Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information

Our hospitals are 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.

We want to reassure our communities that it is safe to come to the hospital should you or your family need care. We stand ready to serve you.

Quicklinks

Visitor Policy

Elective and Non-urgent Surgeries and Procedures - Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t Take a Chance with Your Health – Get Vaccinated for Flu Season

COVID-19 Associated Hospitalization Related to Underlying Medical Conditions

Minutes Matter: Don’t Put Your Heart Health On Hold During COVID-19

Universal Masking

Mask Guidance - Do's and Dont's

Maintaining a Clean & Safe Environment

Laboratory Testing Fact Sheets

Resources

COVID-19 Update from Sovah Health - September 16, 2020

Sovah Health has established this biweekly update to share information with the public related to COVID-19 including the status of hospital operations and the safety measures being taken to protect our patients, staff and community.

This week, Jason Lunsford, MSN, APRN, NP-C, Hospitalist, shares an update to our visitation policy and recommendations on flu vaccination. Sovah Health, given the slight decrease in COVID-19 cases and knowing how important it is to have a loved one with you in an emergency, has decided to allow one WELL visitor in our emergency department. If admission to the hospital is required, visitors may not follow the patient to the inpatient unit which is currently under a limited visitation policy. We will continue to monitor the transmission of COVID-19 in the region and update our policy as the pandemic evolves. We encourage patients and families to keep in contact with their loved ones utilizing virtual means such as through phone calls, FaceTime or other technologies that are available. For additional information about our visitation policy, scroll below or click here.

Given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, it has never been more important to be proactive about your health and to get your flu shot. Flu vaccination is the single-best way to protect yourself from the virus. While the flu vaccine won’t protect you from COVID-19, it can help prevent you from getting the flu, or help lessen your symptoms if you do. Plus, getting your vaccination will help give you valuable peace of mind that you’re doing everything you can to guard against the flu, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic surges on.

Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months (with rare exceptions) to help you stay as healthy as possible. Flu vaccines can take approximately two weeks to become fully effective, so you should plan to receive your flu vaccine before flu activity begins, if possible. A good rule of thumb is to get vaccinated no later than the end of October. Visit the CDC’s website for more information at cdc.gov/flu.

Sovah Health continues to take all the necessary precautions to protect our patients and staff from COVID-19, including limiting entry points to the facility, screening all individuals for symptoms of COVID-19, universal masking, and maintaining a limited visitor protocol.

Sovah Health reminds the public to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene, and wearing a mask or face covering while in public.


Below are a number of resources to help educate you and your family on COVID-19. For more information on the virus, please contact the Virginia Department of Health.

Don’t Take a Chance with Your Health – Get Vaccinated for Flu Season

It is hard to believe that in the coming weeks, the temperature will begin its downward trend, and the fall season will already be upon us. This also means that flu season is just around the corner – a period which usually peaks between December and February but can last as late as May. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and can even lead to death in certain situations. Anyone can come down with the flu, but individuals with a greater risk of developing flu-related complications include children younger than five years old, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and those with certain medical conditions like asthma, heart disease and blood disorders. Learn More

Avoid COVID-19 Scams

View 5 things you can do to avoid a Coronavirus scam. Learn More

COVID-19 Associated Hospitalization Related to Underlying Medical Conditions

Check out this document by the CDC about your risk for hospitalization if you have any of these conditions and get COVID-19 compared to people without the condition(s). Learn More

Universal Masking

Sovah Health is taking every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities. For this reason, we are following the CDC and VDH recommendation that anyone who enters our facility must wear a face mask at all times.  

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own mask from home to help conserve hospital supplies for patients and staff. 

Why wear a mask? Recent studies show that universal masking, in addition to practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene, can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, especially in individuals who may not know they are ill. And until there is a vaccine, these measures are our best line of defense in protecting not only you, but also our healthcare workers and community members. 

Please be smart and do your part. Wear a mask! We all have a responsibility to protect one another against the spread of COVID-19 and make our communities healthier. 

For more information from the CDC on face coverings and how to make your own, click here.  

Maintaining a Clean & Safe Environment

Sovah Health is committed to providing a clean and safe care environment, and we are taking all precautionary measures to safeguard our staff, providers and those we serve against the spread of illness. Our hospital is clean and safe – just like it always has been! One of the core elements of properly managing infectious diseases is the cleanliness of our physical facility. We partner with a national environmental services vendor to keep our hospital current on the most effective cleaning and disinfection protocols available in healthcare today. Learn More 

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.

Taking Care of Your Child’s Health and Wellness during COVID-19

Like many aspects of daily life, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we think about and access healthcare these days. For families, that includes pediatric care for children. We asked Stacey Humphreys, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Sovah Pediatrics Martinsville, and asked Aubrey McBryde, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Sovah Pediatrics Danville to talk about the importance of continuing to seek proper care for your child and answer some frequently asked questions regarding children’s health during this time. Learn More

Sovah Health Resumes Elective and Non-urgent Surgeries and Procedures - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Treating Patients in Isolation by Dr. Balaji Desai - Infectious Disease Doctor

Treating infectious diseases, including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), is not new to hospitals, and the guidelines for protecting patients, staff and visitors are comprehensive and evidence-based. You hear often that COVID-19 patients are treated in isolation, and while specific elements of COVID-19 isolation may differ from other infectious diseases, the fundamental practices for isolation treatment do not. Learn More

Minutes Matter: Don’t Put Your Heart Health On Hold During COVID-19

When a heart attack strikes, every minute matters. In fact, the first few minutes are critical in determining the short-term and long-term outcome for the patient. While the world continues to focus on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, is still the leading cause of death in the United States – and as such – it’s important to seek care urgently. Learn More

COVID-19 Testing FAQ

Have questions about COVID-19? Check out our FAQ. Learn More

How to Make Face Covers

Many have asked whether they should be wearing face covers (masks) in public as part of the CDC’s new recommendation. We support this practice. Here is a link from the CDC that describes how to wear and make a face cover - Cloth Face Covering Instructions and Guidance From CDC. A how-to instructional video about making a face covering out of a hand towel, handkerchief, or old t-shirt can be viewed here.

