Coronavirus Latest Updates

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Coronavirus: Need to Know


Here For You.

WMCHealth practices & hospitals across the Hudson Valley are open and available for regular, urgent and emergent care. We can see you in our offices or via telehealth.

The health of our patients and workforce is our #1 priority. Do not wait for care. We are here for you.

Many WMCHealth providers also continue to offer telemedicine appointments by video through a smart phone, tablet or personal computer. Telemedicine appointments can occur anywhere you have access to your device, and the connections are safe, secure and compliant with all privacy regulations.

Patients who need an appointment should call their WMCHealth provider’s office directly. Individuals who are not established with a WMCHealth provider, or who need to see a new provider for any reason, can call us at 833.329.0095 for convenient connection to an area medical practice. Our specialists will help determine whether an in-person or telemedicine appointment is best for you.

We also continue to offer COVID-19 antibody and diagnostic tests by appointment at locations in Valhalla, Poughkeepsie, Kingston and Margaretville. To make an appointment please visit WMCHealth.org/Testing or call our COVID Call Center at 914.202.4530 from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Maintaining a Safe and Effective Care Environment

A safe and effective care environment is our highest priority, and Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) hospitals and medical practices have undertaken necessary steps to protect our patients and workforce as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves.

On this site, you will find the most up-to-date information on our patient and visitor guidelines, as well as details about testing that is being conducted on some of our hospital campuses, by appointment only. In addition, information is available on how to donate supplies or make a contribution to our health network.

Thank you for your support.


Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information.  You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips

Our Plans for Care

All WMCHealth hospitals and medical practices have long-standing and the most up-to-date protocols in place to respond to infectious diseases. These protocols include, but are not limited to:

  • Strict adherence to care guidelines
  • Protective attire
  • The use of negative-pressure environments to contain airborne pathogens.
  • We routinely train our staff on these protocols and protocol adherence is monitored by infection prevention specialists.

As an added safety precaution, multilingual signs are present at key hospital entry points asking patients and visitors to share their potential for exposures, such as recent travel, symptoms and local exposure.

If a patient arrives at a WMCHealth member hospital or medical practice with a suspicion of COVID-19 exposure or if key symptoms are present, the patient will be masked and escorted to an isolated and contained area for additional evaluation and care in cooperation with public health agencies, such as the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Our Commitment

WMCHealth is committed to providing a safe and comfortable care environment for patients, their families and our staff at all of our member hospitals and medical practices throughout the Hudson Valley. Our care specialists are working collaboratively with public health agencies and closely monitoring COVID-19 developments.

Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov or CDC.gov for additional information and prevention tips.

Some common questions, with answers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19):

Symptoms, Spread and Treatment

Q.        What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

A.        Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses that usually last for a short amount of time with symptoms including: runny nose; headache; cough; sore throat; fever and a general feeling of being unwell. In some cases, human coronaviruses can cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with respiratory and cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants and older adults.

Q.        How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

A.        Anyone exhibiting a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever with a general feeling of being unwell should see a healthcare provider. Importantly, notify your healthcare provider about potential exposures, such as international travel within the past 30 days.

Q.        How is COVID-19 transmitted?

A.        COVID-19 is transmitted via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory infections are spread.

Q.        How is COVID-19 treated?

A.        There is no specific treatment for coronavirus at this time beyond general care one might receive for respiratory infection.

Precautions:

Q.        Are there precautions I can take to protect myself from COVID-19?

A.        The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Q.        I received the flu vaccination. Will my flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

A.        The flu vaccine is not known to prevent COVID-19.

Q.        Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

A.        There is no vaccine at this time.

Q.        Should I wear a facemask to protect myself?

A.        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates its protection guidelines regularly.  For the most current guidelines, please visit CDC.gov.

Q.        What precautions/actions is WMCHealth taking to manage the situation?

A.        All WMCHealth hospitals and medical practices follow stringent infection prevention protocols. These protocols include, but are not limited to, strict adherence to care guidelines, protective attire and the use of negative-pressure environments to contain airborne pathogens. We routinely train our staff in these protocols and protocol adherence is monitored by infection prevention specialists.

