Blanchard Valley Health System is closely monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak and working with the Hancock County Department of Health, Ohio Department of Health, and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21.
Updated Coronavirus screening guidelines from the CDC state that if someone has traveled from China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, or Italy since mid-February, and has a fever, cough or shortness of breath, and is not in need of urgent medical care they should first call their doctor or local health department to determine if testing is appropriate. The same approach applies to those that have been in direct contact with someone who is known to have COVID-19 and has a fever or symptoms of respiratory illness.
Here are some resources to keep you updated:
Ohio Department Of Health Website
Hancock County Department of Health Website
Family Portal for Long-term Care Residents and Families
Armes Family Cancer Care Center Updates
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
According to the CDC
, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
How can I protect myself?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.<div>
What should someone do if they think they have coronavirus?
For general questions regarding Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), please call 1.833.4ASKODH (1.833.427.5634)
The CDC recommends that people who suspect they may have COVID-19 stay home and call their doctors in non-emergency situations. It’s important to follow these instructions to enable doctors to take care of you and to keep others from being exposed. If you’re not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can most likely recover at home. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, seek medical attention immediately. The CDC states that some emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
What are the current visitor restrictions?
As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, Birchaven Village, The Heights and Independence House will follow the directive to prohibit anyone from the outside from visiting unless medically neccessary. We will be more than happy to set up a phone call, Skype or Facetime. Thank you for your understanding.
Due to community concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that every precaution is being taken to prioritize the safety of our patients, Blanchard Valley Health System will no longer allow visitors. (Effective March 25, 2020)
This policy applies to all BVHS facilities including hospitals and outpatient clinics.
An exception of one caregiver per patient for the duration of the hospital stay will be granted for patients in our pediatric and labor and delivery care units. All surgical patients will be required to have one responsible adult support individual present. Inpatient areas and Emergency Room patients under the care of end-of-life services will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
At Bridge Hospice Care Centers, only four visitors will be allowed per patient per day. No visitors under 10 years of age. Visitors 10 to 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. They also must be able to comply with wearing protective equipment and are only permitted to stay one hour in each 24-hour period. Other situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
All approved visitors will be required to submit to a screening upon entry and wear a visitor’s badge while in any BVHS facility.
Can someone who has COVID-19 spread the illness to others?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.