Information regarding COVID-19 Pandemic

Information regarding COVID-19 Pandemic

 What is coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new virus called SARS-CoV-2. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild disease but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, body aches, fatigue or GI changes (nausea, vomiting). Some people may not have any symptoms at all.**If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.How is COVID-19 spread? The primary method is through respiratory droplets (tiny particles that leave our bodies through our nose/mouth when we cough, sneeze or exhale). It can also be spread by touching a surface contaminated with the virus. The virus enters our body when those particles land in our mouth, nose or eyes or when we touch these areas after touching a contaminated surface. 

 

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough, sore throat, etc), call your primary healthcare provider for medical advice.  If you don't have a primary care provider, call the ProHealth COVID hotline at 262-928-4499 and/or schedule a virtual Urgent Care visit through ProHealth. Please do not go to the ER or Urgent Care without speaking to someone first!

**Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.  

 

What should I do if I have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19?

Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet of a patient with known COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time (close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 patient) -OR-  having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).If you have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, you should monitor their health; you should call your healthcare provider right away if you develop any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).

 

How can I prevent getting infected with COVID-19?

  • Stay home whenever possible and continue to encourage everyone around you to practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces every day  


What is social distancing and how can that help keep my family safe?

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. Examples include staying at home whenever possible, avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, working from home, visiting loved ones electronically instead of in person and canceling or postponing conferences or large meetings. Please help us help you by staying home!

 

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

How will the COVID-19 pandemic effect me in pregnancy?

We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses. You can protect yourself by practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding people who are sick.


Can COVID-19 be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus or newborn?

If a pregnant woman has COVID-19 during pregnancy, will it hurt the baby? We still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the virus.  We do not know at this time what if any risk is posed to infants of a pregnant woman who has COVID-19. There have been a firstsmall number of reported problems with pregnancy or delivery (e.g. preterm birth) in babies born to mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 during their pregnancy. However, it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection.  In limited studies on women with COVID-19, the virus has not been detected in breast milk.

 

What happens if I have COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 when I deliver my baby?

Pregnant patients who have confirmed COVID-19 or who have symptoms of COVID-19 (also called a PUI, person under investigation) should notify our office prior to arriving at L&D so we can make appropriate infection control preparations.

It is unknown whether newborns with COVID-19 are at increased risk for severe complications. To reduce the risk of  transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 from the mother to the newborn, the CDC recommends temporarily separating (e.g., separate rooms) the mother who has confirmed COVID-19 or is a PUI from her baby until the mother’s transmission-based precautions are discontinued.

If rooming in of the newborn with his/her ill mother in the same hospital room occurs in accordance with the mother’s wishes or is unavoidable due to facility limitations, the following measures should be implemented to reduce exposure of the newborn to the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Consider using physical barriers (e.g., a curtain between the mother and newborn) and keeping the newborn ≥6 feet away from the ill mother.
  • If no other healthy adult is present in the room to care for the newborn, a mother who has confirmed COVID-19 or is a PUI should put on a facemask and practice hand hygiene before each feeding or other close contact with her newborn. The facemask should remain in place during contact with the newborn.

These practices should continue while the mother is on transmission-based precautions in a healthcare facility.

 

Updated visitor policy for Labor and Delivery at WMH:

  • Visitation in labor and delivery will be limited to one person at a time, and it is recommended this be the same person throughout labor and delivery. Visitation in the NICU will be limited to two people at a time.
  • Visitors are limited to parents, guardians or support partners.
  •  Visitors must be 18 or older.
  • Visitors will be screened prior to entering patient areas. Any visitor with a fever or other signs of illness will not be allowed to enter and will be asked to leave the hospital.

 

**Important changes to our office policies during the COVID-19 pandemic**

  • We are postponing all non-urgent appointments. We will reach out to you to reschedule your appointment. You are also welcome to call and reschedule if you are not comfortable coming into the office at this time. If you need medication refills, let our staff know.
  • We will offer certain visit types to be done via telemedicine. Our staff can let you know if your visit can be done this way.
  • We will only be seeing patients in Waukesha and Pewaukee. We will not be going to the other satellite locations for the foreseeable future. 
  • We will screen all patients over the phone and in person when they arrive to assess for symptoms including cough, fever, shortness of breath or gastrointestinal symptoms as well as pertinent travel outside of the state of Wisconsin. Please inform our staff of any of these symptoms before coming to our office and we will give your further directions.
  • When you arrive for your appointment in Waukesha, please wait in your car and call the office to let us know you are here. We will direct you when to come up to the office waiting room.
  • We will discontinue all infertility appointments for the time being at the recommendation of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Patients currently in the process of a treatment cycle will be able to finish their current cycle. 
  • Updated visitor policy: We are not allowing any visitors during your office visit, including children and newborns. (There may be special exceptions on a case-by-case basis.)
  • We continue to ask all patients and families to continue to practice social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

 

We sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. This situation is very fluid and constantly changing so please don't hesitate to call with any questions or concerns.