Letter to Mission Patients re: Coronavirus

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Dear Patients,

The world health community continues to monitor closely the emergence of the “Coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). The fact that the seasonal influenza (flu) virus is also widespread, we are taking proactive steps to address several concerns. Please keep on reading to get all of the information.

  • Call First!  The overall objective of this message is to urge all patients to call our clinic prior to their appointment if they have any reason to suspect that they have either been exposed to the Coronavirus or if they believe they have symptoms (fever, difficulty breathing, and/or coughing) that could be the Coronavirus.
  • Visitor Restrictions.  Please also know that visitor restrictions are now in effect at all des moines area hospitals and mission cancer + blood clinics and chemotherapy suites (read further below for additional information on the Visitor restrictions. 
  • Coronavirus Hotline:  A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.

As we monitor the spread of coronavirus please take steps to avoid contact with anyone known to have a respiratory illness, or who have returned from an area known to have active coronavirus activity.

The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (about 6 feet). Spread occurs from respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes that land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible to get coronavirus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include:
• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

Reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill with risk of death. Older patients and those with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness. There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus but those with coronavirus can receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Currently, testing can only be performed through public health. Individuals must meet criteria defined by public health to be tested. Testing criteria includes symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), and other criteria such as travel, close contact with a confirmed case or severe illness resulting in hospitalization.

What should I do if I develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing?
• CALL FIRST before you go anywhere! Contact Mission Cancer and Blood (Phone: 515-282-2921) and tell them about your symptoms, recent travel to a coronavirus area, or suspected potential exposure to someone with coronavirus. If you require medical assistance, our staff will help you develop a plan to safely get to a healthcare provider. DO NOT use public transportation, ride sharing or taxis.
• COVER your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze and discard in the trash.
• WASH your hands often.

Visitor Restrictions Are Now in Effect at All Des Moines Area Hospitals and Mission Cancer + Blood Clinics and Chemotherapy Suites

To protect our patients, families and health care workers during the global outbreak of CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) the following visitor restrictions are being implemented.

All Des Moines area hospitals, clinics and chemotherapy suites:
• Effective immediately the following temporary visitor restrictions will be implemented.

Only primary caregivers are allowed. Primary caregivers include, but are not limited to:
• Parents/stepparents
• Spouse/significant other
• Other defined caregiver

Primary caregivers:
• 16 years of age and older (including sibling caregivers)
• Siblings are not allowed unless 16 years of age and defined caregiver
• Always remain in patient room as appropriate
• Limit movement within the facility and avoid common areas
• Free from illness such as (fever, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, vomiting or runny nose)
• Exceptions may be made in certain situations and can be discussed with patient care teams.

Visitor restrictions are temporary and subject to change as necessary.

All caregivers are required to wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand foam/gel upon entering and exiting patient’s room.

We understand these visitor restrictions may be difficult for you. While we are committed to providing a family-centered care environment, right now restricting visitors is in the best interest of our patients and staff.

Thank you for your cooperation in this effort. For up-to-date information related to CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19), please visit www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health. By taking these simple precautions we can help keep our patients and staff safe.

Thank you,
Mission Cancer + Blood

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