COVID-19 Information Update
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Acute Care Hospital Phase 2 Reopen Attestation
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Acute Care Hospital Phase 1 Reopen Attestation
COVID-19 Testing Frequently Asked Questions
Holyoke Medical Center staff are working hard to ensure the highest degree of patient and employee safety. We are taking measures to promptly identify and isolate any potential exposure.
Effective immediately, the following measures are in place:
- Entrance to the hospital is restricted to the Main Entrance and Emergency Department
As per the current guidelines published by The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, VHS will permit visitors to visit patients receiving care at the facility. Visitors will not be allowed to visit patients who have a positive COVID-19 test and are infectious.
The process of managing the visitors will be as follows:
- Visiting hours for the patients will be between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
- Only one (1) visitor will be allowed per patient at a time
- All visitors will be screened at the point of entry by designated screeners for possible signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- A visitor with the following symptoms will not be permitted in the
- Fever ≥ 100◦ F
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- A new onset of loss of taste or smell
- Symptom-free visitors will be allowed to enter the facility after the application of the wrist band.
- All visitors will be required to perform hand hygiene at the front door.
- All visitors will be required to wear a face mask in the facility at all times and practice social distancing.
- This policy is applicable for the visitors of the Emergency Department patients.
- Other visitation requests (e.g. end of life situations) will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Community Education Programs
- Please check our calendar for updates on programs
- All vendors are restricted. Alternate arrangements have been made based on necessity
Thank you for your cooperation, as we work together to keep our community healthy.
Request for Donations
Holyoke Medical Center would like to take this opportunity to thank our community for the outpouring of offers for help during this very challenging time amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus 2019) Information Update
Holyoke Medical Center is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) and is coordinating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health officials to take every precaution to prepare us to provide safe care to all of our patients, including those who may present with COVID-19 symptoms.
How is Holyoke Medical Center responding to COVID-19?
Holyoke Medical Center has established a multidisciplinary task force to ensure the highest degree of public and patient safety. Efforts underway include:
- Updating ED and ambulatory screening protocols to identify patients who may have a higher risk of rapidly detect patients with possible COVID-19
- Updating the screening tools in our electronic health record to flag patients with possible COVID-19
- Physician, provider and employee education – Meetings were hosted to update providers and employees on the COVID-19 disease and to ensure collective understanding and action to prevent disease transmission and to support symptomatic patients
- Resource planning and allocation
What should I do if I am a patient at Holyoke Medical Center?
All outpatient testing and scheduled procedures are continuing without interruption both at the main campus and at all satellite locations. However, some changes in flow through the facility such as entry and exit points, waiting areas, etc. are necessary.
If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19:
Before you go to a doctor’s office, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms or potential COVID-19 exposure.
What are Coronaviruses?
The cause of this outbreak has been identified as a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), or COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause symptoms ranging from the common cold to severe respiratory illness.
Other coronaviruses include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Holyoke Medical Center has substantial experience evaluating and caring for patients with possible coronaviruses infections.
How does COVID-19 spread?
Coronaviruses are typically spread from person-to-person when in close contact. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.
What are the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection?
For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms or mild cold symptoms to people being severely sick. Most people who become sick from COVID-19 — approximately 80 percent — do not require hospitalization.
Common symptoms of a COVID-19 infection may include:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
Persons who are elderly, unable to develop a normal immune response, or have other comorbidities, such as heart disease or liver disease, are at higher risk of developing severe pneumonia and dying from the disease. Symptoms of the coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.
How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?
The CDC recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough, or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash. Then wash your hands with soap and water.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses is to:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Stay home and do not travel when you are sick.
- Wear a face mask in public.
Should I wear a face mask?
A face mask must be worn to enter all facilities.
For more information about masks and other Personal Protective Equipment, see the CDC’s webpage on Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Protective Equipment.
Where can I go for up-to-date information?
Facts about COVID-19, situation updates and travel guidance can be found at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus website.
You can find more information about the virus on the following websites:
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- World Health Organization
- Real-time dashboard of outbreak spread
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
If you are a patient and have additional questions, please contact your healthcare provider.