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PeaceHealth continues to monitor and prepare for novel coronavirus

March 2, 2020

With confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases increasing across the U.S., including in Oregon and Washington, PeaceHealth continues to actively monitor and prepare for the potential spread in its communities.

For the first time last week, more new cases were reported outside of China than inside, according to the World Health Organization. The CDC has issued additional travel health notices for countries experiencing sustained transmission of COVID-19. 

The total number of cases globally has now reached more than 90,000, with more than 80 reported cases in the U.S. At this time, no confirmed cases have been identified at any PeaceHealth facilities.

PeaceHealth has developed emergency preparedness plans and remains in close partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health agencies. A number of processes and precautions have been implemented at all PeaceHealth hospitals and clinics to ensure the safety of our patients, clinicians and caregivers:

  • Screening protocols to identify those who have traveled abroad or have symptoms.
  • Facilitating lab testing for patients who may be at risk.
  • Implementation of CDC-recommended isolation processes and procedures.
  • Assurance of adequate supplies of protective equipment in all locations, including masks and appropriate signage.

Calling ahead (updated 3/11/20)
We ask that patients call their healthcare provider’s office before arriving or scheduling an appointment if they are experiencing fever or respiratory infection symptoms (i.e. cough). This allows us to create a care plan that ensures the safety of our patients and caregivers.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

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About PeaceHealth
PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 1,200 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission.