Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information Learn More
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information
Our hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are fully prepared to care for patients, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with our local and state health departments.
Below are a number of resources to help educate you and your family on COVID-19. For more information on the virus, please contact the health department.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/)
- Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department (www.beckleyraleighhealthdept.org)
- West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) (www.coronavirus.wv.gov)
- West Virginia Hospital Association – (www.wvha.org/)
Call DHHR's COVID-19 information hotline 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304.
In accordance with guidance from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WV DHHR) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and with the health and safety of our patients, families, employees and community in mind, Raleigh General Hospital has implemented strict visitor restrictions, moving to a zero-visitor protocol. Exceptions to this visitor protocol may include pediatric patients, obstetric patients and those receiving end-of-life care. We have already limited entry, everyone entering the hospital should continue to use the Emergency Department and the Main Entrance for access. Per CDC guidelines, everyone entering our facilities will be screened for respiratory symptoms and travel history.
Zero-Visitor Protocol exceptions include:
- Pediatric patients will be allowed one parent or guardian only.
- Obstetric patients will be allowed to have one support person with them for their entire hospital visit.
- End-of-life care - limited exceptions will be made for end of life and medical necessity as determined by the care team.
Signage is posted around the facilities notifying visitors and the community of these new restrictions and guidelines.
Raleigh General Hospital continues to adapt to meet the clinical needs of our communities during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and through this, we remain committed to providing high quality care and protecting the health and safety of our patients, employees, physicians and community at large. We have been working closely with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the West Virginia Hospital Association and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An important element to our preparedness is conserving essential resources needed to care for patients with COVID-19, where possible, as we navigate this rapidly evolving situation and prepare for what the next few weeks may hold.
In accordance with recent guidance from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources we have made the difficult, but necessary, decision to reschedule elective and non-urgent cases for 30 days when deemed clinically appropriate. Patients whose appointments are being rescheduled will be notified, and procedures will be rescheduled as soon as feasible. We are continuing to schedule new cases beyond April 19.
Importantly, rescheduling elective and non-urgent cases:
Conserves essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for our frontline staff members;
Conserves hospital and ICU beds, supplies and other resources; and
Ensures we will have all necessary personnel available to support our sickest patients.
The trust our community places in us is so important. We want to assure our community that it is safe to come to our hospital should you or a family member need care. Our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to safely respond to viruses and infectious diseases, including COVID-19. We have made the decision to reschedule elective and non-urgent procedures because it will help ensure we have the people and resources necessary to meet the needs of our patients in the coming weeks. We know that it is the right thing to do.
We appreciate your understanding and support as we continue to do everything we can to prepare for the potential impact of COVID-19 on our community. For more information about hospital preparedness, please visit our website at RaleighGeneral.com. For more information about COVID-19, please contact West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.
COVID-19: What Raleigh General Hospital is Doing and What You Can Do
Raleigh General Hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors at all times. While COVID-19 is new, effectively responding to other infectious diseases is not. We have tested processes and plans in place to respond to situations involving infectious disease year-round. Here is what we are doing to stay ready and effectively respond to COVID-19:
- We continue to work closely with the Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that we are prepared with appropriate plans to detect, protect and respond should anyone in our community contract or be exposed to COVID-19.
- We have a robust emergency operations plan in place and are reviewing and proactively completing a number of preparation checklists out of an abundance of caution.
- We have hand hygiene products easily accessible throughout our facility.
- We are screening patients in our emergency department, inpatient units and outpatient clinics based on CDC guidance.
- Staff treating a potential COVID-19 case are provided with all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent exposure.
- Patients with respiratory or COVID-19-related symptoms are immediately provided masks to wear to help prevent exposure to others.
- In the event that we identify a potential COVID-19 case, we will follow all CDC guidelines for placing that individual in isolation for their care and for the protection of other patients, employees and visitors.
- We have implemented visitor restrictions at our facility as follows:
- Zero visitors will be permitted *some exceptions may apply (e.g. pediatric patients, obstetric patients and those receiving end-of-life care)
- Entry/Exit points for all staff are limited to the main lobby or ER entrance.
- Anyone seeking medical attention is asked to use the ER entrance, located at the back of the hospital on Carriage Dr.
- Everyone will be screened at the entry points based on CDC guidelines.
- Cafeteria will be closed to visitors, and only open to staff (patient meals will still be delivered).
- No outside food deliveries will be permitted during this time.
These measures are in place to protect our facility and our community. Please know that our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, seasonal flu and other respiratory illnesses.
What you can do
It’s easy to feel helpless when faced with a barrage of news reports and social media updates regarding COVID-19. The good news is that there are some key steps you can take to help protect you and your loved ones and help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Staying home when you are sick
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, including your phone, computer, remote controls and doorknobs
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- Using an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available (Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty)
- Practicing social distancing behaviors, including working from home, avoiding public gatherings and unnecessary travel, and maintaining a distance of approximately six feet from others when possible.
What to do if you are experiencing symptoms
First and foremost - if you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Room. If possible, notify the dispatch agent that your emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.
For non-emergency needs, if you need medical attention due to respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and plan to visit our hospital, your primary care provider or an urgent clinic, please call ahead before you go and let them know that you are experiencing symptoms that may possibly be related to COVID-19. This will allow providers to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
Please be reassured that our number one priority is the health and well-being of our community – and that includes you. We are prepared to manage an outbreak of respiratory illness, and we encourage you to follow the guidance above and stay tuned to updates from the CDC to help protect you and your loved ones. Keeping our community healthy is a community effort, and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our community healthy today and for generations to come.
For more information and to stay abreast of the latest updates on COVID-19, you can visit https://www.raleighgeneral.com/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedness-information or www.cdc.gov.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Take steps to protect others
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
How do I get tested for COVID-19?
At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order. Visiting a provider does not necessarily mean you need testing or that you will receive testing. Your provider will work with the Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department to follow all appropriate guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WV Department of Health and Human Resources to determine if testing is recommended based on your symptoms and recent travel history.
What are the qualifications for being tested for COVID-19?
Someone may be a candidate for testing if he or she has:
- A fever and cough or shortness of breath AND has been in close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case; or
- A fever and cough or shortness of breath and a history of travel from affected geographic areas; or
- A fever and cough or shortness of breath requiring hospitalization with no other source of infection.
Can I pick up or buy a test kit for COVID-19?
No. At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order and are not commercially available to the public.
What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? I want to be tested.
If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should self-monitor for fever or symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If you begin to experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, and they are mild enough that you can manage them at home, you should remain at home in isolation. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)
If you are not experiencing symptoms, or you are experiencing mild symptoms you can manage at home in isolation, you do not need to seek medical care or testing.
I believe I have symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do next?
I’m experiencing mild symptoms right now, but I’m worried.
If you are experiencing fever and/or mild symptoms of respiratory illness, you can and should isolate at home during illness. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)
Should I get tested? Isolating yourself at home and self-monitoring mild symptoms is the best course of action unless you feel you need medical care.
Worsening symptoms – I need to see my provider.
Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider’s office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
Will I be tested? Your provider will make this determination based on your symptoms, and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and the WV Department of Health and Human Resources (WV DHHR) guidelines.
Emergent symptoms – I am having difficulty breathing.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Will I be tested? Your emergency medicine provider will make this determination based on your symptoms and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and WV DHHR guidelines.