COVID-19

Precautions Jersey Community Hospital is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

 

 

Interview with Dr. Michael McNear on COVID-19 and how JCH is prepared to serve our community.

If you have flu symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath or have questions
concerning COVID-19 and live in Jersey, Calhoun, or Greene Counties please call
JCH COVID-19 HOTLINE at 618-639-4277

After speaking to a nurse, you will be given instructions on the next steps.

If you live outside of these areas, please call the
COVID-19 Illinois Hotline at (800) 889-3931 or CDC Hotline at (800) CDC-INFO.

Illinois County Map of COVID-19 Positive Cases

Click here for a video on what COVID-19 symptoms look like, day by day

Coronavirus COVID-19 Dashboard - Global Cases by CSSE and JHU

Our Primary Care offices are seeing non-sick patients in the morning and sick patients in the afternoon. In addition, telehealth appointments are being offered at most clinics and specialties.

Jersey Community Hospital (JCH) has been actively monitoring the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The health and safety of our patients and our communities is our primary concern and we are making decisions as needed following guidance from our state and local health authorities as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here are a few of the steps we have taken:

Screening our Patients and Visitors to Decrease Exposure at all locations

  • We are asking all patients and visitors questions about their current symptoms and potential exposure to COVID-19 prior to entering any of our facilities.
  • The symptoms we are inquiring about include fever, cough, difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath along with any other pertinent information.  If anyone presents with these symptoms, they are asked to wear a mask.
  • At some clinic locations, we are asking patients to return to their car with the clinic phone number and screening will be done over the phone or a JCH representative will go to the car. 

Screening Employees Prior to Reporting for Work

  • We are screening all of our employees to make sure they are healthy and do not have any symptoms, including a fever.

Testing

  • We are following a process to identify patients who are suspect to have the infection and coordinating testing with the local and state departments.  As of today, testing results could take 5 - 7 days to result.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • We are managing our PPE and supplies to ensure caregivers have the equipment they need to safely provide care. 

Entrances to Locations

  • We have limited entrances throughout the hospital and clinics to make sure we are able to screen our patients, visitors, and employees.  When in doubt, come the main entrance of the building you are visiting.

Restrictions of Visitors

  • JCH is asking the public to please limit visits to patients in the hospital at this time. Anyone experiencing any signs of illness, such a fever or respiratory symptoms, is asked to please refrain from visitation.  Limited hospital visiting hours with no children under 18.
  • Clinic visitors are restricted to only essential care givers. 

Clinic Hours

  • Our primary care clinics have rescheduled our patients to help provide a safer environment with Wellness or problem visits in the morning.  The afternoon is reserved for sicker patients. 

Drive- Up Respiratory Clinic

  • This will begin on Monday, March 30th at JCH Clinical Services location at 220 E. County Rd. in Jerseyville. 
  • Patients can schedule an appointment by calling 498-2273 or the COVID-19 HOTLINE at 639-4277.
  • Patients will stay in their cars for the duration of their visit.

Telehealth Visits

  • Some JCH Providers have started seeing patients via telehealth. Patients with smart phones, laptops, or tablets with cameras are able to see their providers and complete many types of visits including sick, wellness, & problem visits. For more details, visit our website at www.jch.org.

Elective Procedures

  • The patient’s physician, in consultation with the hospital, is in the best position to make the decision if a procedure is necessary and needed.  
  • All screening mammograms, PFTs, lung cancer screening CTs, and dexa scans are postponed and being re-scheduled in May.   

Patient Portals

  • You can check or manage your appointments, send secure messages to your provider, view medications, view and manage health records, and submit documents. For more details, visit JCH’s website at www.jch.org.

We have implemented these precautions and are operating with a sense of caution. We do not want to cause alarm – but we do want to send a clear message to our community that we are prepared, responding appropriately and are committed to protecting the well-being of our patients, visitors, employees and community.

These increased safety measures do NOT mean that you cannot access the hospital or your providers. Please seek medical care for patients of all ages as needed.  And if you are concerned you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call the JCH COVID-19 HOTLINE at (618) 639-4277.  If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room. 

Visit www.jch.org for daily updates on COVID-19.  Additionally, follow Jersey Community Hospital on Facebook for daily updates, new processes or other relevant information. 

March 24, 2020

COVID-19 TESTING AVAILABILITY

Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now available in a number of hospital laboratories in Illinois on a limited basis, however, broad-scale testing is not available.  Testing results take 5 – 7 days. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has provided guidance for prioritizing testing based on medical need.  Testing based on medical need will ensure that people who most need testing can get results rapidly and will reduce strain on the health care system.

IDPH guidelines for persons who may be considered for testing depending on clinical severity and community health relevance include:

  1. Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in order to inform decisions related to infection control or medical management.
  2. Residents and staff of long-term care facilities with signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19.
  3. Other persons who are at higher risk for severe infection with signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19. These persons include older adults (age >65 years) and individuals with chronic medical conditions.
  4. Healthcare personnel with signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19.

Persons in these categories with mild illness should contact their health care provider by phone to discuss the need for testing.

Persons with mild respiratory symptoms who do not otherwise need medical care and who are not in one of the above groups should not be routinely tested for COVID-19.  These persons should care for themselves at home as they normally would for a mild illness.

In addition, ill persons should stay home and away from others until there has been no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, there has been improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) for at least 3 days; AND it is at least 7 days since symptoms first appeared, i.e., the minimum length of time will be 7 days.

