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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

As news circulates regarding the new coronavirus (COVID-19), Yuma Regional Medical Center remains focused on protecting the health and safety of all of our patients, providers, staff and the community we serve. We continue to align our protocols with best practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Yuma County Health Department

During this time, as a community, we must not panic, but remain calm. We believe that together, we can stay smart about COVID-19 and minimize its impact on our family, friends and community. Below is a list of common questions and answers. We hope you will find this information helpful.

 

Question and Answers


What exactly is coronavirus? 

COVID-19 is a newly identified airborne virus in the corona viral family, but it is more severe and spreads easily. Diagnosis is difficult because it shares several symptoms with influenza
 

How is COVID-19 transmitted? 

COVID-19 is thought to spread similarly to influenza. That is, it spreads person to person through respiratory droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby ― typically within 6 feet ― or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
 

Can I catch COVID-19 from contact with an object rather than a person? 

Yes, you can catch COVID-19 from an object if the surface of that object has live virus on it. How long the virus can live outside an organism is unknown. Expert estimates range from a few hours to up to nine days, depending on the type of surface, surrounding temperature and environment. 
 

Can a person have COVID-19 without having symptoms? 

Yes.
 

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19? 

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health is developing a vaccine, but it will not be ready and approved for use for at least a year or more. 
 

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19? 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call the Yuma County Health Department hotline at
1-844-542-8201 and ask how best to be evaluated. The hotline is available Monday through Friday from 8am until 5pm. You may also call the YRMC CareLine at 928-336-CARE to speak with a nurse about your concerns and further evaluation. Please DO NOT go to your health care provider or hospital without calling first.
 

How is a patient treated for COVID-19? 

The basic premise of preventing disease transmission is to identify patients who show symptoms, isolate those patients from others for appropriate assessment, and inform appropriate staff and authorities for further response. If people appear with symptoms, they will be asked to wear a mask and answer a series of questions about their health and travel. Based on their answers and vital signs, they will be isolated from other patients while COVID-19 test results can be verified. This may take several days. 

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 are isolated and treated. Currently, there is no antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Specific interventions are taken in more severe cases, or with patients with compromised immune systems or complex illnesses. 


What can I do to avoid COVID-19?

To avoid COVID-19, you should:
 
  • Keep your hands clean.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes to keep germs from spreading to others.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces routinely. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.


Should I wear a face mask?

Regarding whether you should wear a face mask, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides this guidance:
 
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).
 

How will I know if there are cases of COVID-19 in my community? 

Local departments of public health and the CDC are responsible for publicly reporting COVID-19 cases. 

Yuma Regional Medical Center is committed to the privacy of its patients and complies with all applicable laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. As always, YRMC does not share patient-specific information with the media without prior authorization. YRMC collaborates with public health authorities, including the CDC and local public health authorities, as appropriate. These authorities are best-positioned to provide public health information. 
 

Are patients allowed to have visitors?

YRMC is restricting all visitors to the hospital. The visitation restrictions are aimed at protecting the health of everyone — inside and outside the hospital — until the transmission of this particular virus is no longer a threat. 

Limited exceptions include:
 
  • Patients in serious condition or end-of-life
  • Patients in Emergency Department
  • Patients in active labor
  • Parents of patients 21 and under (max 2)
  • People who have court-appointed guardianship for a patient  

Why is YRMC deferring most elective surgeries?

As part of our response to COVID-19, we continually and carefully evaluate the readiness of our facilities, personnel, capacity and supply availability. Our care teams are currently evaluating elective procedures on a case-by-case basis. If your procedure can safely be deferred four or more weeks without negatively impacting your health, your procedure may be rescheduled. Surgeries involving medical emergencies, that are time-sensitive or would adversely impact a patient’s health, if delayed, will continue.
 
By deferring the elective surgeries, we are creating more access for patients who need to be seen for acute care at a time when our resources may become limited. This precautionary step puts the needs of our patients and staff first, and helps ensure we have capacity, including healthy health care workers, to care for the patients who need us most.
 

About this Q&A:

Portions of this Q&A was produced by Mayo Clinic staff and adapted by Yuma Regional Medical Center staff. Yuma Regional Medical Center is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Many of these answers reference statements and standards already communicated by the CDC, the definitive source for prevention and procedure for infectious diseases in the U.S.
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