Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information
Our hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are fully prepared to care for patients, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with our local and state health departments.
COVID-19 Online Risk Assessment
To help support the health of our community, we are providing access to an online COVID-19 risk assessment developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This tool does NOT provide a diagnosis, and it should NOT be used as a substitute for an assessment made by a healthcare provider.
Below are a number of resources to help educate you and your family on COVID-19.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- WEDCO District Health Department
- Kentucky Hospital Association
- Kentucky Department of Public Health (DPH)
- DPH COVID-19 Hotline 1-800-722-5725
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Our clinical teams are trained on the proper procedures and protocols to minimize the risk of spreading any infectious disease, including COVID-19. If we have any reason to believe a patient may have the novel coronavirus, our providers immediately implement the appropriate infection control measures in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. These include masking and isolating the patient, donning personal protective equipment (PPE) – inclusive of an N95 respirator mask, eye protection, gown and gloves – and ensuring environmental hygiene.
|Who is at risk?||
The risk to the general public remains low at this time. Right now, influenza is a much more significant threat to Americans. Protect yourself from the flu - it’s not too late to get your flu vaccine.Evidence to date indicates those most at risk for becoming ill with COVID-19 are:
The CDC Travel Health Notices website provides a list of countries with sustained COVID-19 transmission.
Travelers returning from one of the countries with community spread of COVID-19 should monitor themselves for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19, including cough and shortness of breath, for 14 days after they return from one of those countries.
|What are the symptoms?||
Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
|Are there different strains of coronavirus?||
Yes, there are seven different coronaviruses known to infect humans.
|I have respiratory illness symptoms, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. What should I do?||
If your symptoms are mild:
If you are experiencing mild respiratory illness symptoms, you care and should isolate at home during illness. Restrict outside activities, avoid public areas (work, school, etc.) and refrain from using public transportation.
Treat symptoms with rest, plenty of fluids and over-the-counter medications, as appropriate.
Separate yourself as much as possible, staying in a separate room and using a separate bathroom, if available. Restrict your contact with pets and other animals.
Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse (e.g. difficulty breathing)
Before visiting a healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them that you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider's office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
If your symptoms are getting worse:
Before visiting a healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them that you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider's staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19-related symptoms.
|What should I do if I have traveled to an area with the infection and feel sick?
If you have had exposure to a known case or traveled to a country with community spread and developed a fever or respiratory symptoms, please isolate yourself at home from others and contact the Kentucky Department for Public Health at (502) 564-3261 or the local health department before seeking medical care. If you need immediate medical care, contact your healthcare provider to describe your symptoms and any recent travels before you go to the healthcare facility.
|How do I get tested for COVID-19?||
Visiting a provider does not necessarily mean you need testing or that you will receive testing. Your provider will work with the WEDCO District Health Department to follow all appropriate guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kentucky Department for Public Health to determine if testing is recommended based on your symptoms and recent travel history.
|What are the qualifications for being tested for COVID-19?||
Someone may be a candidate for testing if he or she has:
What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? I want to be tested.
If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should self-monitor for fever or symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If you begin to experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, and they are mild enough that you can manage them at home, you should remain at home in isolation. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)
If you are not experiencing symptoms, or you are experiencing mild symptoms you can manage at home in isolation, you do not need to seek medical care or testing.
|I believe I have symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do next?||
I’m experiencing mild symptoms right now, but I’m worried.
If you are experiencing fever and/or mild symptoms of respiratory illness, you can and should isolate at home during illness. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)
Should I get tested? Isolating yourself at home and self-monitoring mild symptoms is the best course of action unless you feel you need medical care.
Worsening symptoms – I need to see my provider.
Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider’s office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
Will I be tested? Your provider will make this determination based on your symptoms, and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Kentucky Department for Public Health guidelines.
Emergent symptoms – I am having difficulty breathing.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Will I be tested? Your emergency medicine provider will make this determination based on your symptoms and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Kentucky Department for Public Health guidelines.
|How can I protect myself?||While there is currently no vaccine and no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus and those with the virus can seek medical care to relieve symptoms. There are simple, everyday actions you can take to help prevent spreading germs that cause respiratory viruses. These include:
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
While we have not treated any patients with this virus at our hospital to date, Georgetown Community Hospital has taken the following measures to prepare, in accordance with CDC guidelines:
- Patients in the Emergency Department and inpatient units are screened based on their recent travel history.
- Personal protective equipment is available, including face masks and eye protection, for example.
- Hand hygiene products are easily accessible throughout the facility.
Importantly, all of the above are standard operating protocols that are in place year-round to help ensure the health and well-being of everyone who enters our hospital.
GCH follows guidance from our local health department, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding precautions and testing. We recommend the public continue to follow these trusted sources for the latest information.We want to assure our community that our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to manage outbreaks of viruses and infectious diseases, including the coronavirus. For more information on the virus, please contact the health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.
A complete list of frequently asked questions and answers about COVID-19 is available on the CDC website.
Donate blood. In addition to potential supply shortages, healthcare providers are preparing for blood shortages. Many communities have had to cancel blood drives due to COVID-19, so blood in many regions is in short supply. Donating blood is a safe process, and you can help out by calling 800-775-2522 or visiting kybloodcenter.org to find a donation location near you.
Georgetown Community Hospital is grateful for our community’s ongoing support and cooperation as we work to protect local families from the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate all that you do and will continue to provide information on what we know about the virus and how you can help us keep our region healthy.