COVID-19 FAQs

We are committed to providing clear recommendations and guidance. The health and safety of our community is our top priority. 

 

COVID-19 Admissions, Discharges, and Deaths

Below is a trend of our total COVID-19 related admissions, discharges, and deaths.

Through June 30th, our care teams have:

  • Admitted 1,914 patients
  • Discharged 1,581 patients
  • Unfortunately, had 180 patients succumb to COVID-19
  • Achieved a 90% overall survival rate—among the highest seen in globally published data

COVID-19 Admissions, Discharges, & Deaths

 

Additional Resources 

General Information

 
A medical emergency can happen at any time. Every second counts when it comes to caring for someone who has had a life-threatening medical event (such as a heart attack, stroke, neck injury or severe allergic reaction). If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1. Emergency workers know what to do. And emergencies don’t stop for COVID-19.

In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do NOT drive to the hospital and only let someone else drive you when you cannot reach Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Ambulances are equipped to begin treatment on the way to the hospital.

All of our clinical sites have an Infection Prevention and Control team to ensure patient safety. If you have a cough or fever, we will ask you to wear a mask when in one of our facilities to protect both you and others. We will also wear protective equipment when taking care of you so we do not spread infections between patients. Because the virus may survive on surfaces for some time, we wipe down commonly used areas several times a day with disinfectants. Plus, when possible, we ask that you avoid bringing family members to appointments as it increases exposure. We will continue to work with state and local officials to stay up to date on the latest developments.

Please check back regularly for the most up to date information on screening and other questions and thank you for trusting Emory Healthcare for your health care needs.

  • Our prior postponement of care visits or procedures for many patients that were not urgent or emergent was necessary to ensure that we had supplies, equipment and staff to take care of the increased numbers of critically ill patients needing urgent care in our facilities due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Because effective and continued social distancing has flattened the curve and reduced the number of patients needing hospitalization for COVID-19, we have been able to resume time-sensitive and essential care in coordination with other metro Atlanta health care systems. We have the staff and supplies to allow for surgeries, procedures, and office visits to be performed as needed.

  • If your physician has advised you to go ahead at this time with care for your condition at one of our facilities, please know that we are able to deliver that care with extensive safety measures in place. We care about your safety and your health. Choosing to forgo care recommended by your provider can increase your risk of long-term worsened health outcomes.

  • Your health and well-being are our top priorities. Decisions to proceed with surgery or procedure/office visit are made on a patient by patient basis and should involve a conversation with your physician.
  • Your physician understands your medical condition. If he/she has recommended that you go ahead with care at our facility, your physician would have made this decision after considering benefit, risk, and alternatives. Emory Healthcare has taken many steps to help ensure your safety during this time.

Yes, our Emory Healthcare providers can provide care using telehealth when it is clinically appropriate. They will contact you and assist in coordinating a telehealth visit when appropriate. 

If your healthcare provider has reached out to you about Emory Connected Care, please visit our page to learn more about accessing your virtual appointment. 

Yes. The platform Emory uses is Enterprise Zoom for Healthcare, a more secure version of Zoom's video conferencing products. During this unprecedented time, we are also able to use FaceTime, Google Duo, Google Hangouts, or other videoconferencing platforms to conduct your visit.

Staff and physicians undergo temperature checks and regular symptom screenings. Our staff is also required not to come to work if they are sick, and they are immediately referred for COVID-19 testing if they develop any symptoms. Our staff at work are provided masks which they are required to wear.

We have adjusted our policies and procedures to ensure we prioritize patient and staff safety. Visitors are permitted only in limited circumstances. You may have a visitor accompany you to your procedure, but they will be asked to leave while you are having your surgery, procedure or office visit. We understand the desire of loved ones to be together during illness or hospitalization, and we are utilizing technology to provide connectivity during hospital stays.

Your physician and nurses will communicate with identified person(s) by phone. Your nurse will coordinate your discharge plans and notify them when it is time to pick you up. If you are admitted to the hospital following your procedure, your care team will maintain communication with one identified person of your choice.

  • We thoroughly clean equipment and exam, procedural and operating rooms between each patient. We also clean common areas like waiting areas, restrooms and elevators frequently, all using products that are known to kill the virus that causes COVID-19.

For those who sew, your time and talent are greatly appreciated for a project with a purpose: Making fabric masks. 

Every hospital in the country is monitoring its supply chain closely, as there is the potential for shortages.  Many people have asked about providing much-needed supplies. We welcome donations of certain medical supplies.

COVID - 19 Information

 

The 2019 novel coronavirus disease is a new type of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The name of this disease is abbreviated as COVID-19. It is part of the family of viruses that cause the common cold and result in a range of flu-like symptoms.  

