The staff at St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals & Clinics continue preparing for COVID-19 and are dedicated to keeping our employees safe and meeting the needs of our patients. We continue to manage chronic disease, and evaluate and treat acute illnesses, while also considering the pandemic that is at our doorstep. You will notice differences in the way you access our buildings. You may be contacted about upcoming appointments to postpone these, change the date or time, or to convert these to virtual appointments.
Signs and Symptoms
Most people who are ill with COVID-19 will have fever, a cough, or shortness of breath. However there are people who are infected that may not have any symptoms, and others that may notice fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, headache, muscle aches, nausea or diarrhea.
We will be screening all people before entry into one of the hospital or clinic buildings for any symptoms that are associated with COVID-19. This may determine if you are allowed entry and if so, where to go. Not all people who screen positive will be tested for COVID-19, see below.
We have more testing available at SMH and CVHC than previously, however we have some priorities for whom to test. It still takes at least 2 days for results to return at the time of writing.
Our priorities are symptomatic hospitalized patients and healthcare workers first.
However we are also testing people that have symptoms if:
1. They are a resident of an institution (such as a nursing home) OR
2. They had close contact with a known (lab-confirmed) COVID-19 exposure OR
3. They have a role in an essential service where they continue to interact with the public OR
4. They have certain chronic diseases, are immunosuppressed, are pregnant, or over age 60
We may also consider testing other people on a case by case basis. We always try to take into consideration what changes, if any, in the plan would be made based on the results.
Please contact your local healthcare facility if you have symptoms, fit the above criteria, and wish to be tested, for further instructions.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and testing criteria and availability may change.
In many cases, no treatment is necessary. If you have symptoms, you should stay home and rest. If you are tested, you should stay home and rest. If you are positive, you should stay home and rest. Please return to the hospital if you are becoming more short of breath and are unable to care for yourself at home.
There are a few medications under investigation to treat COVID-19, but there is no cure and although there may be medication prescribed in certain cases, none have proven to be a standard of care at this time. All medications have potential side effects, and please do not use any medications unless under the guidance of a healthcare provider that is treating you for COVID-19.
What can you do to keep yourself safe?
1. Stay home.
-If you are sick, stay at home and don’t leave. Do not leave for even essential activities. Ask someone else to do the grocery shopping! Make sure to practice good hand washing and isolate yourselves from others at home if possible.
-If you are not sick, and you have to leave for essential activities, then stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with.
2. We are offering telehealth visits so you do not have to come to the hospital or clinic unless necessary.
3. Quit smoking if you smoke.
4. Wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose.
If at any time you are concerned or feeling anxious, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions and help figure out any next steps we may need to take to ensure you are safe and physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.