What you should know about coronavirus (COVID-19)
Community Medical Centers is closely monitoring this season of high-volume influenza and are on high alert for the threat of the coronavirus. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The risk may change daily. But as home to the Valley’s only Level 1 trauma center, our staff and physicians are highly trained and routinely prepare for situations like these. We partner with the Fresno County Department of Public Health, California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other emergency responders and health agencies.
Are visitors allowed in your hospitals?
For the protection of patients and families, as well as our employees and physicians, effective immediately: No visitors are allowed at our hospitals with very few exceptions. We encourage patient visits by phone. Visitors for inpatient areas will be restricted except for the following:
- One visitor at a time for laboring mothers
- One parent or guardian at a time for pediatric inpatient
- Visitation allowed for those patients in end-of-life care
- Patients with physical, intellectual, developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments or their family/patient representative may designate two support people, but only one support person may be present at a time.
People with any cold or flu-like symptoms will not be able to visit family and friends in the hospital, even if they meet the above exceptions. These restrictions are subject to change.
What is the coronavirus and how is it spread?
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19), commonly referred to as “coronavirus,” is a respiratory illness caused by a virus first identified in Wuhan, China. The virus is thought to spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, much like a cold or flu.
Is anyone at higher risk of getting a serious case of coronavirus?
Older people and people with severe chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, should take special precautions like limiting exposure to crowds.
How do I avoid getting sick?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, cell phones and keyboards.
- Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care.
What symptoms will I have if I’m infected?
Most seem to experience a mild to severe respiratory illness, not unlike a cold. Common signs and symptoms of coronavirus include fever and symptoms of a lower respiratory illness like coughing or shortness of breath. It is possible for it to turn into pneumonia.
What do I do if I have those symptoms?
If your symptoms are not severe, stay home rather than go to the doctor’s office and risk spreading the virus to other people. If you are showing any of the symptoms, do not go to work and don’t travel. Instead, call ahead to your doctor’s office before you make an appointment to report:
- Your symptoms
- Recent travels
- Possible exposures
If you develop symptoms while at work, tell your manager and any HR representative immediately, then leave work if you are able and can travel safely without infecting others. Call your doctor as soon as possible.
Should I wear a mask and can I get masks and supplies from your hospitals?
Masks can help stop the spread of infection if a sick person wears it by containing respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Our hospitals are not currently distributing masks to our patients or visitors. This may change as the situation develops.
Are your hospitals ready to handle this?
We are prepared with procedures in place to treat patients with coronavirus symptoms and to help protect our other patients and staff from the spread of the virus. We are also closely monitoring our supplies and coordinating with local, state and national public health agencies and healthcare providers to help ensure we’re doing everything possible to meet the needs of our patients and our community.
How can I donate?
If you or someone you know would like to donate items to help please email CMCDonations@communitymedical.org or call the donation number at (559) 459-4040. If you'd like to help by sewing a mask, please use this recommended pattern (or view the PDF here) from blogger Sarah Sterns. If you’d like to make a monetary donation email Community Medical Foundation at Foundation@communitymedical.org, call (559) 724-4343 or click here.
What is social distancing?
According to the California Department of Public Health, social distancing is recommended to slow down the spread of contagious diseases like coronavirus (COVID-19). Social distancing means creating physical space between people. Avoiding things like mass gatherings and large groups of people can help limit the spread of the coronavirus. Social distancing can also mean closing buildings and canceling events. Doing these things has proven effective in prior pandemics at delaying rates of transmission and reducing illness and death.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends maintaining about 6 feet from others during this time. Not shaking hands and practicing proper hand hygiene are also really important steps to help stop the spread of the virus. Learn more ways to protect yourself and others against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Questions about pregnancy and coronavirus?
Visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about pregnancy and coronavirus.