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Information from El Camino Health Regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

El Camino Health hospitals and clinics are open throughout Santa Clara County.

Updated as of June 1, 2020

 
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As a result of more restrictive measures being taken throughout the Bay Area related to COVID-19, El Camino Health’s hospitals are implementing a new temporary visitor policy. All people entering the hospital will be screened, including a temperature check, upon entrance and will be required to wear a mask. For the latest information on our visitor restrictions, please visit our visitor information page.

 

For more information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), please refer to these resources:


A Message From El Camino Health

The health and well-being of our patients, visitors and employees are our main priorities, and we take our responsibility to provide high quality, personalized care very seriously.

All El Camino Health hospitals continue to be open and caring for patients, and we are operating with our full capabilities with the necessary supplies to do so. This includes our continued ability to triage, admit and treat patients with infectious diseases. Please know, we regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have comprehensive protocols and resources to ensure we are able to do so with the highest regard to health and safety.

We are actively monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), following and adhering to guidance as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and working closely with Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCDPH) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to ensure our preparedness and continued ability to provide care for all patients.

We remain in active contact with CDC, SCCPHD, and CDPH and will update our measures to continue to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, and employees if necessary.


COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Information About the Virus

    Q: What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    A: There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, cause by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not been previously seen in humans, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, in 2019.

    Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
    A: Current understanding about how COVID-19 spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

    Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
    A: For confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases, symptoms have included fever, cough, and shortness of breath according to the CDC. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

    Our urgent care partner Carbon Health has created a simple and free COVID-19 Coronavirus Assessment Tool for you and your family to better understand your risk of the virus, based on the CDC guidelines. If you do need further screening or testing for the virus, based on your answers and on the CDC guidelines, you will receive further instructions within the platform.

    Q: How can I protect myself and my family from COVID-19?
    A: There is currently no vaccine to COVID-19 and the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of illness, including:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 40-60 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
      - If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • 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 touch objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
      - CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
      - Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).
     

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  • Testing for COVID-19

    Q: Should I come to El Camino Health to get tested for COVID-19?
    A: If you have concerns about potential symptoms related to COVID-19, please contact your primary healthcare provider who can provide guidance on testing and medical care. Unless you are experiencing an immediate or life-threatening condition, there is no need to seek emergency care without first contacting your primary healthcare provider.

    If you are looking for a doctor, El Camino Health primary care and specialty care doctors are available for in-person, phone and video visits, and can generally see you within 24 hours. They can help evaluate your symptoms, order a COVID-19 test and manage your everyday health needs. Call 408-871-3411 to speak to our patient care coordinator who can match you with a doctor and make appointments.

    Our Urgent Care centers located in Mountain View, Cupertino and San Jose are open and available to help evaluate your symptoms and order a COVID-19 test, if needed. The emergency rooms at our Los Gatos and Mountain View hospitals have separate respiratory assessment areas for those needing immediate care for respiratory issues.

    Q: How do you test a patient for COVID-19?
    A: We work with local labs to conduct testing and evaluations when necessary.

    Q: How much does El Camino Health’s hospitals charge for the COVID-19 test?
    A: The charge for the COVID-19 test is $280. However, health plans are required by a federal mandate to cover co-pays for COVID-19 tests that would typically be paid for by a patient, which means there is no cost to the insured patient to be tested. If you are self-paying, please see our Self-Service Portal and Price Estimator Tool for the discounted out-of-pocket cost.

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  • General El Camino Health Hospital Information

    Q: Are people allowed to visit the hospital?
    During this time and for those not working at El Camino Health hospitals, we ask that only individuals seeking medical care come to El Camino Health hospitals. As a result of more restrictive measures being taken throughout the Bay Area related to COVID-19, El Camino Health’s hospitals are implementing a new temporary visitor policy. All people entering the hospital will be screened, including a temperature check, upon entrance and will be required to wear a mask. For the latest information on our visitor restrictions, please visit our visitor information page.

