A Message to Our Community

As the recent global pandemic of coronavirus has affected our communities worldwide, we at Westchester General Hospital are committed to serve our community by giving them the best care possible to ensure our patients, their families, and our community remains safe.

Visitor Restrictions

For the health and safety of our patients, families, and employees, the following guidelines have been implemented:

  • No visitors are permitted unless previously approved
  • Everyone must check-in at the Emergency Department Entrance

Patients are encouraged to use electronic devices, such as smart phones or tablets, utilizing applications like FaceTime or Skype to connect with family, friends, and loved ones.

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus Disease 2019 abbreviated as COVID-19 is a rapidly spreading respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It is a part of a family of viruses that cause the common cold and result in a range of flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 was first described in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and since then has become a global pandemic affecting over 2,000,000 individuals in more than 185 countries resulting in more than 130,000 deaths worldwide.

Watch for symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of Smell
  • Loss of taste

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Who is at risk?

Based on the most current information available, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, although ANYONE can contract the disease.

Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • People who are 65 years of age or older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
    • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatments, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease

How does the virus spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close person-to-person contact by respiratory droplets from someone who is infected. People who are infected often have symptoms of illness, however, some people, without symptoms, may be able to spread virus.

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads and the severity of illness it causes.

Person-to-Person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that people who are not showing symptoms may spread COVID-19.
  • Maintaining good social distance (6 feet) is very important in preventing the disease.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that 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 possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-base rub. Also routinely clean frequently touched surfaces

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

There are laboratory tests that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. The CDC has distributed tests to state and local public health departments. Some medical providers and private hospitals have tests that were developed by commercial manufacturers.

Where can I get tested?

Center Address Phone Number Comments
Hard Rock Stadium 347 Don Shula Drive Miami Gardens (305) 499-8767 Open daily

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Larkin Community Hospital

Palm Springs Campus

1475 West 49th Street Hialeah (305) 830-0790 By appointment only
Marlins Park 501 Marlins Way Miami (305) 499-8767 Only seniors 65 years

and older

By appointment only

Cleveland Clinic Florida Krupa Center

3250 Meridian Pkwy Weston

(954) 659-5951 Open weekdays from

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

By appointment only

Broward Health Address to be disclosed when a caller makes an appointment. (954) 320-5730 Patients must have a written prescription from a physician

to be tested

and

call Broward Health at

954-320-5730

for an appointment

National Guard and Memorial Healthcare System C.B. Smith Park

900 N. Flamingo Road Pembroke Pines

(954) 276-4340 Open daily from

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Must have symptoms of COVID-19 and fall into

one of three categories:

● Healthcare Worker or

First Responder

● Seniors aged 65 or older

● Recently traveled abroad

Are there any treatments for COVID-19?

There are no definite treatments for COVID-19 disease. Currently, the recommended treatment regimens are being utilized. Please refer to CDC for further information.

Flatten the Curve

“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.

Prevention

These are some recommendations to help preventive the spread of COVID-19. You will notice these are similar to the recommendations for flu and cold spread prevention.

  1. Wash your hands. This is one of the most important things you can do – regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant, particularly of heavily used items like desks, phones, doorknobs, etc.
  3. Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth and eyes.
  4. Stay home if you are sick.
  5. If you have to sneeze, cough or blow your nose, use a tissue and immediately throw it away in a closed bin.

Community level prevention

If COVID-19 is spreading within your community, public health officials may ask you to take extra precautions. These may include:

  • Social distancing: keeping at least 6 feet between you and others.
  • Stay home if someone else in your household is sick so that you do not pass the virus to others.
  • Cancel or postpone events with large crowds.
  • Set up a separate room for sick household members.
  • Check in with family and friends who live alone — especially if they have chronic diseases.
  • Ask friends and family to check in with you if you become sick.

Additional Resources

Information regarding COVID-19 is changing on a day to day basis as we get more information regarding the virus. To stay up-to-date with recommendations and information, please visit the following resources provided.