COVID-19 Information

ALERTS:

What MedStar Health is Doing

The health of our patients, physicians, staff and visitors is our top priority. Our clinicians are well prepared to accurately screen for risk of COVID-19 and respond immediately to prevent further spread. We are following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) so that patients affected by COVID-19 will be able to get the care they need while protecting the health and safety of our associates and the community at large.

All patients/visitors must wear a face mask throughout the duration of their visit. Visitors are expected to bring their own face mask. If they do not have one, a non-procedural face mask will be provided.

MedStar Health is a comprehensive system across the Maryland and Washington, D.C. region with hundreds of locations, including an extensive primary care and urgent care network, many telehealth options for urgent (eVisit) and non-urgent (Video Visit) care solutions, and acute care hospitals with world renowned experts in infectious disease and infection prevention.

The MedStar Health Research Institute is seeking potential plasma donors who had COVID-19 and are fully recovered. Please click here for more details. Click here to see a video regarding the study.

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please call ahead or take advantage of our telehealth application: MedStar eVisit. Please do not go directly to your doctor’s office without calling first, since many can isolate at home without being evaluated in person. You can also use our COVID-19 symptom checker by clicking here or texting COV19 to 77877.

Many non-urgent office visits are being done through Video Visits: Please click here for more details.

MedStar Health Video Visits

Don’t delay your care! Schedule a video visit with a MedStar Health provider today!
  • Call the office to see if a MedStar Health Video Visit is right for your appointment.
  • New patient appointments available.
  • Then, our team will schedule your visit just like we would a routine visit in the office.
  • Connect with your provider over secure video from your tablet, smartphone, or computer.

 

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Symptoms: What You Should Do

MedStar Health Coronavirus Symptoms Infographics

What should you do if you are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness (cough, fever and shortness of breath)?

While influenza and other viral syndromes are still more likely, there are steps you should take now that COVID-19 has been detected in our community.
 

 

Please consider the following actions:
 
Severe illness: If you are experiencing a medical emergency (such as severe shortness of breath, chest pain or altered mental status), please call 911 and request an ambulance.
 
Moderate or mild illness: In an effort to protect you, our care teams, and the general public we encourage you to use our COVID-19 symptom checker by clicking here or texting COV19 to 77877. Our interactive health chat allows you to assess your risk based on your symptoms and potential exposure, then directs you to appropriate options for further evaluation where needed. You can also view information related to prevention, travel, self-quarantine, and sign-up to receive ongoing updates and alerts about the coronavirus. You can also utilize telehealth to help screen and treat your illness.
We have clinicians available 24/7 through MedStar eVisit, our virtual urgent care platform. Enroll at MedStar-eVisit.com or download the free iOS or Android mobile app, MedStar eVisit, from the App Store.

MedStar eVisit site

If you are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, and do not wish to utilize MedStar eVisit, please do not go directly to your doctor’s office or emergency department without calling first. A phone call allows our team to determine the best location for you to be evaluated. In some cases this phone call may allow you to avoid an in-person evaluation, which helps minimize exposure to the public from those with less severe symptoms. If you choose to visit a clinic without calling, please utilize one of our 14 urgent care centers and place a mask on your face covering your nose and mouth as soon as you arrive to the clinic.
 
If you have an existing routine appointment in one of our outpatient offices, and you have respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you should call your physician office prior to the appointment to discuss how your care will best be served.

 

What is COVID-19?

What should I do if I experience symptoms? Will I need to be quarantined? Glenn Wortmann, MD, section director of Infectious Diseases at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and the medical director of Infection Prevention at the MedStar Institute of Quality and Safety, answers these and other commonly asked questions about COVID-19.

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Prevention

MedStar Health Coronavirus Prevention Infographics

 

Stop the Spread of Germs

All patients/visitors must wear a face mask throughout the duration of their visit. Visitors are expected to bring their own face mask. If they do not have one, a non-procedural face mask will be provided. We also provide our patients with alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the reception area as well as throughout each clinic. In addition, every member of our team performs hand hygiene protocols before, during, and after all appointments and procedures (e.g., hand washing with antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic hand wash). We wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when caring for all our patients. We also disinfect exam rooms between each patient.

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Frequently Asked Questions

MedStar Health Patient Care and Visitor Policy
A:
  • While many non-urgent in-person appointments, such as annual check-ups and other routine visits, have been postponed, your doctor and care team are available for you by telephone, video visit, or the myMedStar patient portal.
  • If you are sick and need care, we are here for you.
    • Please call the office for your provider, and your care team will advise on the best option for your care.
    • If you have a moderate or mild illness, particularly respiratory illness consistent with the symptoms of COVID-19, please consider getting care from your home using MedStar eVisit, our 24/7 urgent care telehealth platform.
    • Our MedStar Heath Urgent Care clinics remain open and available for your care. You can find their locations, hours of operation and online check-in here.
  • Urgent appointments will continue to be held. These will either be a MedStar eVisit, over the phone, or in person, based on your specific care needs.
  • If you are unable to reach your physician, you can always seek medical care via MedStar eVisit or, in the case of an emergency, go to one of our urgent care offices or emergency rooms throughout the region.
If you have any concerns, please contact your care team via phone or via the patient portal (www.mymedstar.org).
A: On Monday, March 23, we transitioned most of our physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology to Video Visits in combination with our home exercise program patient portal. We will continue to provide in-person therapy for patients who require care that cannot be delivered by the telehealth platform. If in-person therapy is required, we will contact you prior to each appointment to ensure you are feeling well. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to your therapy office to clarify your personal care plan.
A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new COVID-19 guidance recommending the use of face masks in public spaces. Patients and visitors are expected to wear a face mask throughout the duration of their visit/stay.
Patients will be provided with a face mask upon entering a MedStar Health facility.
Visitors are expected to bring their own face mask. If they do not have one, a non-procedural face mask will be provided.
Symptoms and Testing Information

 

Antibody Testing Information
COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing Information
A: Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
Other symptoms include:
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Inability to smell
A: Not everyone who feels sick needs to be tested. Given the limited number of testing supplies, tests should be conserved for people with severe symptoms and those at higher-risk for complications from COVID-19. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and want to be screened, you can do so through MedStar eVisit or our COVID-19 symptom checker by clicking here or texting COV19 to 77877. You may be referred to MedStar Health Urgent Care to be tested if you meet specific criteria. Note: test results can take up to 10 days to come back.

If you believe you have COVID-19, and you are sick with fever, cough, and have worsening difficulty breathing, seek medical care right away. Follow these steps:
  • Call your doctor's office before you go, even if you have already scheduled an appointment.
  • Tell them if you believe you have COVID-19.
  • Tell them about recent travel and close contacts (such as people in your household).
  • If you are advised to seek medical attention, upon arrival, we will place a mask on you to protect you and those around you.
A: To help reduce the spread of infection, you should isolate at home until you are contacted by your healthcare provider with your test results. Test results can take up to 10 days to return. If you have not heard from your healthcare provider within that period of time, or if your symptoms get worse, contact their office right away.
A: Current recommendations for those who test positive are to complete a period of self-isolation to avoid spreading the infection to others. Contact a healthcare provider to review your symptoms and determine how long your period of self-isolation should last. This will vary based on your symptoms and whether you are living with others who also tested positive.
A: Self-isolation and self-quarantine are two strategies to help reduce the spread of infection. If your healthcare provider recommends self-isolation, you should only leave the house for urgent medical issues. You should not go to the grocery store, pharmacy, or have visitors to your home. Distance yourself from others living in your home (for example, use a separate bathroom or sleeping quarters, if possible) and arrange to have critical items delivered or picked up by family members.
General COVID-19 Information
A: The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is a disease caused by a respiratory virus SARS-CoV-2, which is the same family of virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003. The COVID-19 virus was first identified in humans in 2019. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in hundreds of thousands of human infections, causing illness and in some cases, death. Cases have spread to countries throughout the world, with more cases reported daily. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
The World Health Organization advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus by following good hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and proper distancing.
A: COVID-19 is thought to be able to spread like the cold or flu through:
  • Coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it
A: The vast majority of people recover from this infection. Most people will have mild or moderate symptoms. Some people may be advised to recover at home and isolate themselves from others. These individuals should call their physicians or health care practitioners if their symptoms get worse. Some COVID-19 infections can lead to serious illness, and in some cases death. If someone develops a more serious illness from COVID-19, they may be admitted to the hospital. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for serious illness. Examples of pre-existing conditions are: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, underlying lung disease, or other conditions impacting the ability of the body’s immune system to fight germs.
A: Not yet. However, many experts around the world are working to develop one. As with any new vaccine, it must be carefully studied to make certain it is safe and effective. It will likely take more than a year for a COVID-19 vaccine to become readily available. There is also no specific medicine currently available to cure COVID-19. However, for people who are severely ill with COVID-19, medical care can help manage the symptoms.
Life and Travel Recommendations

 

MedStar Health’s infectious disease and incident preparedness experts are closely monitoring developments and coordinating with national and local health authorities, and we will update this information as the situation evolves.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: MedStar Health hospitals and MedStar Health urgent care facilities will accept reimbursement of $51.31 for the COVID-19 test using either CPT Code 87635 or HCPCS code U0002 (as applicable) and $100 for COVID-19 testing using either HCPCS code U0003 or U0004.

 

Updated June 17, 2020, 3:45 p.m.

 

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