Information for Residents & Families
Information for Employees & Staff
COVID-19 General Information
What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19?
Yes. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the United States. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers, or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread by clicking the link below.
Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?
Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC’s webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object 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. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of
- shortness of breath
What are severe complications from this virus?
Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases death.
How can I help protect myself?
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth withunwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objectsand surfaces.
What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19?
If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be restrictions on your movements for up to 2 weeks. If you develop symptoms during that period (fever, cough, trouble breathing), seek medical advice. Call the office of your health care provider before you go, and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.
Is there a vaccine?
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.
Is there a treatment?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19.People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to helprelieve symptoms.
1. Coronavirus is a particular challenge for elderly people who are medically compromised, such as residents of skilled nursing centers, because they have less ability to fight off the infection.
2. People infected with COVID-19 often don’t have symptoms for up to two weeks, so they go about their normal lives and come into contact with many other people.
3. It is impossible to know if a person who enters a SNF with no symptoms is carrying coronavirus unless they happen to know that they have had contact with someone else who has it.
4. According to the Director of Health, Dr. Acton, there likely are thousands of individuals in communities across Ohio who have coronavirus and do not know it, with thousands of others having daily contact with them.
5. To protect the especially vulnerable people in skilled nursing centers and other health care facilities, Dr. Acton issued orders restricting visitors. The goal was to reduce the risk of the disease entering the building, but there is no way to eliminate the risk entirely.
6. Before the orders, which just came out a week ago, SNFs had no right to block visitors to residents. In fact, aside from the orders, they would have a legal right to unrestricted visitation.
7. Skilled nursing centers actively screen everyone who comes into the building to work or on official business for any indications that they might have coronavirus: fever; respiratory symptoms; and possible exposure to someone who is infected.
8. Skilled centers also use infection control procedures for patients who are have respiratory symptoms, such as keeping them isolated from other patients and wearing masks, gowns, and gloves when caring for them.
9. There is limited availability of testing for COVID-19, so it is only permitted when a person is seriously ill and their doctor orders the test. Wide-scale testing of well people is not allowed.
10. Because people without symptoms can transmit the disease, despite taking all the precautions possible, there often is no way to know how a person in a skilled center (or in the community) originally contracted it.