors going in team member or patient areas if possible. If you have questions, please visit https://www.unitypoint.org/for-vendors.aspx.
Dr. Rossana Rosa, Infectious Disease Specialist, talks about COVID-19 symptoms.