COVID-19 Basic Patient Information (Updated 3/27/20 2:01pm)

Coronavirus Information Hotline: 419-468-0800

The Latest

(Updated 3/27/20 2:01pm) 

A significant viral outbreak of a new type of Coronavirus named “2019 Novel Coronavirus” or “COVID-19” is affecting a large number of countries around the world, including the United States.

  • As of March 27, there are 1,137 confirmed cases in Ohio.
  • As of March 27, there is 1 confirmed case in Crawford County and 4 confirmed cases in Richland County.
  • Avita Health System is closely following recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to ensure that we’re prepared to diagnose and treat any patients with the disease.
  • Call the ODH Hotline for questions about Coronavirus: 1-833-4ASKODH or 1-833-427-5634
  • For updated information on the international outbreak, follow the daily World Health Organization Situation Report.
  • We’re taking precautions to ensure a safe environment for all patients, visitors, and staff. If you have flu-like symptoms, including fever or cough, and have an upcoming appointment, please call your provider to let them know. Please avoid visiting the hospitals or ambulatory locations if you have flu-like symptoms, including fever or cough.

Current Precautions

(Updated 3/25/20 2:30pm)

In an effort to mitigate exposure and the spread of COVID-19, we are taking proactive measures to protect our patients, employees, medical staff, volunteers and the community. We have executed the conservation of inventories of personal protective equipment (PPE) and are implementing the following temporary precautions:

  1. No visitors are permitted. Exceptions include:
    • Patients receiving end-of-life care
    • Patients under the age of 18
    • Patients with disabilities who need assistance
    • Patients undergoing emergency surgery
    • Maternity patients are limited to 1 support person during the entire duration of stay. The support person must be the same person for the entire duration.
  2. Cafeteria restrictions – Food and nutritional services will be available for employee and patient use only.
  3. We are closing the gift shops at Galion and Bucyrus Hospitals.
  4. Vendor restrictions – We are only allowing necessary surgical representatives in our facilities until further notice.
  5. We are cancelling all support groups, classes, and public meetings, including those of local civic organizations.
  6. We are limiting the use of volunteer services and will not be utilizing volunteers in positions within our hospitals, including the front desk and cafeteria.
  7. We are cancelling all student clinicals, preceptorships, and medical rotations until further notice. This includes all clinical areas of the hospital and outpatient clinics.
  8. We are suspending BLS, ACLS, PALS, and NRP training until further notice. The American Heart Association has announced 60 day extensions for all American Heart Association instructor and provider certifications.
  9. We are limiting Cardiac Rehab to Phase II patients only.
  10. The Avita Ontario Pharmacy is operating as usual, but to limit foot traffic, we are now offering curbside prescription pick-up for the outpatient pharmacy. Read below for more details.
  11. The Galion and Bucyrus Auxiliary fundraisers for April have been cancelled. This includes all book sales, bake sales, and uniform sales.
  12. We are postponing elective surgeries as of March 18.
  13. We’ve established a Coronavirus Information Hotline. Read below for more details.
  14. We are screening every patient that comes into the Emergency Department (ED) at all three hospital campuses. The screening consists of a temperature check and questionnaire.
  15. As of March 26, all of our hospitals will limit entry to one entrance per facility. The main lobby entrances at Bucyrus and Galion Hospitals will be locked, as well as the Pre-Admission Testing and South entrance. The Emergency Department (ED) entrances at Bucyrus and Galion Hospitals will be the only ones to remain open, as well as the main entrance at Ontario Hospital. The east (mall) entrance next to Ontario Hospital will close, but the doors that separate Richland Mall from the hospital will re-open for patients to access pharmacy, imaging, and the physician clinics located in the atrium. Avita’s outpatient pharmacy will still offer Curbside Prescription Pick-up to limit foot traffic in the facility.

Coronavirus Information Hotline

We’ve established a call center to answer questions and address concerns about COVID-19. Avita’s Coronavirus Information Hotline is open 8:00am-6:00pm daily at 419-468-0800. If the phone lines are not answered due to high call volume or after hours, the call will be forwarded to the Ohio Department of Health Information Hotline.

