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COVID-19

Latest Updates on COVID-19

Your safety and well-being are our top priorities and our experts are working closely with federal, state and local authorities to help keep our community safe. We are closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and will provide updates as the situation develops. 


March 30, 2020

In-House COVID-19 Testing:

We have begun in-house testing for COVID-19. The testing will be conducted at the UC Health Precision Medicine Laboratory located at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The test is a modification of the assay developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for which an Emergency Use Authorization has been issued by the FDA.

In-house testing will initially be limited to inpatients within UC Health hospitals, including the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, West Chester Hospital and Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care. The test must be ordered by a physician providing care for a patient at one of these facilities. UC Health will continue to utilize outside laboratories for other COVID-19 test specimens.

The UC Health laboratory is able to test specimens collected via nasopharyngeal swab in viral transport media. The anticipated turnaround time for test results is between one and three days.

In addition to testing samples collected within UC Health facilities, the health system provides drive-thru sample collection on its Clifton campus by appointment only. Due to limited testing supplies, drive-thru testing is currently only available to healthcare workers and first responders.

 

March 23, 2020

Acute Care Hospital Visitor Restrictions:

The safety of our patients, visitors, staff and clinicians is of utmost importance to UC Health. Our visitor restrictions are set in compliance with public health agency guidelines and best practices as well as those of the Ohio Hospital Association and with consideration of the Ohio Governor’s “stay at home” guidelines:

Effective immediately, UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital will not allow visitors on their campuses.

There are two exceptions to this rule:

  • In cases where visitor restriction will produce an undue hardship for the patient or family.
  • In cases where the restriction is detrimental to the care of the patient.

In cases where a visitor is permitted with the permission of the nurse manager and/or medical director, they will be screened upon entrance. Only 1 visitor will be permitted.

 

March 19, 2020

UC Health Inpatient Visitor Restrictions:

Effective immediately, UC Health’s two acute care hospitals will implement enhanced visitor restrictions: 

University of Cincinnati Medical Center

  • Patients will be asked at admission to name 1 or 2 preferred visitors for the duration of their stay.
  • Only 1 visitor at a time will be allowed.
  • Approved visitors will be permitted between 5:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. at UC Medical Center and 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. at UCMC Ridgeway, except for:
    • No visitors for psychiatry patients.
    • No visitors for patients under investigation for or diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • No visitors are permitted in the Emergency Department.
  • All visitors will be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness upon arrival:
    • Screening will include: cough, temperature greater than 100.4, shortness of breath, travel outside the US and recent close contact with someone ill or with COVID-19.
      • Those who DO NOT pass the screening will be directed to go home and contact their primary care physician.
      • Those who DO pass the screening will be sent to the Information Desk for identity confirmation and to pick up a visitor pass that will expire in 15 hours.

West Chester Hospital 

  • 1 visitor per 24 hour period. Access to the hospital is available between 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. through front door. Between 7:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. access is available through the ED front desk.
  • No visitors are permitted for patients under investigation for COVID-19 or those with confirmed COVID-19.
  • No visitors are allowed in the Emergency Department.
  • All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 or flu symptoms, as well as other potential exposure.
    • Screening will include: cough, temperature greater than 100.4, shortness of breath, travel outside the US and recent close contact with someone ill or with COVID-19.
      • Those who DO NOT pass the screening will be directed to go home and contact their primary care physician.
      • Those who DO pass the screening, visitors will sign in and out at the unit desk. 

Visitors are encouraged to use video chat on their personal devices to connect patients with other friends or family who are not permitted to visit.

Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care and Bridgeway Pointe have previously stopped allowing visitors due to their patient populations.

 

March 18, 2020

West Chester Hospital Patient & Visitor Entrance Restrictions:

For the protection of our patients, employees and guests, West Chester Hospital has limited access points into the hospital to two locations:

  • Main Hospital Entrance: Doors remain unlocked between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Department Entrance: Doors remain unlocked 24-hours a day.

All other entry points into the facility are restricted for use by employees with badges only.  All visitors entering the facility will be screened for signs of COVID-19 illness before entry is permitted.