Handmade Happiness Project

Need a fun, family activity for your kids to do while school is out?! We have the answer!! Sovah Health is asking the children in our community to make creative, fun, colorful, homemade cards, letters or drawings for our patients and caregivers to brighten their day. Click here to learn more.

Sovah Health Accepting Donations of Medical and Protective Supplies and Equipment

In response to questions about how members of the community can assist in the region’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response, Sovah Health today announced that it is accepting donations of unused and handmade medical and protective supplies and equipment. Learn more about donations here.

Laboratory Testing Fact Sheets

SARS-CoV-2 igG Test 

For Patients - Click to view Fact Sheet

This Fact Sheet contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of using this test for detecting antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. After reading this Fact Sheet, if you have questions or would like to discuss the information provided, please talk to your healthcare provider.

For Providers - Click to view Fact Sheet

SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay is authorized for the detection of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in human serum (including collected using a serum separator tube), and plasma (ACD, CPD, CPDA-1, dipotassiumEDTA, tripotassium EDTA, lithium heparin, lithium heparin in a separator tube, sodium citrate, sodium heparin).

Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 Test

For Patients - Click to view Fact Sheet

This Fact Sheet contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of using this test for the diagnosis of COVID-19. After reading this Fact Sheet, if you have questions or would like to discuss the information provided, please talk to your healthcare provider.

For Providers - Click to view Fact Sheet

This Fact Sheet informs you of the significant known and potential risks and benefits of the emergency use of the Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test. The Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test is authorized for use on using respiratory specimens collected from individuals suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC

Access these tools from the CDC: how to protect yourself, what to do if you are sick, utilize the self checker tool and much more!

cdc covid 19 tools

Quick Links:


Visitor Restrictions and Screening Guidelines

At Sovah Health the safety of our patients, providers and team members continues to be our top priority as we continue to navigate this pandemic, and we will not waver in this commitment. Therefore as the panademic evolves, so will our visitation policy. We encourage patients and families to keep in contact with their loved ones utilizing virtual means such as through phone calls or other technologies that are available.

Sovah Health continues to take all the necessary precautions to keep our patients and staff safe by isolating our COVID-19 patients, enforcing a universal masking policy, screening everyone who enters our facilities, implementing the most effective cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and enhancing safety with new personal protective equipment protocols. These protective measures for managing infectious diseases ensure that our facilities are always safe for you and your loved ones when you need care.

Sovah Health continues to screen everyone who enters the facility for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines

Sovah Health-Danville

As part of the limited visitor restrictions, some patients are now limited to one WELL visitor per day for:

  • Outpatient surgery patients
  • Emergency room patients
  • Patients undergoing heart procedures in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab
  • One support person for obstetric patients
  • One parent or guardian for pediatric patients
  • Limited exceptions will be made for end of life and medical necessity as determined by the care team.
limited visitors
Click to Enlarge

Sovah Health-Martinsville

As part of the limited visitor restrictions, some patients are now limited to one well visitor per day for:

  • Outpatient Surgical Services
  • Outpatient Ancillary
  • Emergency room patients
  • One support person for obstetric patients
  • One parent or guardian for pediatric patients
  • Limited exceptions will be made for end of life and medical necessity as determined by the care team.
Visitation
Click to Enlarge


What to do if you are experiencing symptoms

First and foremost - if you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Room. If possible, notify the dispatch agent that your emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19. 

For non-emergency needs, if you need medical attention due to respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and plan to visit our hospital, your primary care provider or an urgent clinic, please call ahead before you go and let them know that you are experiencing symptoms that may possibly be related to COVID-19. This will allow providers to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.

Please be reassured that our number one priority is the health and well-being of our community – and that includes you. We are prepared to manage an outbreak of respiratory illness, and we encourage you to follow the guidance above and stay tuned to updates from the CDC to help protect you and your loved ones. Keeping our community healthy is a community effort, and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our community healthy today and for generations to come.


Hygiene Reminders from the CDC

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.

Wash Your Hands Often to Stay Healthy

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

 
Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

Follow these five steps every time.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Why? Read the science behind the recommendations.

Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water

You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,

  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
  • Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

Caution! Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning if more than a couple of mouthfuls are swallowed. Keep it out of reach of young children and supervise their use. Learn more here.

How to use hand sanitizer

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

For more information, visit the CDC website.


Are there different strains of coronavirus?           

Yes, there are seven different coronaviruses known to infect humans.  

  • Four of the seven coronaviruses are very common, more mild (similar to the common cold), and most people will be infected with at least one of them in their lifetime. Healthcare providers test for these common coronaviruses routinely, and no public health measures are needed to address these common coronaviruses. People infected with the common coronaviruses can avoid passing them to others by covering their coughs and sneezes, cleaning their hands frequently and containing germs by staying home when ill. 
  • Three of the seven coronaviruses are rare and can cause more severe illness; this includes COVID-19. Testing for this virus can only be done at CDC; healthcare providers are not able to test for this virus independent of the public health department.

A complete list of frequently asked questions and answers about COVID-19 is available on the CDC website, by clicking here