COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic
We realize news of COVID-19 creates 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 symptoms of COVID-19?
People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- 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. If you've had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should follow local public health guidance and quarantine at home for 14-days after your last contact. Even if you get tested and are negative or feel healthy, you should complete the entire 14-day quarantine as symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. If you notice COVID-19 symptoms, you should isolate from others as much as possible. If you want to see a doctor, please call ahead to an urgent care, UnityPoint Clinic – Express or your doctor'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, which could include testing.
How can I keep myself safe and healthy right now?
The CDC recommends the following:
- Wash your hands often and correctly or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Practice social distancing
- Wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose
- Stay home if you aren't feeling well
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Get a flu shot
- 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. 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 deliveries of supplies to UnityPoint Health facilities?
Vendor deliveries that are essential for business operations are allowed, but UnityPoint Health is restricting in-person sales visits. If you have questions, please visit https://www.unitypoint.org/for-vendors.aspx.