COVID-19: Actions to Keep You SafeBy Terry Akin, Chief Executive Officer Cone Health / March 18, 2020
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As part of our comprehensive response to the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are taking a series of measures to help control the spread of this disease and to care for all those who need us, including each of you as our valued team members. This includes new childcare offerings, community screening procedures and our planned opening of drive-through collection sites and triage stations beginning Tuesday (March 17) throughout the communities we serve. Presently, we are testing numerous people in the community.
We continue to work closely and collaborate with local elected officials in Guilford, Alamance and Rockingham counties; our neighboring health systems; and local, state, and national health care agencies on our continued response. As our communities’ trusted health care provider, we are also reminding people of the importance of frequent hand washing, covering coughs and social distancing.
Here is what we have underway to support you and our communities:
Childcare for Our Team Members:
We have in place backup and crisis care options through Bright Horizons as well as options offered by community partners. I encourage you to review those here if needed.
Screening and Collection Procedures:
We are asking all those in our community who suspect they may have Coronavirus (COVID-19) to follow this two-step process – 1) complete a screening with a provider and 2) if needed, have a sample collected for testing. Here’s how that process will work.
Step 1: Screening
Those who have symptoms should do one of the following:
- Schedule a virtual visit (video or e-Visit) through Cone Health Connected Care here. Cone Health will provide e-visits to our community free of charge. We are also expanding our capacity to provide more e-visits.
- Call your primary care physician.
Step 2: Drive-Through Collection Sites
After the screening, if a physician or provider believes a patient should be tested for COVID-19, they will send the patient to one of the drive-through sites we are setting up now to have a sample collected for testing. The initial collection site will be in Greensboro at 300 Wendover Ave. Additional sites in Rockingham and Alamance counties are being developed. As of Tuesday, March 17, our Greensboro location at the CHAPS Building (300 Wendover Avenue) is open. Only people who have been screened and have a physician’s order will have samples collected at these sites.
Process for Those Who Present to Emergency Departments
- For those without a primary care doctor, we have triage stations set up in tents outside of our emergency departments at Alamance Regional Medical Center, Annie Penn Hospital, Moses Cone Hospital, Wesley Long Hospital and MedCenter High Point for both screening and collection. This will allow those with respiratory symptoms to be evaluated while limiting the spread of possible COVID-19 to others.
As a friendly reminder, for more information about COVID-19, and the signs and symptoms, and what we can all do to reduce the spread of the virus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website or conehealth.com/coronavirus.
There has never been a more important time for us to be “right here with” our communities. I am incredibly proud and humbled to work alongside each of you, and I thank you for the personal sacrifices you are making to support and care for all those we serve. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, and we will continue to keep you updated regularly.
Editor’s Note: At press time Wednesday, March 18, there was one confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Guilford County.