Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

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Updated June 4, 2020

The University of Toledo and The University of Toledo Medical Center continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on keeping our employees, students, patients and visitors safe. We are working with the Ohio Department of Health and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, as well as following the guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

UTMC has taken a number of proactive steps to ensure we can safely continue our mission of providing quality healthcare to our neighbors in South Toledo and surrounding areas and communities.

  • All UTMC employees and physicians must wear masks or cloth face coverings while in the hospital. We’re also requiring all patients and guests who enter to wear cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.
  • We continue with visitor restrictions to minimize the number of people in the hospital and help prevent the spread of disease. Exceptions may be made for those who are accompanying minors or individuals who need assistance with day-to-day activities and for immediate family of patients who are receiving end-of-life care.
  • UTMC is screening all patients for COVID-19 symptoms when scheduling appointments. All admitted patients will be tested for COVID-19. Patients scheduled for out-patient surgeries also will be tested for COVID-19 prior to their procedure.
  • We’re checking temperatures for all employees, patients and visitors who enter UTMC. And the hospital has incorporated social distancing policies throughout our facilities, including our clinic waiting rooms.
  • We’ve added additional telehealth capabilities for patients who need non-emergency care and prefer to avoid in-person visits.

COVID-19 Basics

What Is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, China, late last year. It is not the same as the coronaviruses that cause the common cold, or the viruses that cause seasonal influenza.

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Other symptoms may include muscle aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, congestion or runny nose, headache and loss of taste or smell. Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after an exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 and can ranged from mild infections to severe illnesses requiring hospitalization. The WHO notes that about 80% of those who are infected recover without requiring specialized treatment.

Experts continue to learn about COVID-19, but the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through small respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy and do not travel far. The CDC notes being within approximately 6 feet of someone with the illness for a prolonged period of time or having direct contact with infectious secretions (such as being coughed on) are the most common ways the infection is spread. It is possible people can be infected by touching objects contaminated with the virus, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth, but this is not the main way the virus spreads.

What Can I Do To Protect Myself?

The CDC recommends people take the same preventative actions they would for any respiratory disease.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people of at least 6 feet.
  • Use a mask to cover your mouth and nose while around other people.

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19, though researchers are working to develop one.

What Should I Do If I Feel Sick?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever or chills and symptoms, such as cough shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) advises you should call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Your healthcare professional will work with guidelines from local and/or state public health officials to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. The CDC has a “self-checker” tool available online to help with decisions about seeking appropriate medical care.

For those who are mildly ill, the ODH offers the following guidelines:

  • Stay at home except to get medical care. People with mild symptoms from COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not visit public spaces, and avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
  • Monitor your symptoms and stay in touch with your doctor. Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening, such as experiencing difficulty breathing. Call ahead before you seek medical care. Call 911 if you have a medical emergency and notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.
  • Avoid other people and pets. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people and pets in your home.
  • Wear a cloth face covering.  While around other people or animals cover your nose and mouth with a cloth face covering. Try to maintain at least a 6 foot distance from others. You don’t need to wear a face covering if you are alone.


Individuals who suspect they may have COVID-19 are encouraged to call their primary care physician, or the Toledo Lucas County Health Department at 419.251.4000 (English only) or 419.291.5355 (multilingual).

 

What To Know About UTMC and COVID-19

How is UTMC responding to the pandemic?

UTMC is well prepared to serve the needs of the South Toledo and surrounding communities. We have taken a careful and deliberate approach to ensure the safety of our patients and employees as we continue to treat COVID-19 cases while returning to more normal clinical operations. In January, UTMC established a multidisciplinary team to lead our planning and response. That group, which includes infectious disease experts, continues to monitor developments daily.

The hospital has expanded the number of airborne infection isolation rooms in our facility and continues to separate those with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from other patients. We have put in place new social distancing guidelines and are carefully monitoring all patients who enter our hospital and clinics. We continue to follow and implement evidence-based best practices for diagnosing and treating COVID-19 and have the ability to expand our capacity for COVID-19 patients if needed.

We also know our community has other healthcare needs, from mending broken bones to managing chronic conditions. We’ve taken steps to ready our clinics for face-to-face visits and expanded our telemedicine capabilities to ensure we’re prepared to meet the needs of our community.

Can I see my doctor? Does UTMC offer telehealth services?

All of UTMC’s clinics are open and currently seeing patients. Prior to setting an appointment, our schedulers will go through a questionnaire to screen for COVID-19 symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, you will have the choice of an in-person or telehealth visit.

If you have symptoms that could suggest COVID-19, a telehealth visit will be scheduled with your primary care physician. Your provider may request you be tested for COVID-19.

To schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment, call 419.383.4000.

Is the UTMC Emergency Room open?

The UTMC Emergency Department remains open and fully staffed to rapidly address cuts, broken bones, chest pain and other emergent issues.

If you are having a medical emergency, please dial 911.

Do I have to wear a mask to my appointment?

UTMC is requiring everyone who enters our facilities to wear a mask or cloth face covering over their nose and mouth. We request that you bring your own mask, but we will provide masks if that is not possible.

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

UTMC continues to follow the guidance of the Ohio Department of Health on COVID-19 testing. Currently, ODH is emphasizing testing of patients who are most severely ill, patients who are moderately ill with a high risk of complications — such as those who are elderly and those with serious medical issues — and individuals who are critical to providing care and service to those who are ill.

Additionally, on May 7, UTMC implemented COVID-19 testing on all patient hospital admission, including outpatient elective procedures.

At this time, individuals are not able to request a test if they are not symptomatic. For more information on testing in our community, please call the Toledo Lucas County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline at 419.251.4000 (English only) or 419.291.5355 (multilingual).

How is UTMC working with other hospitals and health providers?

UTMC’s pathology laboratory launched testing for COVID-19 on March 24, 2020 with the ability to deliver results in less than 48 hours. UTMC is working closely with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and other area hospitals to provide this lab service.

UTMC continues to work with regional hospitals and the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio to share knowledge and resources.

Are Visitors Permitted?

To minimize the number of people in the hospital and help prevent the spread of disease, UTMC continues to have visitor restrictions. Please note this restriction does not apply to those who are accompanying minors or individuals who need assistance with day-to-day activities. Exceptions also may be made for immediate family of patients who are receiving end-of-life care. Visitors are required to wear a cloth face covering while in the hospital. Clergy will be addressed on a cases by cases circumstance at end of life.


Are UTMC Outpatient Pharmacies Still Open?

Our outpatient pharmacies continue to fill prescriptions. To help protect the health of patients and pharmacy employees, outpatient pharmacies are now offering curbside pickup of prescription medications and a limited number of over-the-counter medications. Curbside pickup is the only service offered at Main Campus Pharmacy.

As an additional service specifically for UToledo employees and their dependents, prescription medications also can be mailed directly to homes at no additional cost.

How Do I Schedule A Pickup Or Order By Mail?

Refills can be ordered for either curbside pickup or mail order by phone, online, or via the RXLOCAL smartphone app. New orders for existing patients must be processed by phone or through the app. When ordering, patients are asked to notify the pharmacy of their preference for curbside pickup or mail delivery.

New patients are requested to call the pharmacy to speak with a staff member.

For locations, hours of operation, and telephone numbers, please visit the UTMC outpatient pharmacy website.

Please note, not all prescriptions will be able to filled on the same day as requested.

Is the Bistro Still Open? What About the Gift Shop?

The Bistro will remain open with a limited menu and food will be provided exclusively via take-out containers. The Market Café coffee shop also is open.

The UTMC Satellites Gift Shop is currently closed.


 

Last Updated: 6/4/20