COVID-19 Pandemic: What You Need to Know

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In this video, Dr. Lee Kiser of Columbus Regional Health explains the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Watch more videos by Dr. Kiser about COVID-19

 


Provided below is information with the latest local updates, prevention tips and information about exposure risk and testing options. This page will be updated with any new developments.

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Have Symptoms or Potential Exposure?

COVID-19, including the current Delta Variant can cause a wide range of mild to severe symptoms. In most cases, symptoms may appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Some more common symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially multiple symptoms or have a confirmed incidence of exposure, contact your primary care provider. For more information and guidance, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

What to do if you think you have been exposed to the virus:
 If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19 and you are not fully vaccinated, you should quarantine. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19, unless you have or develop symptoms.

Fully vaccinated people should get tested within 3-5 days after their exposure, even they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Looking for information about the COVID-19 vaccine?

CRH Vaccine Information Page

Updates for Patient Visitors

Visitation and Updated Visitor Guidelines (effective Aug. 25, 2021):

Due to the continued increase in COVID cases and the highly contagious Delta variant spread within our community, Columbus Regional Health is further amending visitor options for our hospital patients. Effective Wednesday Aug. 25, each non-COVID-positive or non-suspected-positive patient may have one visitor at a time. To prevent crowding in waiting and common areas in the hospital, additional visitors to these patient rooms should please wait outside the hospital, such as in their vehicle or at home, until visitation is available.

RELATED: Columbus Regional Health suspends all elective surgeries and procedures in Surgical Services, Endoscopy Center and Outpatient Cath Lab

CRH continues to restrict visiting hours for non-critical-care COVID-positive and suspected-positive patients to 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.in order for staff on those units to be able to assist visitors with personal protective equipment. Visitation for COVID-positive patients in the ICU remains restricted at this time. Emergency Department patients may each have one visitor at a time per day, with travel limited to going to the patient’s room. Exceptions to visitor options may be made for end-of-life circumstances or other situations where deemed appropriate by care staff.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to evaluate patient volumes and staffing to ensure we maintain the safest environment for our patients and staff.

In addition, the following guidelines remain for all visitors:

  • The person must be age 14 or older, and pass screening. (Special exceptions for visitors under age 14 are at the determination of the patient and care team.)
  • Visitors are required to wear a mask; cloth masks are acceptable. Visitors of patients in double-bed rooms should keep their masks on at all times, even inside the patient room.
  • Visitors of COVID-positive and highly suspected COVID patients will be advised to wear a PAPR and assisted with that process.

Additionally, we are temporarily discontinuing Valet Services. Our valet team members will return to help screen/greet patients at Entrances 2 and 3. Valet associates will still be available to assist patients when needed. Patients who need assistance should pull up to a valet entrance and let the valet know that assistance is needed. The valet associate will meet patients at their parked car to provide assistance into the building.

For our Birthing Center patients, the visitation policy includes the following modifications:

  • Two support persons over age 18, such as a spouse, partner, sibling, or another person chosen by the patient (e.g.a Doula) may be allowed while the mother is in labor and delivery only.
  • One support person may be with the mother throughout her stay.
  • Postpartum, in addition to having one support person throughout her stay, the mother may have one visitor, age 18 or older, per day between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m.
  • Two individuals may be designated to visit pediatric patients in the Level II nursery – only one support person may visit at a time each day.

At this time, visitation is not allowed in the Mental Health Unit.

Restricted entrances to the hospital facility remain in place. Visitors to the inpatient units should enter via Entrance 3. Emergency Department visitors should enter via Entrance 1. Visitors for outpatient and surgical services patients would use Entrances 2, 3 or 4, depending on the procedure location.

Pre-procedure instructions identifying the proper entrance will be given to the patient and designated visitor prior to their visit.

Additional visitors to inpatient units or outpatient procedure waiting areas, are asked to remain in their vehicle and a member of the care team will notify them when it is safe to utilize their visitation option. This is to help promote social distancing in general waiting and common areas in the hospital.

Limited Hospital Entrances

The Columbus Regional Hospital campus is restricting public entrances and actively screening those who visit the facility. The three hospital facility entrances that will be open to the public are:

  • Entrance 1 (Emergency Department) – open 24/7
  • Entrance 2 – open 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Entrance 3 (Main) – open 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Entrance 4 will function as an admit and discharge only location for Surgical Services and Endoscopy Center patients.

(Click image for interactive CRH hospital campus map)

Satellite view of CRH campus.

Want to reach out to a patient but can't visit in person? Try our Email a Patient form.

COVID-19 Testing Protocols

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated, it is important to stay home except to get tested or to see your primary care provider (PCP).

Call your primary care provider office if:

  • You are experiencing significant illness.
  • Your symptoms worsen.
  • You have health risk factors or other underlying conditions such as diabetes, CHF or COPD.
  • You have questions about COVID-19 or your health that you would like answered by a health care provider.

Schedule a drive-thru COVID-19 testing appointment if:

  • You are an otherwise healthy person with minor cold-like symptoms and would like to be tested.
  • You have been exposed to COVID-19 but are NOT displaying symptoms.
  • You are in need of a test for travel, work or school.

If you have a MyChart account, please schedule your drive-thru testing appointment in MyChart for quicker scheduling and access to your results. If you do not have a MyChart account, please sign up for an account at mychart.crh.org. You may also call 812-376-5419 to schedule your appointment.

COVID-19 Instructions/Resources for Our Community

Are you in isolation or quarantine because of a COVID-positive test or exposure and wondering when to seek care, or have you tested positive for COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms?

Read our isolation and quarantine guidelines for patients

Seek Care -- We're Here for You!
Our careful and calculated phased approach to reopening services is being conducted under heightened conditions designed to continue to preserve and protect the safe, effective, and efficient care of our patients, safety of our workforce and facilities, and experience for our patients and community. If you have an appointment with us or need to seek care, we are ready to warmly welcome you.

If you don't already have one, consider signing up for a MyChart account, so that you can utilize our "Hello, Patient!" feature for a safe, easy and contact-free check-in process!

Do you prefer a virtual visit? Talk with your provider about your options!

Screening at Columbus Regional Health locations
: Each Columbus Regional Health location has implemented screening and entry processes for the safety of all. All staff and patients are to wear a mask throughout all of our facilities.

All CRH practices and off-site locations have posted check-in procedures on signage in their respective parking lots or on their front entrances. Some ask that you call from your vehicle before entering the building, and some are normal check-in at the front desk, but all require that you wear masks at all times and practice physical distancing while in each location.

Vaccine Information

Anyone age 12 and older is eligible for the Pfizer (two dose) vaccine. Anyone 18 and older is eligible for either Johnson & Johnson (one dose) or Moderna (two dose). These COVID vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing serious and even moderate infection from the virus. If you have not already been vaccinated, consider speaking with your provider about what's best for you! Learn more here.


 
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