ChristianaCare

CORONAVIRUS: COVID-19

Ways to protect yourself and others:


Wash your hands often.

Call before going for health care treatment.

Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms.

Clean commonly used surfaces.

Don’t touch your face.

Keep a distance of 6-10 feet from others.

Questions about coronavirus in DE? Contact Delaware’s Division of Public Health at 1-866-408-1899 or TTY at 1-800-232-5460 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon to Fri, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat and Sun. Or e-mail at dphcall@delaware.gov.

ChristianaCare is prepared to meet the needs of our caregivers and our community related to emerging infections, including the Coronavirus COVID-19. Our caregivers are trained in accordance with CDC guidelines to screen patients appropriately, isolate patients suspected of the coronavirus and engage our Infection Prevention team to coordinate testing with the Delaware Division of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when indicated. Our hospitals are equipped to care for patients with coronavirus, including negative-pressure rooms that are in line with the CDC’s recommended strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And our caregivers are prepared with the protocols to protect themselves when caring for a patient suspected of the coronavirus.

Procedure Postponements and Cancellations

Effective March 19 at 1 pm, based on guidance from the surgeon general, we are taking the following actions:

  • We are canceling all outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation services until further notice.
  • We are requesting the postponement of all non-urgent laboratory and radiological screening exams and non-urgent elective services for at least four to six weeks (April 20 or later).
  • We are requesting the postponement of all non-urgent outpatient diagnostic exams and services for at least four to six weeks (April 20 or later).

If you have questions, please consult your doctor. Patients with existing appointments will be contacted if those appointments require rescheduling.


New Visitation Guidelines

At this time, no visitors are allowed to visit any patients at ChristianaCare hospitals, and no support people are allowed to accompany a patient to a service except for the following:

  • One visitor is permitted for patients in palliative care or hospice.
  • One visitor or support person is permitted to support laboring and postpartum mothers.
  • One support person is permitted for patients in the emergency department.
  • One support person is permitted for outpatient or surgical services with prior approval.
  • One visitor is permitted for NICU and pediatric patients.

All visitors will be screened for coronavirus risk before being permitted to enter. Screening will include questions related to travel, exposure, and symptoms, and will include temperature monitoring for all visitors who are negative for travel, exposure, symptoms. Any visitor who is screened with a temperature of > 100 degrees Fahrenheit will not be allowed to enter for visitation. Visitors will not be provided with a mask when entering. If a visitor chooses to bring a mask to wear this will be allowed.

Business Visits
Many business units at ChristianaCare are limiting or eliminating walk-in visits. Please call ahead to check availability.

Shuttle & Valet Service
To protect the public, patients and caregivers from coronavirus, ChristianaCare shuttle service is for employees only until further notice. Valet service is suspended until further notice.

Please note: Ambulatory infusion services are still operational and caring for patient needs.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


Provider Referral Center Operating Status

ChristianaCare is providing COVID-19 testing at Provider Referral Centers. These are NOT walk-in facilities. Only patients referred by their provider and in possession (physically or electronically) of a testing order will be tested. Patients will need to arrive to the testing site with their ID and insurance card as well. Centers are by appointment only. Patients who receive testing orders will be instructed by their doctor how to reserve their testing time.

Expanded hours and walk-in appointments are available at the Newark Provider Referral Site to allow for testing of health care workers and at the Wilmington Provider Referral Center to allow for testing of first responders only. Operating hours can be found at christianacare.org/prc.


Community Events Canceled

All community events at ChristianaCare facilities are canceled until further notice. Examples of community events include classes, lectures, meetings, symposia and conferences, as well as events ChristianaCare is hosting for outside organizations.

We have informed organizations about this decision and continue to explore options for virtual meetings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus – known as COVID-19 – first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States.

For more information about the coronavirus, including specific information on symptoms, complications, transmission, prevention and treatment, you can visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization websites.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance. For more information on the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or contact the Delaware Division of Public Health at 1-866-408-1899, TTY at 1-800-232-5460.

Please follow ChristianaCare on Twitter and Facebook to receive our latest updates, as well as health and wellness information to help you and your family to be at your best health.

 

Know and Share Facts About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Fact 1
Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.

People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American. Help stop fear by letting people know that being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.

Fact 2
Some people are at increased risk of getting COVID-19.

People who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or people who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread are at an increased risk of exposure.

Fact 3
Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.

For up-to-date information, visit CDC’s coronavirus disease situation summary page.

Fact 4
You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:

• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath
Seek medical advice if you
• Develop symptoms
AND
• Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Fact 5
There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Basics

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practiceexternal icon for naming of new human infectious diseases.

People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.

People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.

If you are sick, or if you have possible or confirmed coronavirus, please see What To Do If You Are Sick.

How It Spreads

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

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.

Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19.

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months.  At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer.  There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

How To Protect Yourself

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.

Yes. There have been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. related to travel and person-to-person spread. U.S. case counts are updated regularly on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. See the current U.S. case count of COVID-19.

Visit the COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.

There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should: stock up on supplies; take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; when you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick; limit close contact and wash your hands often; and avoid crowds, cruise travel, and non-essential travel. If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor. More information on how to prepare, what to do if you get sick, and how communities and caregivers can support those at higher risk is available on People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19.

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

There is still a lot that is unknown about the newly emerged COVID-19 and how it spreads. Two other coronaviruses have emerged previously to cause severe illness in people (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV). The virus that causes COVID-19 is more genetically related to SARS-CoV than MERS-CoV, but both are betacoronaviruses with their origins in bats. While we don’t know for sure that this virus will behave the same way as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, we can use the information gained from both of these earlier coronaviruses to guide us. In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. Information will be provided on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website as it becomes available.

Symptoms & Testing

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever1, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.

Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

State and local health departments who have identified a person under investigation (PUI) should immediately notify CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to report the PUI and determine whether testing for COVID-19 at CDC is indicated. The EOC will assist local/state health departments to collect, store, and ship specimens appropriately to CDC, including during afterhours or on weekends/holidays.

For more information on specimen collection see CDC Information for Laboratories.

Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.

For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.

People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.

People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.