As an added safety precaution, multilingual signs are present at key hospital entry points asking visitors to share their potential for recent exposure.

Updated: April 3, 2020


Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information.  You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips.

Visitation

Under NYS Department of Health guidelines, visitation in now allowed in all hospitals in New York with certain restrictions as outlined by Executive Order.  At WMCHealth:

  • All visitors, including designated support people, must be screened for symptoms and recent travel.  Any visitor subject to quarantine restrictions for recent travel domestically or abroad, will not be allowed visitation.  This includes quarantine orders specific to New York State available at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.
  • Patients can designate two support people for visitation.  One support person will be allowed for up to four consecutive hours per patient per day.  Visitation for patients on COVID-19 isolation will be limited to scheduled visitation for up to two consecutive hours daily.  Visitation for immunocompromised patients requires clinician approval.
  • One support person will be able to accompany patients during emergency room care, and during intake and discharge for ambulatory surgeries and procedures.
  • Visitors must remain in patient rooms at all times and must exit the campus when their visitation time or accompaniment is over.
  • All hospital, state and federal guidelines regarding infection control practices must be followed.
  • Exceptions to above are allowed for labor and delivery, pediatrics, end-of-life and extenuating circumstances visitation, as well as patients travelling from outside New York for care that cannot be delayed.

Required Mask Use

For the health and safety of our patients and workforce, all employees must wear procedure masks inside most of our buildings and units that house patients, in addition to other personal protective equipment requirements.

While visitation is extremely limited, all visitors will be issued masks and must wear them while inside our buildings. 

Temporary Changes in Outpatient Services

To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is making several temporary changes to our ambulatory and outpatient services to ensure that we are able to care for our patients in a safe and effective care environment in our hospitals and medical practices.

Read Our Update to Elective Ambulatory Services/Ambulatory Procedures/Ambulatory Surgeries

Read Our Update to Medical Practice Office Visits in Three Counties

WMCHealth’s 10 hospitals, and our emergency departments, are open to care for our patients.

Updated:  June 19, 2020

WMCHealth offers both COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing at sites in Valhalla, Poughkeepsie, Kingston and Margaretville 

Testing is available by appointment only.

How do I make an appointment?

What should I bring?

  • When you come to your appointment, you will need to bring your photo identification and insurance card, if applicable.

When will I receive my results?

  • At this time, diagnostic results can take up to five days and antibody results can take up to three days.

What is the difference between a COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing?

  • Diagnostic (viral) tests check samples from your respiratory system (such as swabs of the inside of the nose) to tell you if you currently have an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Antibody testing, also known as serological testing, detects antibodies present in the blood when the body is responding to a specific infection, like COVID-19. Serologic assays such as the antibody IgG test (used by WMCHealth) are an indicator of exposure and antibody development -- and may show if an individual has ever been infected with the virus, even if they did not have symptoms. As such, an antibody test detects the body’s immune response to the infection caused by the virus, rather than detecting the virus itself. In the early days of an infection, when the body’s immune response is still building, antibodies may not be present in detectable levels.
  • An antibody test does not take the place of testing for active infection. WMCHealth operates coronavirus infection testing sites on or near each hospital campus across our network.

Additional Information:

Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information. You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips.

The self-pay cost for an individual seeking an antibody test for COVID-19 is $75.

The self-pay cost for an individual seeking a COVID-19 diagnostic test is $75.

Updated:  June 8, 2020


Please call the DOH’s coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or visit Health.NY.Gov for additional information.  You can also visit the CDC.gov for updates and prevention tips.

Support Our WMCHealth Heroes  

Our WMCHealth Heroes are working diligently to serve and protect our patients and workforce as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves.

Help support our efforts to care for all patients by making a gift to your local hospital.

To Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We are appreciative of community members who have connected us to legitimate resources for the following:

  • N95 masks
  • Surgical masks
  • Face shields or goggles
  • Fluid resistant isolation gowns
  • Non-latex (nitrile) gloves

We ask that no one deliver materials directly to our hospitals.

If you are aware of such resources in the community or have materials to donate, please contact us at supplies@wmchealth.org.

Updated: May 19, 2020