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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource
Find information about facility closures, visitation policies, virtual care options, scheduled appointments and procedures, advice from experts, and COVID-19 care

Updated March 26, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource

Updated March 24, 2020

Virtual health care with MyBSWHeath

 

Continue to receive your routine care — online

 
 

As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together, we are developing new options with your safety and convenience in mind. Beginning immediately, we are temporarily expanding our virtual care capabilities so we can care for you while you remain in the comfort of your home.

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.



Download App

Or text BETTER to 88408 to have it sent to your phone.

 

Free COVID-19 screening

 

We are encouraging all patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (cough, shortness of breath and feeling feverish) 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.

 
 

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

Updates from Baylor Scott & White Health

Screening at entry points
Learn More

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 ED. If no, we will kindly ask that they return home and contact their primary care provider.

  • 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?
Modified Visitation Policy
Learn More

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
  • Labor/post-partum patient
  • Patients undergoing surgery/procedure/testing
  • Patients with disabilities
  • Patients receiving end-of-life care

Visitors who meet exception criteria will use designated entrances and be screened upon arrival.

Clinic Appointments
Learn More

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.

Virtual Clinics
Learn More

​The health and well-being of the broader community is our top priority. As supplies are redeployed to other Baylor Scott & White locations throughout the state to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are transitioning select clinic locations to virtual care. 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.

Find a location

Elective 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. 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.

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 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.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Content Editor

Expert advice

 
 

Follow @BSWHealth on Twitter for the latest on #COVID_19


Blog

How to treat mild coronavirus symptoms at home

March 21, 2020

Most people who become ill with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will experience mild symptoms and can recover fully at home, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

News

More of your questions about coronavirus are answered

March 20, 2020

David Winter, MD, joins WFAA’s Good Morning Texas to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) and emphasize the importance of social distancing by explaining that he was joining the program from his office instead of joining in studio.

 

Blog

Maintaining hope during COVID-19 social distancing

March 20, 2020

I offer these comments on COVID-19 from the perspective of a palliative medicine doctor. I specialize in communicating sad, bad or otherwise hard to hear “serious illness” news while helping the patient, family or staff member maintain hope.

 

News

A North Texas doctor shares the latest health info you need to know

March 19, 2020

FWD DFW is joined by Baylor Scott & White Health's Dr. David Winter who shares the latest news of the #Coronavirus pandemic and why we ALL need to take COVID-19 so seriously.

 

News

Dr. David Winter answers your questions about the Coronavirus

March 19, 2020

Dr. David Winter takes questions from callers and provides an update based on a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, information about pneumonia as a secondary infection, and guidance on who should wear masks.

 

Blog

Talking to your kids about the novel coronavirus disease

March 18, 2020

As a parent during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no avoiding the topic of conversation with your kids. News about coronavirus is everywhere, and children of all ages are feeling the effects.

 

News

Everything you need to know about Coronavirus

March 18, 2020

Dr. David Winter returned to WFAA’s Good Morning Texas to provide an update on the latest study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that suggests the origin of the virus. He then took viewers’ questions on the possibility of mosquitoes spreading the virus further, the difference between H1N1 and COVID-19, and the hope for a vaccine.

 

News

Dr. Winter from Baylor Scott & White Health answers your questions about the Coronavirus

March 17, 2020

WFAA’s Good Morning Texas hosted Dr. David Winter to answer viewers’ questions about symptoms of COVID-19, precautions such as social distancing, and what to do if you experience symptoms.

 

News

What you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak

March 16, 2020

Dr. David Winter provides an update about preparations being made for making more screening and testing available and building more capacity in area hospitals. He answered viewer questions about how to increase and strengthen the immune system and provided guidance on minimizing contact with other people.

 

Blog

How to cope with anxiety about coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 15, 2020

If you’re feeling heightened levels of anxiety or fear because of the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you’re not alone. It’s only natural to be stressed during times of uncertainty. But with these coping mechanisms, you can take care of yourself and your loved ones and look forward with confidence.

Ways to help

 

This is a time of uncertainty for our communities, nation and world. As we respond to the growing challenges presented by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Baylor Scott & White Health's commitment to the safety of our patients, members, colleagues and communities is unwavering.

During this unprecedented time, many are asking what can be done to help. If you are someone who feels compelled to give, consider making a gift to help Baylor Scott & White respond to the evolving needs of our patients, members, colleagues and communities. We are committed to delivering high-quality care throughout this health crisis, and your support can make an impact in areas such as:

  • Specialized care and screening for our patients
  • Advanced equipment and critically needed supplies
  • Financial assistance for our healthcare providers, employees and their families

We are in it together, and the generosity of our dedicated supporters will help us continue to meet the growing needs in the coming weeks and months.



For questions and additional information on how you can help during this time, contact Susan.McSherry@BSWHealth.org.

Frequently asked questions

 

For comprehensive FAQs, visit the CDC website.

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 illness, 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 any age with the following underlying medical conditions, particularly those that are not well controlled
    • Chronic lung disease or asthma
    • Congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease
    • Diabetes
    • Neurologic conditions that weaken ability to cough
    • Weakened immune system
    • Chemotherapy or radiation for cancer (currently or in recent past)
    • Sickle cell anemia
    • Chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
    • Cirrhosis of the liver
    • Lack of spleen or a spleen that doesn’t function correctly
    • Extreme obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40)
  • People who are pregnant

How It Spreads

​Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus
This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some 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.

Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
​People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after you cough, sneeze, blow your nose or visit a public space. If soap isn’t readily available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face — eyes, nose and mouth — with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • 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. 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
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.

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
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
  • Monitor your symptoms
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 face mask.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.htmlAccessed March 21, 2020, 0830 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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