Limited Drive-Thru Testing Appointments Available

Due to high demand and the need to prioritize available testing supplies for the most urgent and critical needs, the amount of appointments available for our drive-thru COVID-19 testing will fluctuate each day.

UC Health patients with non-emergent symptoms should stay at home and call their primary care physician for further information and direction. Please be advised that your primary care physician and our clinical staff answering our central phone line may or may not recommend testing based on the number of available supplies and the prioritization of those with the most severe health challenges.

 

March 17, 2020

Drive-thru Testing:

UC Health has opened a drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing clinic on the academic health system’s Clifton Campus.

Testing will be available BY APPOINTMENT ONLY for all members of the community, including UC Health employees. In order to be seen in the drive-thru clinic, patients must have one of the following:

  • A scheduled appointment made by their physician’s office.

The clinic is located under two tents outside the front entrance of the West Professional Building at 3120 Burnet Avenue.

 

 

The purpose of this clinic is to minimize the number of patients directed to physician offices or the emergency department for screening and testing. Patients will receive an exam from a medical professional while staying inside their vehicle.

Up to four people can be seen per vehicle as long as each person has an appointment. Appointments will only be available for ages 14 and up. Once fully functional, the clinic will be open 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. seven days a week. 

Depending on test volume, individuals should be contacted directly with their results within 72 hours. While waiting for their tests, individuals should stay at home.

People who come to be tested should know and do the following:

  • Bring a form of photo ID and insurance card.
  • Individuals will drive through a secured area and will remain in their vehicles throughout the entire testing process.
  • Even though we highly discourage it, patients should be advised that members of the media may be present at or near the clinic. Every effort will be made to protect patient privacy.
  • Bring water and other items to be comfortable while waiting.

 

March 15, 2020

Restricted Access Measures:

In order to provide the safest possible environment for patients, staff and clinicians, beginning Monday, March 16, UC Health hospitals, including UC Medical Center, West Chester Hospital and Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, will implement restricted access measures and updated visitor restrictions.

Beginning on Monday, March 16, the following entrances will be publicly accessible: 

  • UC Medical Center
    • Main Lobby Entrance
    • Emergency Department Main Entrance
    • Ridgeway: Visitor Entrance Adjacent to North Parking Lot
    • Ridgeway: Psychiatric Emergency Services Controlled Entry/Exit
  • West Chester Hospital
    • Main Entrance
    • Walk-in Entrance to the Emergency Department
    • Walkway Corridor to Physician Office Building South
    • Main Entrance to Surgery Center (right door)
  • Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care
    • North Entrance, 1st Floor
    • South Entrance, Sliding Doors from South Parking Lot

Ambulatory locations, including outpatient buildings and physician offices, are being evaluated for restricted access and may implement future restrictions on a case by case basis. 

Visitors to UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital must be over 14 years of age and will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care and Bridgeway Pointe are not accepting visitors due to their high acuity patient population.

 

March 13, 2020

Enhanced Visitor Restrictions:

To protect our patients, visitors and staff, UC Health WILL NOT ALLOW visitors in the Emergency Departments at West Chester Hospital or the UC Medical Center. Visitors will NOT BE ALLOWED at Bridgeway Pointe or Daniel Drake Center until further notice. This is in addition to our original cough, cold and flu visitor restrictions put in place earlier in the week.

 

March 11, 2020

Visitor Restrictions:

At this time, to promote patient safety and help prevent the spread of respiratory illness, visitors are NOT ALLOWED in inpatient areas or waiting rooms if they show signs of cough, cold and flu symptoms such as:

  • Are under 14 years of age.
  • Exhibit respiratory illness such as: 
    • Fever
    • Body aches/head aches 
    • Cough / sore throat
    • Runny / stuffy nose
  • Have traveled internationally within the last 14 days.

If you DO HAVE symptoms, but DO NOT need immediate medical assistance, self-monitoring at home is recommended by the CDC. You can also call your primary care provider or the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) to discuss if, when, and where you should be seen. If you don’t have a primary care provider, we can help you find one.

If you have traveled to high-risk areas OR have been in contact with a patient with cough, fever or shortness of breath who has traveled to a high-risk area AND you have these symptoms you should notify the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). This line is available 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.