Asymptomatic persons should not be tested for COVID-19.  Current testing for COVID-19 cannot detect prior infection. Testing a person without symptoms does not rule out the possibility that a person may become ill in the future.

As always, consult your healthcare provider for personal medical advice.

For general information about COVID-19, please call the CDC hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO.  If you experiencing symptoms and have questions, please call the Jersey Community Hospital hotline at 618-639-4277.

March 23, 2020

We are in unprecedented times. Not only are we facing a pandemic where things are changing by the minute, but we also live in a digital world where information, correct or incorrect, spreads very quickly. JCH HealthCare would like to assure you that accurate information about our Tri-County service area will be shared with you in a timely manner. If you see the information that is concerning to you, please use the following resources to check the accuracy of the information you received.

https://www.jch.org/
http://dph.illinois.gov/
https://www.jerseycountyhealth.org/
https://www.greenecountyhealth.com/
https://www.calhouncountyhealth.net/

Today's Status; there are 1,285 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, 0 in our Tri-County service area.

March 15, 2020

In order to protect our patients and caregivers we are limiting our entrances and visitation policy and are asking:

If you’re sick, don’t visit or accompany a patient

  • Patients may only have one person with them at any time, and only after being screened.
  • Visitors must be age 18+.
  • Visitors can speak with a caregiver about exceptions and special circumstances.
  • No visitors are allowed from 10:00 pm - 8:00 am unless accompanying a newly-admitted patient.
  • Visitors must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings.

These restrictions are being put in place for the safety of you, our patients, caregivers, and the community.

March 14, 2020

Jersey Community Hospital is actively monitoring the most up to date information from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health concerning the COVID-19 virus. Currently, there have been no active COVID-19 cases in our immediate area, but our leaders and staff remain prepared and on alert if the situation changes. JCH, a 5-STAR CMS Hospital, is dedicated to the health and well-being of our patients and their families

We are adding additional precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and caregivers. These apply to our hospital and all clinic locations, as of March 13, 2020.

  • Visitors: Effective March 13, 2020, no visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed on our inpatient floor.  Please try to limit visits in general.
  • Business travel: We are now restricting all business travel until further notice.
  • In-person meetings: We are asking all staff to replace in-person meetings with a virtual option such as Webex when possible.
  • Jersey Community Hospital events: We are in the process of reviewing all upcoming JCH-hosted events, including Continuing Medical Education (CME), to determine which should be canceled or postponed. 
  • Testing: If you have flu symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath or have questions concerning COVID-19 please call the JCH COVID-19 HOTLINE at 618-639-4277.  After speaking to a nurse, you will be given instructions on your next steps for your care. 

As healthcare providers, our first priority is serving our patients and the community. We are taking these precautions to ensure we can continue caring for our patients while also protecting the health of our caregivers

March 12, 2020

We are in the flu season, so we ask you to wear a mask if you are sick. We treat sick people and have procedures in place for a safe environment of care. If you have typical cold symptoms and do not have a fever, it is in your best interest to remain at home instead of coming into a healthcare facility.

If you have flu symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath or have questions concerning COVID-19 please call the JCH COVID-19 HOTLINE at 618-639-4277.  After speaking to a nurse, you will be given instructions on the next steps.

  • What is COVID-19 ("Coronavirus")?

    The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, with patients reporting cases of fever and acute respiratory illness. Since that time, other countries, including the U.S., have seen cases of the illness.

  • How is the virus transmitted?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS. Many of the early patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by COVID-19 in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, person-to-person spread is now occurring. 

    Person-to-person spread is believed to occur via 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. It may be possible for a person to 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.

    There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing. The latest situation summary updates are available on the CDC’s webpage Coronavirus Disease 2019.

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: 

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

    The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. 

  • How can COVID-19 infection be prevented?

    There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

    As a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
    • 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 objects and surfaces. 
  • Who should seek medical treatment?

    Patients with fever and/or acute respiratory illness who have traveled in the past 14 days to an area affected by COVID-19, or who have had close contact with someone who is under investigation for, or lab-confirmed, with COVID-19 should seek medical attention.  

    You should call ahead before going to the doctor or emergency room, describe your symptoms and identify when you traveled to an affected area.

  • I have a doctor’s appointment – should I be worried about getting infected with COVID-19 at Jersey Community Hospital or JCH Clinic?

    JCH HealthCare Hospital and clinics have protocols and systems in place to keep patients, visitors, and health care workers safe. You should not avoid seeking care out of concerns over the coronavirus. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, call your health care provider first so they can advise you.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Patients/Public

    1.) Is JCH HealthCare offering testing at the clinic sites for COVID-19?

    No. If you meet certain criteria, JCH HealthCare providers may request testing for a patient.

    2.) What should I do if I (or someone in my family) feel sick and believe it is COVID-19?

    Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of influenza. Call your health care provider and discuss your symptoms. Stay home and self-isolate if possible. If you feel sick with fever, cough and have difficulty breathing AND you have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or have traveled to one of the high-risk areas, make sure your health care provider knows.

    3.) Is it safe to come to JCH HealthCare? Should I show up for my scheduled appointment, surgery or procedure?

    JCH HealthCare hospital, clinics, and offices are operating as usual. We are in the flu season, so we ask you to wear a mask if you are sick. We treat sick people and have procedures in place for a safe environment of care.

If you have flu symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath or have questions concerning COVID-19 please call the JCH COVID-19 HOTLINE at 618-639-4277.  After speaking to a nurse, you will be given instructions on the next steps.