COVID-19 Letter to Our Patients
With news reports about the coronavirus (COVID-19) changing daily, it’s understandable to feel concerned and even a bit anxious. I want to assure you that Cone Health is prepared to keep you safe should the virus come to the communities we serve.
We have been monitoring this evolving global health issue closely; conferring with the local and state health departments, as well as with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and holding regular meetings focused on our emergency preparedness protocols. We have the supplies, staffing and space identified to serve patients who may need us and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to provide the exceptional care you’ve come to expect.
Together, we can reduce the risk of exposure to the virus and help you and your family remain healthy and safe. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to wash your hands frequently using soap and water. Also, you should avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. You can find more prevention tips on our website.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses like the flu. These include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have recently traveled to one of the affected countries and now feel sick, call ahead before visiting your doctor’s office, urgent care clinic or emergency room. Your doctor will let you know what to do next and if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Cone Health also offers virtual visits 24/7/365. To learn more, visit our website.
Out of an abundance of caution, we, in collaboration with other health systems, have expanded visitor restrictions to help control the spread of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 and to protect the health of our patients, their loved ones and our staff. The expanded restrictions apply to all Cone Health hospitals – Alamance Regional Medical Center, Annie Penn Hospital, Behavioral Health Hospital, Moses Cone Hospital and Wesley Long Hospital.
We are asking those who are not immediate family members to avoid visiting patients in our hospitals unless absolutely necessary – even if visitors are healthy and regardless of age. Our team will work with families who have special circumstances, such as the need to visit a critically ill or injured family member, on a case-by-case basis.
Cone Health will continue to be right here with all those we serve, whatever the circumstances. It is a true privilege and honor to care for our communities.
Bruce Swords, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Executive, Cone Health