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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource

Updated May 14, 2020

Your health and safety are our top priority

We are proud to be paving the way for COVID-19 Safe Care. These new preventive measures and innovative offerings are designed to protect patients and team members across the state.

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  • Keeping healthy Texans at home with virtual care

    You can receive the same quality, convenient care from a Baylor Scott & White doctor during a video visit or eVisit

Free COVID-19 screening

We are encouraging all patients experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, weakness, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting and/or loss of smell to first visit MyBSWHealth for a free online COVID-19 screening.

As always, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911. Notify the dispatch personnel that you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If available, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.

Start COVID-19 screening

 

HOW IT WORKS

For your safety and convenience, we ask that you complete this prior to scheduling an appointment or walking into a clinic, urgent care or hospital emergency department.

  • Visit MyBSWHealth or download app
  • Take 5-minute online screening
  • Following your screening, you may be prompted to complete an eVisit, which will be evaluated by a Baylor Scott & White provider. You will be required to create a MyBSWHealth account to begin eVisit.
  • Following your eVisit, you will be provided the appropriate next steps
  • Make a donation toward our COVID-19 efforts

    We are committed to delivering high-quality care throughout this health crisis, and your support can make an impact.

Updates to your care

As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together, we are developing new protocols with your safety and convenience in mind. We have made updates to our billing policies during this time and continue to offer financial assistance to those with financial hardships. Please read below to see how these enhancements may affect you.

We have also implemented a COVID-19 Safe Care plan and expanded patient and visitor precautions, including visitation and mask policies and screening at entry points.

Appointments, Procedures and Surgeries
Learn More

At Baylor Scott & White Health, there is nothing more important to us than the well-being of our patients and staff and the broader health of our communities.

State restrictions that were previously placed on certain surgeries and procedures have been lifted, paving the way for patients to begin receiving needed care that had been postponed. As such, we are safely beginning to care for patients balancing the importance of slowing the spread of COVID-19, managing hospital capacity and conserving personal protective equipment (PPE).

We are also resuming in-person care in our clinics while continuing to offer virtual care options.

Your provider will be reaching out to you for more information.

COVID-19 Testing Recommendations
Learn More

Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19, per the CDC. It is important to keep in mind:

  • Most people have mild symptoms and are able to recover at home
  • There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus

Healthcare providers are working to conserve testing capabilities for those at highest risk.

As recommended by the CDC, it is important for those treating mild symptoms at home to be watchful for the development of emergency warning signs of secondary conditions related to COVID-19 and to get medical attention immediately for any symptoms that are severe or concerning.

As always, in the event of a medical emergency, please call 911 or report to the nearest emergency department.

Financial Assistance
Learn More

We understand you may be experiencing financial hardship at this time due to business closures and shelter in place orders. We are here to help you.

Discover assistance options

The ABCs of COVID-19

Helping children understand new rules or changes in their lives can be a challenge, especially when you are experiencing disruption in your own routine due to COVID-19. That's why we created The ABCs of COVID-19, a children's book to help you explain what is happening in an age-appropriate way.

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Expert advice and news

Follow @BSWHealth on Twitter or visit our Newsroom for the latest on #COVID_19

Frequently asked questions

For comprehensive FAQs, visit the CDC website. En español, aquí.

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 symptoms, 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.
​Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.  Based upon available information to date, those most at risk include:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • Serious heart conditions
    • Immunocompromised
      • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
    • Severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • Liver disease

How It Spreads

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and may different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and now with the virus that causes COVID-19. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community ("community spread") in many 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.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic (the sickest). 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. More recently the virus has also been detected in asymptomatic persons.
For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure because the incubation period for this virus is 2 to 14 days. 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.
Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a packaging container, 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.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your face — eyes, nose and mouth — with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home as much as possible. Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Stay informed and regularly check the CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary.
​In healthcare settings all across the United States, donated blood is a lifesaving, essential part of caring for patients. The need for donated blood is constant, and blood centers are open and in urgent need of donations. CDC encourages people who are well to continue to donate blood if they are able, even if they are practicing social distancing because of COVID-19. CDC is supporting blood centers by providing recommendations that will keep donors and staff safe. Examples of these recommendations include spacing donor chairs 6 feet apart, thoroughly adhering to environmental cleaning practices, and encouraging donors to make donation appointments ahead of time.

