Coronavirus Information: What You Need To Know
Last updated 5/1/2020 at 2:35 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-Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Visitor Restrictions In Place at Wheeling Hospital
The visitor policy restrictions put in place at Wheeling Hospital at the onset of COVID-19 are being eased. But many of the restrictions will remain in place in order to protect the hospital staff, patients and visitors.
As of June 22, for adult inpatients:
- one visitor per day per patient will be permitted between 10 a.m. and noon, 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
- visitors must leave the hospital during non-visiting hours.
- visitors must enter and exit through the Main Entrance. They will be screened and required to wear masks.
- visitors must remain in the patient’s room while in the hospital and are not permitted in common areas, including the cafeteria.
- No visitors under the age of 18 are permitted.
Visitation guidelines for Labor and Delivery and Pediatrics remain the same:
- in Labor and Delivery (one visitor al cper patient per day); and Pediatrics (two visitors per patient per day to allow mother and father to visit).
- no visitation in COVID or ICU units, with exceptions.
Current restrictions will remain in place for outpatient surgery. On day of procedure, the accompanying visitor will drive up to the Surgery Center and staff will check in the patient. The visitor must drive to the waiting area. The patient will go to the waiting area and will be called back to the surgery center for prep. Once the patient’s procedure is complete, the surgeon will call the patient visitor. Once the patient is in the post- procedure area and ready for discharge, the visitor will be called to drive to return to the drop-off area, where the patient will be escorted by the hospital staff, who will assist in getting the patient in the car.
Visitors are not permitted to accompany ambulatory patients to physician or diagnostic visits, with exceptions to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
No visitors are permitted in the hospital cafeteria, which is for staff only.
The no-visitor policy at the Continuous Care Center is being evaluated but for now remains in effect. All visitation at Harrison Community Hospital continues to be suspended while the policy is being reviewed.
All of the health centers in Belmont County are now open to patient visits. Lab draw stations are open at the Bellaire and St. Clairsville centers. Telehealth will still be conducted for the insurance carriers that will cover them. The other centers are in Bridgeport, Powhatan, Colerain, Scio and Shadyside. The newest clinic is the Martins Ferry Health Center on North Fifth Street
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.