This virus is spread person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This occurs between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Droplets from coughing or sneezing can land in your nose or mouth, or on nearby surfaces. The virus can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes. Avoid unnecessary contact (e.g. shaking hands) and perform hand hygiene before and after patient contact and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces to prevent spread.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs are a quick and effective way to sanitize your hands Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with disposable tissue
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

“Flatten the curve” refers to the rate of COVID-19 infection over time. Implementing social distancing, stay-at-home orders and other measures can help “flatten the curve” by reducing the number of people who are infected within a specific time period. A slower infection rate also lowers the demand for health care services at any one time and spreads this demand over a longer period of time. The goal is for the need for healthcare services never to exceed the capacity of our healthcare resources.

#FlattenTheCurveGA

People are thought to be most contagious when they have the most symptoms, such as cough. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms – there have been reports of this occurring, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads from adults. On the other hand, children may have no or mild symptoms and spread the virus within families, which may account of much of the “asymptomatic transmission” that has been observed. Adults may be contagious with only mild symptoms, which is why it is so important that we monitor ourselves closely.

Based on current data, this virus does not stay suspended in air like Tuberculosis (TB) from coughing or sneezing (see above for more on how is spread).

Although most people who are infected by COVID-19 develop mild illness, some patients may be at increased risk for severe illness. Cancer patients who are under active cancer treatment are generally going to be at higher risk for complications of infection with COVID-19, especially patients who have had a recent bone marrow or stem cell transplant and have severely compromised immune systems. Also, older adults and those with medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic medical problems are at higher risk for complications.

The best method of protection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Patients should stay out of public areas, avoid social gatherings, and avoid close contact with other people. The virus can travel up to 6 feet in respiratory droplets from another person’s sneeze or cough, so they should keep 6 six feet between themselves and others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends other everyday preventive measures such as vigorous hand-washing. We should counsel our patients to follow all of these recommended precautions. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) offers more information specific to cancer patients and COVID-19.

There is no vaccine at present, but Emory researchers are joining worldwide efforts at developing one as rapidly as possible. Emory University also is taking part in a National Institutes of Health sponsored global clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of therapeutic agents in hospitalized adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19, learn more here.

Symptoms

 

We continue to get new information about symptoms and signs of COVID-19 infection. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, and congestion, but we are also seeing reports of diarrhea and loss of smell. Less than 10% of patients have more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, new confusion, or inability to arouse.

If you think you have COVID-19, the best thing to do is stay home and isolate yourself. Always call your health care provider before going to the office. Avoid going to an emergency room unless you have any or all of these symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Persistent high fevers
  • Worsening symptoms after you initially started to feel better

Your health care provider will determine if you need to be tested. Testing is most important if you have symptoms of a fever or respiratory infection and one of the following: 

  • Are sick enough to need to be in a hospital.
  • Have risk factors for a more severe infection such as heart, lung, or kidney disease, diabetes or a compromised immune system.
  • Work or live in a communal setting (e.g. a hospital, daycare, college dorm, or nursing home).

  • Most people who have COVID-19 infection are mildly ill and improve with supportive care like resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Mild symptoms include low-grade fever, cough, and congestion similar to what you might have with the common cold.
  • We recommend that you continue to isolate yourself while you have symptoms. You should stay home and should not go to work, spend time in public areas, or take public transportation, use a ride-sharing service or take a taxi.
  • You should try to stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from anyone else in your house if that is possible. Continue to wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough or sneeze.
  • We recommend people stay isolated for at least a week after the onset of their symptoms, or for three days after their fever is gone and symptoms have significantly-improved, whichever one of those is longer.

  • If you do develop worsening symptoms such as difficulty breathing, you should call ahead to your doctor's office. They can help direct you to either their office or an emergency department for further evaluation. If you need to go to the doctor or ER, you should wear a mask. If you do not have a mask at home, please request one when you arrive.
  • If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room. Be sure to let them know of your concern for COVID-19 (coronavirus).

If you are symptomatic, stay home, self-isolate and call the COVID information line at 404-71-COVID (404-712-6843) for guidance. If you are asymptomatic, you may continue to work and should self-monitor for symptoms.

The federal government has committed to making testing free. You will not be receiving a bill from Emory Healthcare for the test. If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19, additional services, including hospital admission (if applicable), will be covered according to your insurance plan details.

Emory is testing patients for COVID-19 according to the CDC and public health criteria. If you were referred to Emory to get tested, Emory’s COVID clinic team will call you with test results 5-7 business days after your test. Please do not call in to inquire about your results; only the COVID clinic team has the information to give you and they will call you as soon as they can to deliver your test results. 

Yes, if your provider advises you to self-isolate based on CDC guidelines, you may request a note.

See the following links at the CDC for further info on self-isolation guidance:

Screening and Testing

 

Emory Healthcare Network collaborates with Peachtree Immediate Care and MinuteClinic of CVS Health for urgent and walk-in care. Detailed information about their COVID-19 evaluations and screenings locations can be found on their web sites at: 

Additional Resources

 

For Employees

 

All Emory Healthcare employees should refer to our intranet site and their email for current updates.