Coronavirus Latest Updates

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Coronavirus: Need to Know

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Maintaining a Safe and Effective Care Environment

A safe and effective care environment is our highest priority, and Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) hospitals and medical practices have undertaken necessary steps to protect our patients and workforce as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves.

On this site, you will find the most up-to-date information on our patient and visitor guidelines, as well as details about testing that is being conducted on some of our hospital campuses, by appointment only. In addition, information is available on how to donate supplies or make a contribution to our health network.

Thank you for your support. 


Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information.  You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips.

Our Plans for Care

All WMCHealth hospitals and medical practices have long-standing and the most up-to-date protocols in place to respond to infectious diseases. These protocols include, but are not limited to:

  • Strict adherence to care guidelines
  • Protective attire
  • The use of negative-pressure environments to contain airborne pathogens
  • We routinely train our staff on these protocols and protocol adherence is monitored by infection prevention specialists

As an added safety precaution, multilingual signs are present at key hospital entry points asking patients and visitors to share their potential for exposures, such as recent travel, symptoms and local exposure.

If a patient arrives at a WMCHealth member hospital or medical practice with a suspicion of COVID-19 exposure or if key symptoms are present, the patient will be masked and escorted to an isolated and contained area for additional evaluation and care in cooperation with public health agencies, such as the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Our Commitment

WMCHealth is committed to providing a safe and comfortable care environment for patients, their families and our staff at all of our member hospitals and medical practices throughout the Hudson Valley. Our care specialists are working collaboratively with public health agencies and closely monitoring COVID-19 developments.

Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov  for additional information.  You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips.

 Some common questions, with answers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19):

Symptoms, Spread and Treatment

Q.        What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

A.        Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses that usually last for a short amount of time with symptoms including: runny nose; headache; cough; sore throat; fever and a general feeling of being unwell. In some cases, human coronaviruses can cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with respiratory and cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants and older adults.

Q.        How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

A.        Anyone exhibiting a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever with a general feeling of being unwell should see a healthcare provider. Importantly, notify your healthcare provider about potential exposures, such as international travel within the past 30 days.

Q.        How is COVID-19 transmitted?

A.        COVID-19 is transmitted via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory infections are spread.

Q.        How is COVID-19 treated?

A.        There is no specific treatment for coronavirus at this time beyond general care one might receive for respiratory infection.

Precautions:

Q.        Are there precautions I can take to protect myself from COVID-19?

A.        The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Q.        I received the flu vaccination. Will my flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

A.        The flu vaccine is not known to prevent COVID-19.

Q.        Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

A.        There is no vaccine at this time.

Q.        Should I wear a facemask to protect myself?

A.        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates its protection guidelines regularly.  For the most current guidelines, please visit CDC.gov.

Q.        What precautions/actions is WMCHealth taking to manage the situation?

A.        All WMCHealth hospitals and medical practices follow stringent infection prevention protocols. These protocols include, but are not limited to, strict adherence to care guidelines, protective attire and the use of negative-pressure environments to contain airborne pathogens. We routinely train our staff in these protocols and protocol adherence is monitored by infection prevention specialists.

As an added safety precaution, multilingual signs are present at key hospital entry points asking visitors to share their potential for recent exposure.

 Updated: April 3, 2020


Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information.  You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips. 

Visitation

New visitation restrictions will be in effect.

  • In general, patients will not be allowed visitors. 
  • Exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances, including those receiving end-of-life care.  
  • Please visit your local hospital’s website for information about visitation and COVID-19.

Thermal Scanning

We are now using thermal scanning to check all approved visitors for fever.  To protect the health and safety of our patients and our workforce, you must also protect your own health to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

  •  WMCHealth protocols during this time require that all visitors are fever-free for at least 72 hours before entering the hospital.

While a fever is a symptom of COVID-19 – it can also be a symptom of many other illnesses. If you are concerned about your fever, please reach out directly to your primary care physician. We will continue to scan any approved visitors for fever. Once you are fever free for 72 hours and without symptoms of illness, you can return for screening, and then visitation after screening.

While visitor restrictions are in place there are other methods to facilitate communication including: 

  •  Phone
  • Facetime 
  • Our website offers an e-greeting card option so that friends and family can send greetings and well wishes
  • We are happy to work with your loved one on this to provide other options

Temporary Changes in Outpatient Services

To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is making several temporary changes to our ambulatory and outpatient services to ensure that we are able to care for our patients in a safe and effective care environment in our hospitals and medical practices.

Elective Ambulatory Services/Ambulatory Procedures/Ambulatory Surgeries

Non-essential ambulatory services, procedures and surgeries will be postponed.

 We will be working with patients to ensure they receive the service and care they need during this time period.

Outpatient Clinics

Non-essential outpatient clinic (adult and pediatric) visits will be postponed.  

We will be working with patients to ensure they receive the service and care they need during this time period.

Advanced Physician Services

Non-essential visits to all Advanced Physician Services practices will be postponed.

We will be working with patients to ensure they receive the service and care they need, including the use of both in-person and telemedicine options, during this time period.

WMCHealth’s 10 hospitals, and our emergency departments, are open to care for our patients. 

Please refer to our website for updates on what you need to know before coming to one of our facilities or medical practices. 

Updated: March 25, 2020


Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information.  You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips. 

WMCHealth COVID-19 Specimen Collection for Testing

The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) will provide appointment-only drive-through coronavirus (COVID-19) specimen collection on specific network campuses.

Please visit the website  of your local WMCHealth hospital for additional information.

A referral from a WMCHealth physician is mandatory and specimen collection will be conducted only by appointment.

Current or former WMCHealth patients who are experiencing symptoms that may indicate illness need to contact their physician’s office to be screened. Current and former patients who meet the current screening criteria will then be given an appointment for drive-through testing. 

Updated: March 29, 2020


Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information.  You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips.

Support Our WMCHealth Heroes

Our WMCHealth Heroes are working diligently to serve and protect our patients and workforce as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves.

Help support our efforts to care for all patients by making a gift to your local hospital.

To Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We are appreciative of community members who have connected us to legitimate resources for the following:

  • N95 masks
  • Surgical masks
  • Face shields or goggles
  • Fluid resistant isolation gowns
  • Non-latex (nitrile) gloves

We ask that no one deliver materials directly to our hospitals.

If you are aware of such resources in the community or have materials to donate, please contact us at supplies@wmchealth.org. 

Updated: March 31, 2020