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Notice of COVID-19 screening process

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The State of Washington has declared a State of Emergency related to the 19-Novel Corona Virus. Lincoln Hospital will be implementing specific screening processes to rule out patients who may have been exposed and are sick.

Guidance from the Washington State Department of Health is as follows:

What should I do if I feel sick?

Remember the guidance coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from the Washington State Department of Health: If you’re sick, stay home. Seek medical care if you have trouble breathing or if your symptoms worsen. Otherwise, sick people should stay home.

A common question right now is, “Why can’t I get tested?” The answer: Not everyone needs to be tested. And, people with flu-like symptoms are not being tested for COVID-19 unless they meet certain criteria set by the CDC. The criteria are set by the CDC as a condition of the FDA-approved emergency use authorization, which allows new tests to be used in an emergency situation on high-risk people only.

That criteria has widened in the last week to include people who are hospitalized with symptoms that are otherwise unexplained. That is in addition to testing people with travel history, and people with contacts to a known case. These criteria may evolve to include more people over time, as this situation is evolving rapidly.

If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, new cough, and new shortness of breath and feel you need to be seen, please call your primary care provider or the hospital prior to coming into the facility for guidance on what to do.

Patients that present to the clinic or the hospital should immediately place a mask on and then will be screened at the front desk for symptoms, travel and exposure to other sick people. You will be asked the following questions:

  1. Are you running a fever
  2. Do you have symptoms of a lower respiratory infection
  3. In the past 14 days have you had close contact with a lab-confirmed 19-Novel Corona Virus patient.
  4. Where have you traveled in the past 14 days

If you answer yes to two or more of these questions you will be asked to provide your cell phone number, make and model of your auto and to return to your car for staff to come get you to be examined. This time is necessary in order for us to prepare to treat you while properly protecting other patients.

Thank you for helping us to keep exposure at a minimum.

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