Symptoms and Testing

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms, such as sore throat, weakness, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting and/or loss of smell, have also been reported. Read about COVID-19 symptoms.
Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19, per the CDC. It is important to keep in mind:

  • Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home
  • There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus
  • If you think you may be sick, stay home and consult with your healthcare provider on the need for testing.
Healthcare providers are working to conserve testing capabilities for those at highest risk.

As recommended by the CDC, it is important for those treating mild symptoms at home to be watchful for the development of emergency warning signs of secondary conditions related to COVID-19 and to get medical attention immediately for any symptoms that are severe or concerning.

As always, in the event of a medical emergency, please call 911 or report to the nearest emergency department.
BSWH continues to look for ways to make COVID-19 treatment more affordable for patients. Our COVID-19 lab tests are currently priced at $90.00, but we are partnering with insurance providers to ensure that covered patients who are given a COVID-19 lab test at a BSWH facility will not owe any money out-of-pocket for their test (e.g., copays, coinsurance or deductibles).

For uninsured patients, BSWH is also taking steps to waive the out-of-pocket costs associated with the COVID-19 lab test during this emergency period.

Additional services provided during a patient’s COVID-19 treatment may result in other out-of-pocket costs.

What To Do If You Are Sick

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation
  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • If you are sick wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
Learn more at the CDC website.
​You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a cloth face covering.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.htmlAccessed May 4, 2020, 1000 CST.

Updates from Baylor Scott & White Health

 

To protect the safety of our patients and staff, and in accordance with new local regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented several precautions at our facilities.

Visitors will undergo a short screening at the designated entry points. This screening is based on CDC guidelines for identifying respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus (COVID-19). Patients will continue to be screened at registration.

If a visitor answers "yes" to any of the questions below, our team will ask if they need medical assistance. If yes, we will transport the visitor to the emergency department. If no, we will kindly ask that they return home and contact their primary care provider.

Screening questions

  • Have you felt feverish or experienced respiratory symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath?
  • In the last 14 days, have you been on a cruise ship, traveled internationally or to the areas where COVID-19 is widespread?
  • Have you been in contact with someone who has, or is suspected to have, COVID-19?

Enhanced visitor precautions, effective March 24

To protect the safety of our patients and staff, and in accordance with new local regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Baylor Scott & White Health will move to a no visitor policy for our hospitals, effective Tuesday, March 24 at 7 a.m.

We will be offering limited exceptions to the policy, including one parent, spouse or caretaker over the age of 16 for:

  • Pediatric/NICU patient
  • Laboring/post-partum patient
  • Disabled/impaired patient
  • End-of-life patient
  • Patients undergoing surgery/testing

Visitors who meet exception criteria will use designated entrances and be screened upon arrival.
​Patients with an upcoming scheduled visit will soon be contacted by their provider as we work to convert in-person appointments to one of our virtual care options, as appropriate. Those options could include phone calls, messaging or video visits on MyBSWHealth, FaceTime by Apple Inc., Zoom video conferencing and other appropriate virtual technology.

If you need a new appointment, please call your provider’s office or schedule, as usual, through MyBSWHealth on the web or via the mobile app. If you don’t yet have the app on your smartphone, you can simply text BETTER to 88408 to download.
​The health and well-being of the broader community is our top priority. As staff and supplies are redeployed to other Baylor Scott & White locations throughout the state to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are temporarily closing select clinic locations. Please check your clinic website prior to arriving or call the office. Providers at impacted sites will be reaching out to patients to reschedule appointments.

​At Baylor Scott & White Health, there is nothing more important to us than the well-being of our patients and staff and the broader health of our communities. We have been continuously evaluating opportunities to build additional capacity in our hospitals in anticipation of future needs related to the treatment of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. As a result, based on a case-by-case review, we are cancelling or rescheduling clinically non-emergent procedures and surgeries as appropriate – balancing our ability to respond to patients in need with preparedness efforts needed to sustain our service to the community during this time.

We are reviewing the executive order issued Sunday by Gov. Greg Abbott, and we will continue to follow the laws and regulations that apply to hospitals. We have an unwavering commitment to the safety of our patients, staff and visitors, and we are committed to helping our communities navigate the uncertainty of this virus.
Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19, per the CDC. It is important to keep in mind:

  • Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home
  • There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus
Healthcare providers are working to conserve testing capabilities for those at highest risk.

As recommended by the CDC, it is important for those treating mild symptoms at home to be watchful for the development of emergency warning signs of secondary conditions related to COVID-19 and to get medical attention immediately for any symptoms that are severe or concerning.

As always, in the event of a medical emergency, please call 911 or report to the nearest emergency department.
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