Frequently Asked Questions (Updated March 27, 2020)
Personal Protective Equipment
Q: Do you have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) necessary to screen COVID-19 patients?
The health of our physicians and team members if of utmost importance, and it’s vital that we protect our workforce. Clinicians who provide direct care to patients with or suspected of having COVID-19 are given appropriate protective equipment, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because of global product shortages, it’s important that we are good stewards of our resources today so we have adequate supplies to safeguard our workforce and care for our community in the future. As of today, our teams have the appropriate level of masks and protective gear based on their role and the level of direct care.
Q: Can I visit someone in the hospital?
AdventHealth has a responsibility to protect the greater community from the spread of novel coronavirus. As a trusted community partner, it’s vital we take measures to minimize the risk of infection for patients and protect our physicians and team members who are on the frontlines. As of March 23, no visitors for socialization purposes are allowed inside AdventHealth hospitals in Central Florida.
Visitation will be continued for special circumstances, such as if the visitor is the power-of-attorney or medical decision-maker. Visitation will also be permitted in end-of-life situations. Other exceptions and additional guidelines include:
- Patients under the age of 18 may be accompanied by one adult visitor (parent, legally authorized person or caregiver). No additional visitors or siblings allowed.
- Obstetric patients can have one adult visitor.
- Exceptions will be made for extenuating circumstances such as imminent end-of-life or unique patient needs for support.
- In all circumstances, visitors who are sick will not be permitted to enter the hospital, unless they are seeking personal medical care.
Q: Is AdventHealth limiting surgical care in its hospitals?
As we anticipate the increased need for hospital beds, resources, and advocate for patient and team member safety, AdventHealth has limited the surgical care of patients to those whose needs are imminently life threatening, with malignancy that could progress or with active symptoms that require urgent care.
As a result, AdventHealth has:
- Postponed all non-time sensitive inpatient surgeries.
- Postponed all non-time sensitive outpatient surgeries.
- Postponed all non-time sensitive outpatient procedures in diagnostic centers.
Q: Where do I go if I want to be tested for coronavirus?
If you are sick and exhibiting symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), you should seek treatment with your primary care physician or Centra Care. Physicians are stringently adhering to the testing criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if a patient qualifies for a COVID-19 test. A doctor will likely test you for other illnesses, such as the flu, before ordering a COVID-19 test.
Please note: The public cannot come to an AdventHealth hospital, physician practice or Centra Care and order their own COVID-19 test.
Q: Should I go to the ER if I think I need a COVID-19 test?
Unless you are experiencing severe respiratory distress, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, you should not go to an ER for a COVID-19 test. Physicians at AHMG practices and Centra Care can take a collection sample from those patients who meet the testing criteria as set by CDC. The emergency department should be used only by those having a medical emergency, such as chest pain or shortness of breath.
Q: What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
If you have travelled internationally or been on a cruise, you should self-quarantine for 14 days immediately upon returning from your travels, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. If you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath during those 14 days, contact your physician and disclose your travel history. Your physician will advise you of next steps. If you are experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, go to the ER.
Q: Can I get a coronavirus test at AdventHealth if I am not sick?
No. If you’re not sick, it’s unlikely that you have COVID-19. Currently all tests are designated for those who are exhibiting symptoms and meet the testing criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Q: I have a fever and cough. Will I be automatically tested for COVID-19?
No. Fever and cough are common symptoms for other illnesses, including the flu. Physicians will evaluate your symptoms, travel history, potential for exposure and other factors and determine if a test is appropriate. They will also test you for other viruses, including the flu.
Q: How can I be tested?
A physician must order a COVID-19 test, and will only order a test if the patient meets the testing criteria as defined by the CDC.
Q: Where can I be tested?
A physician must order a COVID-19 test. If a doctor deems it appropriate to test you for COVID-19, the sample would be collected in the physician’s office. The test itself is conducted through an AdventHealth lab. (This lab is not the same as the consumer-facing labs where patients go for outpatient bloodwork.)
Q: When would I get results from a test?
Unlike a flu test, which can be administered on-site with quick results, the COVID-19 results are not instantaneous. Due to increasing demands placed on the labs performing testing, we cannot accurately predict how long it will take a patient to receive their test results.
Q: Does AdventHealth share results with the Florida Department of Health?
Yes. AdventHealth will share positive COVID-19 test results with the Florida Department of Health as required by regulation.
Q: Does AdventHealth have an unlimited number of testing supplies?
No. There is a limited number of testing supplies. In order to be good stewards of our resources and quickly identify those who have the highest likelihood of infection, we must limit tests only to those who meet the criteria as set by the CDC.
Q: Why aren’t there more available tests?
COVID-19 is a new illness that was discovered in China in 2019. Commercial tests that detect COVID-19 were only recently made available and manufacturer tests continue to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are producing testing supplies as quickly as possible, but there are limited quantities due to demand. AdventHealth has made significant investments to acquire our own testing capabilities and conducts in-house testing. We continue to work with private and public partners to assist in this process.
Q: I have questions about COVID-19 or AdventHealth’s testing capabilities. Whom can I call?
Call the AdventHealth Coronavirus Information Line at 877-VIRUSHQ or visit www.CoronavirusSignsAndSymptoms.com.
Q: Are the tents at AdventHealth hospitals for testing?
The tents are not currently in use and are part of our preparedness efforts. There are no community drive-thru testing sites at AdventHealth today.
Q: What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Common coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people are infected with these viruses at some point in their lives, and symptoms may include headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose and a fever. Coronaviruses can also sometimes cause illnesses like pneumonia and bronchitis.
Most patients with respiratory symptoms do not have COVID-19 and likely have a more common pathogen (influenza, RSV, other respiratory viruses, bacterial).
Q. Where should someone go if they think they have coronavirus?
- If someone who is otherwise healthy and has a fever or sore throat, they should call their primary care physician, Centra Care or utilize eCare services.
- If someone is immune compromised or has underlying health conditions and have COVID-19 symptoms, they should contact their personal physician.
- If someone has severe respiratory distress with symptoms also including a fever, cough, shortness of breath etc., they should go to urgent care or the closest emergency department.
- If someone has no symptoms but is concerned for other reasons (such as if they traveled on an airplane), they should monitor themselves at home.
Q. What can someone do to minimize their chances of contracting COVID-19?
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
- If you are sick, stay home and minimize the risk of infecting those around you.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.