    Q: How is El Camino Health sanitizing facilities?
    A: El Camino Health facilities stringently follows standard operating procedures related to sanitization. This includes that rooms designated for isolation receive a multi-step cleaning process, including cleaning of all surfaces, curtain changes, and a complete and robotic UV disinfection done after a patient has left the room. In addition, we train staff on a continuous basis in best practices related to infection control protocols and sanitization.

    Q: Are El Camino Health hospitals giving away supplies to the community?
    A: No. While we have the appropriate resources and supplies in place to treat patients, these materials are intended for our use to continue to treat patients admitted to El Camino Health hospitals.

    Q: Am I at risk of contracting COVID-19 if I am a patient at the hospital?
    A: Patients admitted to El Camino Health’s hospitals that are under investigation for COVID-19 or are confirmed to have the virus are cared for in line with our protocols for treating infectious diseases, including treatment in isolation areas in compliance with CDC guidelines. We regularly care for patients with infectious diseases, and have comprehensive protocols and supplies to ensure we are able to do so with the highest regard to health and safety.

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  • Seeking Emergency Care

    Q: When should I seek emergency care if I am having symptoms of COVID-19?
    A: Unless you are experiencing an immediate or life-threatening condition, there is no need to seek emergency care without first contacting your primary healthcare provider. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. According to the CDC, emergency warning signs include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse and bluish lips or face.

    Q: Can I seek emergency care for COVID-19 at El Camino Health?
    A: Yes. We regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have comprehensive health and safety protocols. El Camino Health’s Los Gatos and Mountain View emergency rooms continue to be open and treating patients. We have separate respiratory assessment areas which provide a safe space where we can streamline care for those experiencing respiratory symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19.

    However, unless you are experiencing an immediate or life-threatening condition, there is no need to seek emergency care without first contacting your primary healthcare provider. If you are looking for a provider, El Camino Health primary care and specialty care doctors are available for in-person, phone and video visits, and can generally see you within 24 hours. They can help evaluate your symptoms, order a COVID-19 test and manage your everyday health needs. Call 408-871-3411 to speak to our patient care coordinator who can match you with a doctor and make appointments.

    Q: Am I at risk of contracting COVID-19 if I go to the Emergency Room?
    A: For patients seeking emergency care, our emergency rooms are a safe place to seek treatment. Patients experiencing respiratory symptoms are being evaluated in dedicated respiratory assessment areas so there is a separation between those with respiratory symptoms and those with other emergent needs.

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  • Delivering a Baby

    Q: Is it safe to deliver a baby at El Camino Health hospitals?
    A: Our Mother-Baby units continue to be fully operational and maintain dedicated maternal health professionals and beds for new moms and their babies, including operating rooms and neonatal intensive care units. Our Women’s Hospital in Mountain View is a separate building with its own entrance away from the main hospital and will be utilized for caring for moms and babies, even in the event of a surge. Our Los Gatos hospital has a secure wing dedicated to mom and babies. Our Mother-Baby units have isolation capabilities if necessary, and personnel are trained to treat mothers with infectious diseases.

    Q: Who can accompany a mom during labor and delivery?
    A: For the safety of our patients and staff, we are limiting visitors to one visitor/support person. Below are guidelines for the support person:

    • The person needs to be a healthy adult. They will be screened upon entry to the hospital and will be required to wear a mask in the hospital.
    • The person should not leave the patient room unless necessary and will not be able to leave and come back. They will be well cared for and provided food.
    • Additional support, such as a doula or additional loved ones, can be connected virtually. At this time, only one visitor/support person is allowed.

     

    Q: How will safety precautions impact a birth plan?
    A: Our specially trained, compassionate nurses work closely with the doctor or certified nurse-midwife to honor a birth plan. All members of the care team will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) during delivery. Pain medications and epidurals are available, but nitrous oxide is currently not.

    A designated visitor/support person will be able accompany the mom through the delivery. The support person will be screened upon entry, cannot trade off with others, and will not be able to leave and come back. They will be well cared for and provided food.

    Walking the hallway during labor is allowed. However, walking is limited to one patient and their support person at a time and both will need to wear a mask while in the hallway.

