Samaritan Hospitals & Clinics Operating Normally
Concern about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is increasing in our communities We want you to feel safe, know what you can do to protect yourself and your family, and be assured that Samaritan Health Services is prepared to respond to coronavirus quickly and safely.
At this time, the hospitals and clinics are operating normally. If you have a scheduled procedure, appointment or surgery, please come as planned. If you have a planned surgery and are not feeling well, please call your health care provider to determine if your procedure should be delayed.
“Our medical staff is highly trained at managing infectious diseases, and protocols are in place to make sure your health is protected while you are at of our facilities,” said Adam Brady, MD, of Samaritan Infectious Disease.
Risks of Coronavirus
For now, your risk of contracting the coronavirus is considered “low,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even in communities where the virus is present. It’s also important to remember that many cases of coronavirus are mild, and most people recover from coronavirus with no additional complications.
For some people, coronavirus may be more difficult to recover from. These high-risk groups include:
- People age 60 and older
- People with a chronic condition such as diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease
- People with a pre-existing breathing problem
- People currently in treatment for cancer or with impaired immune systems
If you are at a high risk for complications from coronavirus, the CDC recommends that you:
- Stay at home as much as possible and consider postponing non-essential travel.
- Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds.
Facemasks are not recommended by the CDC to keep from getting coronavirus, and you should only take a mask from a care facility if you are having respiratory symptoms. Health care providers need to ensure supplies are available for those who need them.
“Your doctor or clinic will ask that you wear a mask if they suspect you have coronavirus or other respiratory infection in order to keep others from becoming infected,” Dr. Brady said. “Your medical team would also wear facemasks if coronavirus or any other respiratory infection is suspected.”
What To Do if You’re Sick
In most cases, symptoms of coronavirus are similar to a cold and will get better on their own.
If you feel sick, you should:
- Stay at home.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Take pain or fever relief medication if it helps you feel better.
Symptoms commonly seen with coronavirus infection include:
- Fever above 100.4 F
- Difficulty breathing
If you are having these symptoms and suspect there is a reason for you to have contracted coronavirus, such as recent travel or contact with another person with coronavirus, please get medical care. Before you visit a clinic, urgent care facility or hospital, please call first.
If you have a Samaritan Health Services MyChart account, you may also complete an E-Visit online at samhealth.org/MyChart or on your mobile phone app. Once in MyChart, click on “Coronavirus Concerns.” This E-Visit is provided at no cost to patients, and will help determine whether you need further assessment for possible coronavirus infection. (If the E-Visit questions rule out coronavirus concerns and you continue with an E-Visit for another concern, such as bronchitis, regular charges to you or your insurance carrier would apply.)
Using MyChart E-Visits or calling first will ensure you are evaluated quickly and will let us make arrangements that will keep the virus from spreading to others.
If your health care provider determines that testing for coronavirus is needed, many Samaritan facilities have the capability to collect these tests. Per CDC and Oregon Health Authority guidelines, and to ensure care providers can treat patients as needed, please do not show up at a hospital or clinic to inquire about a test. Again, call or contact your care provider via MyChart.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.
You can stay informed about coronavirus by getting information from trusted sources. The Oregon Health Authority is reporting on cases in Oregon, and the CDC has information about what’s happening across the country.
“While reports of coronavirus are alarming, we encourage you to take reasonable steps to stay healthy,” said Dr. Brady. “The best way to prevent coronavirus is the same as preventing any virus during cold and flu season: wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow and stay home if you are sick.”
If there is any impact from this evolving coronavirus situation to Samaritan Health Services operations, you will be able to find that information at samhealth.org/Coronavirus.