Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information: What You Need to Know
Last updated on March 24, 2020
Spaulding Outpatient Centers COVID-19 Update as of March 24, 2020
Our outpatient centers have been monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. As of 3/24, our YMCA locations at Marblehead, Hanover, and Quincy, the Jewish Community Center Marblehead, Westborough, and Downtown Crossing have been closed and patients redirected to alternate Spaulding locations. We will continue to see all of our patients with urgent therapy needs on an ongoing outpatient basis. We are in the process of reaching out directly to patients with upcoming appointments to determine possible alternatives including use of telemedicine or postponing to a later date. For questions please contact your outpatient center site directly. For contact information, visit our location page.
New Visitor Restrictions for the Spaulding Rehabilition Network
Effective Tuesday, March 17th and indefinitely, no visitors will be allowed in any Spaulding inpatient facility due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.
This is being done as a difficult but necessary step to protect our patients, one of the highest risk and vulnerable groups, and to protect our staff who need to remain healthy in order to be able to deliver care. In addition, patients will not be allowed out of the facility to meet any visitors. Only clinically appropriate and urgent medical travel will be allowed with the approval of Spaulding site administrative leadership and clinical leadership. Our teams will work with patients on alternative digital methods to stay connected with their families and loved ones. Please work directly with the leadership of your facility and your clinical team with questions. Thank you for your support and cooperation.
What you need to know
The coronavirus situation is very fluid, and we are doing everything we can to provide you with the most up to date information. Rest assured that there are many leaders and experts from across Spaulding Rehabilation Network and Partners HealthCare who have been working tirelessly to ensure that we have the best possible plans, protocols and resources in place to protect patients, colleagues and our community. We continue to coordinate with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and state public health officials as we take all necessary precautions to prepare us for providing safe care to anyone who presents with COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know:
What is the Coronavirus?
The cause of this outbreak has been identified as a novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause symptoms ranging from the common cold to severe respiratory illness. Certain coronaviruses can infect animals, which occasionally spread from animals to humans, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). These viruses can then also evolve to spread among people.
This new strain of coronavirus appears to have rapidly evolved to more easily transmit from person to person.
How did this outbreak occur?
Initial cases with this infection were thought to be associated with a live animal market in Wuhan City, China. However, not all subsequent cases have had this exposure.
The number of infections and subsequent deaths from the novel coronavirus have climbed daily. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, screening of travelers from China has been instituted at multiple U.S. airports. At this time, the CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency to highlight the spread of this infection and support prevention efforts.
What is the current situation?
The situation is rapidly evolving with new information updated daily. Even with a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Massachusetts, the risk to the public is still low.
We do not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.
How is Spaulding Rehabilitation Network preparing for coronavirus?
We are screening for relevant travel history in addition to our seasonal screening for fever and respiratory viral illness and counseling all patients about travel to high-risk areas based on the CDC's travel advisories. Emergency Departments across Partners HealthCare and all Ambulatory/Urgent Care practices continue to screen all patients at check-in for travel to China, South Korea and CDC-Level 3 designated areas as well as for respiratory symptoms.
Staff at all locations have been encouraged to ask all visitors with respiratory symptoms to defer their visit until they are feeling better. All infection control teams have been trained on proper protocols for treating patients with the coronavirus and all hospitals across the Partners system have been providing walk-in respirator (N95) fit testing clinics over the last several weeks to ensure that all clinicians can safely treat patients with COVID-19.
What can be done to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
As always, hand and respiratory hygiene are the best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. We recommend the following:
- Frequent handwashing with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or tissue. Wash your hands after.
- Avoid close contact with individuals who have a fever or cough.
Please note, the facemasks that are available for purchase at your local drug store are not appropriate for protecting yourself from the coronavirus. Practicing hand hygiene is your best defense.
How do I know if I should be evaluated for coronavirus?
If you develop a fever and cough or shortness of breath, you should contact your health care provider. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from the identified countries listed above, you should also contact your health care provider. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of the new coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider.
What can I do to help?
During this unprecedented time, the entire Spaulding Rehabilitation Network & Partners HealthCare at Home community of doctors, nurses, therapists, and staff have mobilized with two priorities front and center: to keep every patient safe and to keep all those who serve our patients safe.
Many of you have asked how you can help. Your generous gift to the Spaulding/PHH Emergency Response Fund helps equip President David Storto and his leadership team to direct resources where they are needed most urgently and flexibly to address these priorities, day by day. Thank you for your support during this challenging time.