Nova Health Continues to Monitor Coronavirus (COVID-19) Threat and Prepare for Response
As of March 2, 2020, the Oregon Health Authority has confirmed three cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Eight cases are pending final diagnosis and assessment. As part of our commitment to the health and wellbeing of all residents of the Pacific Northwest, Nova Health is committed to continually monitoring the impact of coronavirus and ensuring all of our clinics and staff are prepared to treat patients who present with symptoms.
With recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nova Health has developed emergency preparedness plans and procedures in all its clinics to ensure the health and safety of its patients and caregivers. These procedures include:
- Elevated training for all clinic staff
- Dedicated patient screening protocols to identify at-risk patients based on present symptoms and travel history
- Following CDC-recommended isolation procedures for at-risk patients
- Stocked preventive supplies and equipment in all clinics, including waiting room signage and the availability of respiratory masks
To ensure that you are familiar with the risks and symptoms of this novel contagion, familiarize yourself with the information below.
Global and U.S. Impact of Coronavirus
While the number of cases of coronavirus in Oregon has so far been few globally, the threat and impact of the disease cannot be understated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far confirmed over 90,000 cases of the disease across 73 countries and territories. Domestically, 69 instances of coronavirus have been reported in the United States, across 12 states, resulting in six deaths.
What is Coronavirus?
2019-nCoV (novel coronavirus) is a new virus strain identified in December 2019. Little is known today about the virus, and there is no treatment. While some patients have experienced mild symptoms similar to those of the common cold and recover on their own with proper care and rest, others have experienced more severe, pneumonia-like symptoms that have required hospitalization. The most severe complications, including death, are most likely in those patients who are already immunocompromised.
What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
Symptoms may appear in infected patients in two to 14 days. While symptoms range in severity, the most common symptoms of novel coronavirus include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
How Does Coronavirus Spread?
Experts are still researching how this new coronavirus is spreading. Other coronaviruses spread through the following means:
- Through the air by sneezing and coughing
- Physical contact
- Touching a contaminated surface and then touching one’s face
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel health notices for countries experiencing the highest number of disease transmissions. International travelers should refer to the CDC’s Risk Assessment by Country before making travel arrangements to help minimize their exposure to the virus.
How to Mitigate Your Risk of Contracting Coronavirus
As with other seasonal illnesses such as the common cold and the flu, the best way to minimize your chance of contracting the virus is to maintain a safe distance from infected patients.
- Avoid travel to countries on the CDC’s high-risk list
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
- Try not to touch your face, especially when in public after touching public surfaces
- Avoid direct contact with sick individuals
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask
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What to Do if You are Experiencing Coronavirus Symptoms
If you are experiencing symptoms of the Coronavirus, call any of our clinics. Please inform our care team before you arrive if you have traveled to an impacted country or if you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Our compassionate care team has been trained to identify, diagnose, and address novel coronavirus symptoms and can help to triage your care appropriately.
To help further mitigate the spread of novel coronavirus, stay home if you are experiencing symptoms, and cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing.
For ongoing information about novel coronavirus as news develops, visit the CDC.
Nova Health is committed to continually monitoring the impact of coronavirus and ensuring all of our clinics and staff are prepared to treat patients who present with symptoms, for local updates please follow our Facebook page.