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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 October 14, 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, and will be required to wear a mask. Learn more about our safe care measures. 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.

    To see all of our COVID-19 testing options, please see here.

    Q: How much does El Camino Health’s hospitals charge for the COVID-19 test?
    A: The charge for the COVID-19 test is $175. 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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  • Testing for COVID-19 (Los Gatos)

    Q: How do I get a free COVID-19 test?
    A: No-cost COVID-19 testing is now available at El Camino Health’s Los Gatos hospital for individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., asymptomatic). Please schedule an appointment online or call 650-940-7022 and select option 4.

    Q: Do I need to make an appointment to get a test?
    A: Yes. In order to ensure visits are staggered to adhere to current social distancing measures and to make sure ample parking is available, tests must be scheduled a day in advance. Tests may be scheduled by calling 650-940-7022 and selecting option 4.

    Q: What does the COVID-19 test involve?
    A: When you arrive for your scheduled appointment you will be asked a few questions to confirm that El Camino Health has accurate information on you. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department requires El Camino Health to collect minimum demographic information. During the test, a short, half-inch swab will be used inside your nose to collect a specimen for testing. If your result is positive, you will receive a phone call with further directions. If your result is negative you will be notified either by phone, mail or via El Camino Health’s secure patient portal called myCare.

    Q: I don’t have insurance, is there a cost to me?
    A: No. For uninsured individuals, the hospital’s community benefit program will pay for the entire cost of the COVID-19 test, which means the test is provided free of charge. Please bring current photo identification with you at the time of your scheduled appointment.

    Q: I have insurance, is the test still free to me?
    A: Yes, there is no cost to those with insurance. For individuals with existing insurance coverage, billing for the test will be submitted to health plans, and the hospital’s community benefit program will cover any difference in test cost. This means there is no out-of-pocket cost to the insured individual. Make sure to bring current photo identification as well as your insurance card with you to your scheduled test.

    Q: Why is insurance being charged for the hospital’s community benefit funded test?
    A: In an effort to ensure the hospital’s community benefit funds are utilized to greatest public benefit, for uninsured individuals, the community benefit program will fund the entire cost of the COVID-19 test, which means the test is provided free of charge. For individuals with existing insurance coverage, billing for the test will be submitted to health plans with the community benefit program funding any difference in test cost. This means there is no cost to the insured individual to be tested.

    Q: Can everyone in my family get tested, even my children?
    A: Yes, members of your family may be tested, including children two years old and over.

    Q: When will my test results be available and how will I be notified?
    A: Typically, test results are available within three to five days and will be sent to you electronically, through El Camino Health’s secure patient portal called myCare, or by phone or mail.

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  • Testing for COVID-19 (El Camino Healthcare District)

    The El Camino Healthcare District's cities incudes most of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, a large portion of Sunnyvale, and small sections of Cupertino, Santa Clara and Palo Alto.

    Q: Are free COVID-19 tests available at El Camino Health?
    A: The El Camino Healthcare District Board of Directors approved $2.4 million in funding to make COVID-19 testing available to all community members who live, work or go to school within the district. Testing is available by appointment at El Camino Health’s Mountain View campus. There is no cost to those being tested and tests are for individuals who do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) of COVID-19. A doctor’s order is not required. A short, half-inch swab is utilized to obtain nasal samples needed for the COVID-19 tests.

    Q: Do I need to make an appointment for the free testing?
    A: Yes, please schedule an appointment online or call 650-940-7022 and select option 4, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    For more information, please visit the El Camino Healthcare District website.

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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 and one doula. 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, additional loved ones, can be connected virtually.
       

    Below are guidelines for a doula attending labor and delivery:

    • The doula needs to bring documentation of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 30 days when arriving at the hospital.
    • The doula will be screened upon entry to the hospital and will be required to wear a mask in the hospital. They will be rescreened every eight hours.
    • The doula should remain in the patient room as much as possible and minimize leaving and returning to the room.
       

    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 and a doula will be able to accompany the mom through the delivery. The support person and doula 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 or doula 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.

    Read more FAQs about pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care at El Camino Health hospitals during COVID-19.

    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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