    Q: Are lactation services available?
    A: Our experienced nurses and lactation consultants continue to be available to support breastfeeding needs.

    Q: Can a mother with COVID-19 give birth at El Camino Health hospitals safely?
    A: Yes. Our Mother-Baby units have isolation capabilities if necessary, and personnel are trained to treat mothers with infectious diseases.

    Mother Baby Services During COVID-19

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  • Information about our Primary Care, Specialty Care and Urgent Care Clinics

    Q: Should I keep my scheduled appointment with my doctor?
    A: Yes, you should keep you scheduled appointment. Most of our primary care doctors and specialists are now available for video or phone appointments. These types of visits are a convenient way to get the personalized care you need – generally within 24 hours. To schedule an appointment, contact your doctor's office.

    Should an in-person appointment be necessary, our doctor’s offices and urgent care clinics have implemented procedures that follow CDC guidelines to protect all of our patients and staff members. Prior to an office visit, patients will be pre-screened via telephone for possible COVID-19 related symptoms.

    Q: What precautions are in place to protect patients and staff?
    A: El Camino Health clinics follow and adhere to guidance provided by the CDC, SCCDPH and CDPH to ensure our preparedness and continued ability to provide care for all patients. Our clinics stringently follow standard operating procedures related to sanitization. During this time, all individuals entering the facilities will be required to wear a mask and adhere to physical distancing requirements in waiting areas and common areas. All employees and doctors are screened regularly for symptoms of COVID-19.

    Q: If I am experiencing respiratory symptoms, where should I go for care?
    A: Unless you are experiencing an immediate or life-threatening condition, there is no need to seek emergency care without first contacting your primary healthcare provider. If you are experiencing mild to moderate respiratory symptoms or breathing discomfort due to a chronic condition, we have designated our Willow Glen Urgent Care Clinic as the location to safely assess symptoms. If assessment identifies COVID-19 symptoms in accordance with the CDC guidelines, testing can be conducted at the clinic.

    Q: Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
    A: Our Urgent Care centers located in Mountain View, Cupertino and San Jose are open and available to help evaluate your symptoms and order a COVID-19 test, if needed.

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  • Donations

    Q: Are El Camino Health hospitals accepting donations?
    A: Yes. The El Camino Health Foundation has established the El Camino Health COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Donations to this fund will help our community hospitals in Mountain View and Los Gatos support potential unexpected impact or burdensome costs associated with additional staffing, heightened screening, purchase of supplies and equipment, delayed elective procedures, assistance for employees who are facing financial hardship, child care for El Camino Health staff provided by the YMCA and any related needs that emerge in the future due to the impact of COVID-19. If your employer is making matching donations, the impact of your gift can be doubled or tripled.

    In addition to financial support, we are accepting in-kind donations of medical and sanitation supplies. While El Camino Health is currently well-supplied, we want to continue ensuring we have the appropriate resources in place to treat patients with the highest regard to health and safety in any scenario. All donated items must be new, unopened and meet our medical use specifications.

    Items we are accepting include:

    • Gloves
    • Isolation gowns
    • Hard goggles
    • Disposable eye shields
    • Shoe covers
    • Nurse caps
    • Germicidal disinfecting surface wipes
    • Clorox disinfecting wipes
    • Masks

    Before completing any material donations, please call the foundation at 650-940-7154 or email foundation@elcaminohealth.org.

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El Camino Health's Statement on COVID-19

Mountain View, CA - February 28, 2020 - Vineeta Hiranandani, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at El Camino Health, released the following statement on February 28, 2020 in response to inquiries about a COVID-19 case in the hospital.

"El Camino Health’s Mountain View hospital has provided care to a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19."

"Due to federal healthcare privacy laws, we are unable to provide specific details regarding any patient in our care."

"We do have standard protocols in place for dealing with infectious diseases. We are working closely with Santa Clara County Public Health Department, California Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adhere to their guidelines and instruction in managing this situation."

"In addition, we follow best practices with regard to personal protective equipment. The health and well-being of our patients, visitors, and employees are our main priorities, and we take our responsibility to provide a safe environment and the best care very seriously."

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