COVID-19 Update – 3/20/2020
COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) Updates 3/20/2020
Northwest Women’s Healthcare is taking the spread of COVID-19 very seriously. We are updating our processes and protocols according to the most up to date CDC and Department of Health guidance. The health and safety of you and your families is our top priority. Please be aware information is constantly evolving and items below may change as the situation continues to unfold.
To help us protect you, other patients, and our staff, IF YOU HAVE A FEVER, NEW SHORTNESS OF BREATH, DRY COUGH, OR FEEL SICK, PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE OFFICE. Instead, please contact your primary or personal physician for proper instructions.
If you are scheduled for an upcoming appointment and you are experiencing these symptoms, please call us back to reschedule your appointment when you have been symptom-free (without the use of cough or fever suppressing medications) for at least 24 hours. All patients will be screened prior to their appointment
Further measures we are taking to ensure safety in the office include
- Asking that you not bring others with you to your appointment. We are happy to accommodate FaceTime or phone conferencing to include your family in appointments.
- Every employee is being screen for fever and symptoms twice daily, and having employees work from home when possible.
- We are consistently and regularly disinfecting surfaces and removing unnecessary items from patient care areas.
- We are rescheduling any routine preventative care and non-urgent visits. We strongly recommend anyone who is over 65 or those who have underlying chronic medical conditions reschedule.
Pregnancy and COVID-19
- Currently available data on COVID-19 does not indicate that pregnant women are at increased risk. However, pregnant women are known to be at greater risk of severe morbidity and mortality from other respiratory infections such as influenza and SARS-CoV. As such, pregnant women should be considered an at-risk population for COVID-19.
- Adverse infant outcomes (eg, preterm birth) have been reported among infants born to mothers positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy. However, this information is based on limited data and it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection.
- Currently it is unclear if COVID-19 can cross through the transplacental route to the fetus. In limited recent case series of infants born to mothers infected with COVID-19 published in the peer-reviewed literature, none of the infants have tested positive for COVID-19
- Social distancing is strongly recommended. Avoid groups of people, including playdates and playgrounds. Avoid close personal contact. Stay at home as much as possible.
- Hand washing – with soap and water for 20 seconds – as well as avoidance of touching your face remains the best and most effective method to reduce the risk of infection.
- We recommend you cancel all non-essential air travel.
- Work with your employer to find ways to work from home if at all possible. Currently the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is not a qualifying medical reason to mandate disability or stopping work earlier than previously planned.
Breastfeeding and COVID-19
The CDC has developed Interim Guidance on Breastfeeding for a Mother Confirmed or Under Investigation for COVID-19.
- There are rare exceptions when breastfeeding or feeding expressed breast milk is not recommended. Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and pediatric care provider.
- Currently, the primary concern is not whether the virus can be transmitted through breastmilk, but rather whether an infected mother can transmit the virus through respiratory droplets during the period of breastfeeding.
- A mother with confirmed COVID-19 or who is a symptomatic patient under investigation should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, including washing her hands before touching the infant and wearing a face mask, if possible, while breastfeeding. If expressing breast milk with a manual or electric breast pump, the mother should wash her hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and follow recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use. If possible, consider having someone who is well feed the expressed breast milk to the infant.
Swedish Medical Center Updates
- All elective surgeries have been suspended at Swedish hospital campuses. Cesarean sections will continue as planned.
- In person group classes and support groups have been cancelled, including L&D tours.
- During labor, patients may have a partner and one support person with them, either a doula or a family member. The support person must be 18 years of age or older. These people must plan to be in the room throughout the labor, they may not come and go.
- Asymptomatic partners will continue to be allowed in the OR during cesarean sections.
- All visitors / support people will be screened and no symptomatic individuals will be allowed in the hospital.
Swedish Medical Center
COVID-19: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW