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COVID-19 Information

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Here at Care New England it is our highest priority to keep our patients, community, and staff safe. We have created this site to provide you with the most up-to-date information and changes happening at Care New England with respect to the coronavirus COVID-19. Recently, we implemented temporary visitation restrictions to minimize potential virus exposure.

We know you might have questions and concerns, please check our frequently asked questions section for more information.

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Covid-19 Quick Links

*If you are a patient who plans to be seen at one of our facilities, please contact your provider for detailed instructions prior to visiting one of our locations.

Please wear a face mask or face covering when visiting one of our hospitals or your doctor's office

A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings. Please wear one when coming to the hospital, your doctor’s office, or other public places such as grocery stores or pharmacies.

In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, the CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth while in community settings.

This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms.

It is not recommended that you wear medical masks and N-95 respirators which the CDC recommends should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

Click here for printable instructions on how to make a cloth face covering at  home

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Visitation Restrictions Visitation Restrictions

Visitation Restrictions

General information for all visitors across all Care New England Hospitals:

At Care New England, we understand that having supportive family or friends present benefits the health and well-being of our patients. Our care teams must balance that benefit with the science of preventing the spread of coronavirus. For the safety of our patients, families, staff, and the greater community, Care New England has adopted the guidance below for safe visitation. Visitation looks different at each of our unique hospitals, due to the difference in patient populations served and the physical spaces to provide social distancing.

  • All visitors will be verbally screened upon arrival and will have their temperatures taken. Those visitors with fever or other risk factors for COVID will not be allowed to visit.
  • Visitors under the age of 18 are not allowed at this time.
  • Universal masking is proven to help prevent the spread of COVID. Visitors must wear a mask at all times while in the facility.
  • Social distancing helps prevent spread of COVID. All visitors must maintain a distance of 6 feet from others, including patients, while in our facilities.
  • Special accommodations to allow visitation for patients with a disability are available, such as when a support person is essential to the care of a patient with developmental disabilities. 
Click on one of the links below to see the specific visitation restrictions for each Care New England hospital:
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NIH's New COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines COVID-19 Treatment

Summary of NIH's New COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines

While there are many ongoing studies for ways to prevent or treat COVID19, none have been found effective. The NIH Guidelines panel recommends only to use treatments when you are part of a clinical research study. 

The key points of the report are:

  • The new COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel does not recommend the use of any medications to prevent COVID-19 unless you are part of a clinical research study recommended by your doctor or nurse.
  • The Panel also does not recommend the use of any medications to treat COVID-19 unless you are part of a research study.
  • The Panel recommends no testing and no specific treatment for persons with suspected or confirmed asymptomatic or presymptomatic COVID-19.
  • At present, no drug has been proven to be safe and effective for treating COVID-19. There is insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of any antiviral or immunologic therapy in patients with COVID-19 who have mild, moderate, severe, or critical illness.

NIH COVID-19 treatment guidelines

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Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV)?
“Novel” in this case means “new”. 2019-nCoV is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The name of the disease caused by this virus is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated COVID-19. ( ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease.) It is not the same as the usual coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans the US and other countries. Commonly circulating coronaviruses usually cause mild illness, like the common cold. 2019-nCoV is able to cause more severe illness.
How does the virus spread?

This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now is spreading from person-to-person. Most often this happens among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest), but data suggests that people may be able to spread coronavirus when they have few or NO symptoms. This spread can occur from droplets that one exhales or emits into the atmosphere when breathing or sneezing. This form of transmission is the reason that the CDC now recommends use of non-medical face masks to decrease the spread of the virus from people who have no symptoms.  

It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a table top or packaging container, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. In general, because of poor survivability of the virus on many surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging. Nevertheless, it is always recommended that you wash your hands after touching surfaces, and that you do so after unpacking and disposing of food packaging.

Is it easy to catch?
Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV and investigations are ongoing. At this time, it appears to be more transmissible than the common influenza, but appears to be contracted in similar ways. While initial reports suggested that those at highest risk were elderly people and those with underlying chronic diseases, as time goes on it appears that while the very young are rarely affected, almost half of cases occur among people under 50.
How can I help protect myself and minimize spread in the community?

There is currently no vaccine or medication to prevent COVID-19 infection, though there is a great deal of active research investigating these possibilities. The CDC recommends some basic everyday guidance:

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Basic guidance for all from the CDC is aimed at your health and the health of our community.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand-rub frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home as much as possible, and always when you are feeling sick or if you feel you might be coming down with something.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe (More detail on disinfecting surfaces can be found on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2109-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html.
The governor of Rhode Island has issued guidance for state residents which are in place until May 8 which include:
  • A stay-at-home order that all Rhode Islanders should stay home unless getting food, medicine, gas, or go to essential jobs.
  • In addition, all gatherings of more than five people are banned. Individuals should be interacting with the same people every day to minimize the risk of spread. This order does not apply to healthcare workers in a workplace setting, public transportation or office buildings. However, people must practice social distancing at all times.