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What you need to know about COVID-19

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When should I seek medical care if I’m concerned I may have COVID-19?
If you have symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, and believe you may have been exposed, please call the Iowa hotline 211 number or your healthcare providers office for further instruction.

Can I get tested for COVID-19?
There are defined testing criteria, and supplies are limited at this time. Boone County Hospital is following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) criteria for COVID-19 testing. Only patients with a known exposure and who have symptoms of cough, fever, or shortness of breath will be tested.

Is it safe to come to the clinic? Should I cancel my routine appointments?
Boone County Hospital providers and staff follow standard infection control procedures to protect patients and staff and to control infection. Notice signs at all clinic entrances direct patients with known exposure and symptoms to call your providers office before you come to and enter the facility. They will give you further instructions. If you have concerns about your regularly scheduled appointment, please contact your clinic or log on to the Boone County Hospital Health Portal at www.boonehospital.com.

Coronavirus Resources Online Resources
Please refer to these resources for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 in Iowa and in the United States.
Iowa Department of Public Health - Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
CDC.gov - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Questions? Call 211 – Iowa Department of Public Health Hotline
The Iowa Department of Public Health has established a public hotline for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 211

ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

Symptoms
There are four known common types of coronaviruses that circulate frequently within the community. Coronaviruses generally cause mild respiratory illness with sniffles and some coughing, and they can sometimes cause more problems for people who have underlying lung problems. The novel coronavirus causes a disease known as COVID-19, with pneumonia-like symptoms including cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

Spreading the Virus
The novel coronavirus is thought to spread from person-to-person, particularly between people who are in close contact (within about six feet). When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they can produce droplets which can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or can be inhaled into the lungs. People are thought to be most contagious when they are showing symptoms, although it is thought to be possible to spread the disease before becoming symptomatic. It may also be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Prevention of Respiratory Illnesses
While COVID-19 is prominent in the news, seasonal influenza remains a very real threat in the community. Reports of illness and testing have increased in the early months of 2020. Influenza B was predominant in December 2019, and now we are seeing a sharp rise in influenza A/H1N1.

In order to protect yourself and others from the spread of all respiratory viruses currently circulating, please take the following actions:
• Complete hand hygiene frequently using soap and water or hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home if you are sick, and cover your coughs and sneezes.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

WHAT IS BOONE COUNTY HOSPITAL DOING?
A COVID-19 Incident Command Team is meeting regularly to ensure proper planning is in place and to respond to any new developments. Clinical staff will be informed of any new measures that may be necessary.

Screening
Boone County Hospital and its Clinics have implemented travel and symptom screening at all registration areas. Screening questions focus on a person's current health condition, whether they have recently traveled internationally, or whether they have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. If a patient should meet screening criteria as a potential case, staff will follow specific procedures, which include:
• Place a mask on the patient and ask them to complete hand hygiene.
• Move the patient to a private room.
• Notify appropriate clinic officials and Iowa Department of Public Health.
• Use established precautions to limit contact, including use of gowns, gloves, masks, and face shield equipment. Iowa Department of Public Health Boone County Hospital is working closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) on the response to the Coronavirus. If we are investigating a potential COVID-19 case, we will work with IDPH to complete a thorough clinical assessment and will determine whether lab specimens are to be collected and the need for further monitoring or self-quarantine. We are also in contact, as needed, with state, county, and city officials in our communities.

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