Coronavirus Information: What You Need To Know
Last updated 3/18/2020 at 2:25 p.m.
During the coronavirus outbreak, Wheeling Hospital will provide the latest updates and guidance to help the community respond to the changing situation.
With resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also available through the Wheeling-Ohio Health Department, the hospital remains proactive in its approach to helping area residents stay informed and prepared. These resources are being updated and added to daily.
At Wheeling Hospital, preparing for responses to disasters is not new. Emergency preparedness training is a year-round activity, and when there is a threat that could cause a surge of patients, the hospital ups its preparedness and coordination activities.
Visit these resources for the latest information on COVID-19:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Who To Call
West Virginia Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology: 1-800-423-1271, ext. 1
Ohio Department of Health: 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634)
Pennsylvania Department of Health: 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1‐877‐724‐3258)
COVID-19 Case Tracking
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking COVID-19 cases in the United States. Click here for the most recent reports.
They will update these reports regularly at noon Mondays through Fridays.
Offsite Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Center
As of March 18, 2020, Wheeling Hospital is operating an off-site symptomatic Testing Center for COVID-19. The regional center will handle patients from all of the area’s hospitals in the WVU Medicine System including Harrison Community, Reynolds Memorial, Barnesville and Wetzel Community. The testing is not for the general public. It is for at-risk patients who have a valid order from a physician.
Who can be tested?
You must be showing symptoms in order to be tested. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, cough, and travel to an endemic area or contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
If believe you meet the criteria for testing, call the hospital’s COVID-19 one-call number at 304-221-3995. Nurse navigators will triage patients over the phone. If it is determined through the call that the patient is symptomatic, that person’s name will be sent to the Testing Center and the order entered into the computer list.
Patients may elect to call their primary care physicians. Wheeling Hospital-employed physicians will follow the triage protocol then decide whether to send the patients to the Testing Center, where the order will be placed. Patients of independent physicians of those from other hospitals will be directed to the one-call number.
Testing Center Procedures
At the test site entrance, ID will be requested to verify that the patient’s testing order has been entered. After a consent form is signed they then will be tested for Influenza A and B, as well as strep throat. If the results are positive, that person will be directed to return home and call their primary care provider for further instructions.
If the results are negative, the patient then will be tested for COVID-19. The tests will be sent to Quest Diagnostics, a private testing firm, and the results will go to the person’s primary care provider. Until results are received by the physician, the patient will be instructed to return home to self-quarantine for 14 days. If the results come back negative, the self-quarantine will be lifted. If positive, treatment will be determined by the physician.
Testing Center Information
Location: Wheeling Park, 1801 National Rd, Wheeling
Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
How Wheeling Hospital is Preparing for COVID-19
Prompted by the increased COVID-19 threat, Wheeling Hospital has reacted with several guidelines for employees and visitors:
- Visitors are limited to one person per patient in the building at the same time at Wheeling Hospital and most of Harrison Community Hospital (HCH).
- Visitation has been halted completely at the Continuous Care Center (CCC) and the Skilled Nursing unit at Harrison Community Hospital (HCH).
- No visitors under age 18 are permitted at Wheeling Hospital. It is also requested that those under 18 do not accompany patients to outpatient appointments.
- On the second floor, no visitors other than parents of sick children or newborns are permitted.
- Normal visiting hours remain 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Wheeling Hospital and noon-8:30 p.m. at HCH, with the exception of the Skilled Nursing patients.
- Visitors with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath are asked to refrain from coming to the hospitals or affiliates.
- Physicians entering the CCC will be screened for temperature. If they exhibit a fever, they will be referred to Corporate Health.
- All seminars and symposiums held at Wheeling Hospital and its affiliates are cancelled until further notice. Community outreach events also are being curtailed.
- Hospital- or professional-related international travel must be cancelled. Employees should use their discretion when considering domestic work-related trips.
- To protect ourselves and our patients, any employees exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should contact their PCP or Corporate Health for next steps. (If symptoms are present, isolate per CDC guidelines.)
- Masses in the Chapel have been cancelled indefinitely, effective Monday, March 16.
- No Auxiliary sales will be conducted until further notice.
- All non-critical vendor visits are suspended until further notice.
How It Spreads
Since COVID-19 is a new disease, we are still learning how it spreads, however, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. People who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet) and the respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes are two ways the virus can spread.
There is also a possibility that a person can get COVID-19 by touching surfaces or objects that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose and eyes.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Fever, cough and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
If you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, call and speak to your doctor.
Protect Yourself and Others
Follow these steps to help prevent the disease from spreading or if you believe you are infected with COVID-19.
- Stay home except when receiving medical care. This includes avoiding public areas and public transportation.
- Stay away from others, even when at home. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. If possible, use a separate bathroom. You should also restrict contact with pets until more is known about the virus.
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor. If you already have an appointment, call your doctor and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick. This will prevent the spread of infectious respiratory droplets.
- Cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue. Throw all used tissues in a lined trash can and wash your hands immediately.
- Clean your hands often. It’s recommended to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid sharing personal items, such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaced daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops,
handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
Options include diluting household bleach, alcohol solutions (at least 70% alcohol) or using other EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Click here to view a list of EPA-approved products.