Pharmacy Curbside Prescription Pick-up

Avita is now offering curbside prescription pick-up for the outpatient pharmacy, Monday-Friday during business hours. Patients are directed to pull into one of the designated parking spaces on the East side of the hospital and call the Pharmacy telephone number on the sign: 567-307-7570. Prescriptions will be delivered directly to patient vehicles.

What if I Have an Upcoming Appointment?

We’re taking precautions to ensure a safe environment for all patients, visitors and staff. If you have flu-like symptoms, including fever or cough, and have an upcoming appointment, please call your provider to let them know. Please avoid visiting the hospitals or ambulatory locations if you have flu-like symptoms, including fever or cough.

What Are the Symptoms?

Coronaviruses typically causes symptoms that are similar to influenza (“the flu”) and other viral illnesses. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tiredness, body aches 
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • The vast majority of patients have mild/moderate symptoms and don’t require hospitalization
  • People at highest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include those with pre-existing pulmonary disease, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes,  immune-compromised, and the elderly
  • If you’re seriously ill, seek medical attention from your health care provider or the Emergency Department.

What Do I Need to Do?

Unless you have recently traveled to affected countries, or have been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection, there is no need to change any routine activities or behaviors related to the outbreak. The CDC advises there is no need to wear a mask unless you need to avoid spreading your own respiratory illness to others, or are caring for someone with COVID-19.

In general, practicing routine hygiene etiquette is the best way to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (20 seconds or longer) or use alcohol hand rub
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces often
  • Anyone who is seriously ill should seek medical advice from a doctor or emergency department  

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

Based on current CDC guidance, person-to-person spread most likely occurs through respiratory droplets between close contacts, similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses.

  • Prolonged exposure within six feet of an infected person would put you at risk for getting the virus.
  • The period from exposure to symptom onset is believed to be within 14 days.
    • For example, if a person returned from an outbreak area more than 14 days ago, the person would be outside the window for disease onset.
  • Practicing routine hygiene practices daily is the best way to prevent the spread of infection:
    • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol hand rub regularly, especially after coughing or sneezing
    • Avoid close contact with people that are sick
    • Anyone who is ill should keep a safe distance (at least 3 feet) from others to reduce the risk of transmitting germs
    • Stay home if you don’t feel well. If you’re seriously ill, seek medical attention.

Should I Travel Out of the Country?

If you have international travel scheduled in the coming weeks – especially to affected countries – you should monitor travel warnings carefully prior to departure.

  • The CDC and the US Department of State maintain travel alerts that can help you make the decision about going on your trip. 

How is Avita Health System Prepared?

The Avita COVID-19 Response Team (ACRT) – an internal multi-disciplinary emergency management committee – continues to meet daily to establish protocols, implement precautions, and update contingency plans in preparation for a potential influx of patients with COVID-19 symptomology and travel history and/or exposure.

Avita Health System works closely with local and state public health officials to coordinate our response to these types of outbreaks based on recommendations from the CDC.

  • If a recent traveler to an affected area develops symptoms of COVID-19, the local health department who is working with the patient will alert the team that the patient is ill.
  • Avita Health System is prepared to care for these patients in private treatment rooms with special ventilation to prevent the spread of any infection.
  • Our clinicians and staff wear special protective equipment when gathering samples for viral testing and treating the patient.
  • These patients will also be tested for influenza and other viral illnesses that can have similar symptoms and that are much more common in the U.S.
  • Testing for COVID-19 can only be performed with the approval of the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC.
  • In the event of a local COVID-19 outbreak, the medical center will implement our emergency preparedness plan in accordance with the standardized Hospital Incident Command System.

Avita will continue to triage patients and administer COVID-19 tests to those who meet the testing criteria. Avita will maintain 24/7 infection control and prevention coverage to help mitigate the spread of infection and provide guidance on a case-by-case basis. Avita is closely monitoring inventories of personal protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves, as well as providing employees with ongoing education and updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health.

Avita Health System’s team of experts are dedicated to keeping healthcare local by providing safe, quality care in our community. Avita will continue to monitor hospital operations, assess the needs of the community, and take necessary COVID-19 precautions as the situation develops and new information emerges.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

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