What you need to know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Dignity Health is closely following the latest developments with coronavirus. We remain in constant contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health departments and are implementing their recommendations as we learn more about this disease. The safety of our visitors, patients, local communities, employees, and physicians remains our highest priority and we are taking steps to limit the spread of the virus and care for those who need it. We will continue to provide updates on this page as more information becomes available.

Information about coronavirus

Coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated to COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. COVID-19 is now spreading in many parts of the United States. While most people are at low risk of contracting the virus, it can spread through close contact with someone who is already infected. Learn more about how coronavirus is spread on the CDC website.

Help prevent the spread of the virus

Certain behavior changes can help prevent the spread of coronavirus in our communities. Many states have implemented restrictions on large gatherings, and people are encouraged to practice “social distancing” by avoiding crowds and remaining 6 feet apart from each other while in public places.

Here are a few additional actions you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Changes at our hospitals

Both of our St. John's Hospitals are changing their policies to help care for patients with coronavirus and prevent its spread. Changes may be made to visitation policies or pre-visit screenings. 

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Patients with COVID-19 have mild to severe respiratory symptoms that can include fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.

What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms of coronavirus?

If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home or community:

  • Stay home, except to get medical care. Restrict activities outside your home, avoid visiting public places, and do not take public transportation, ride shares, or taxis.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if your illness is worsening. Reach out to your healthcare provider by calling ahead before visiting the office. Tell your provider that you have or may have coronavirus-like symptoms so they can take steps to keep other people from getting infected. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have been, or are being, evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.
  • Wear a face mask. Wearing a face mask when you are around other people can help prevent the spread of the virus in your community.

Testing for coronavirus

Our healthcare providers are working with local health officials on coronavirus testing. Right now, only people experiencing symptoms are recommended for testing. In most cases, testing can be done at no cost.

How are hospitals preparing to treat coronavirus patients?

Our St. John's hospitals are following the latest guidance from the CDC and public health agencies. We are prepared with staff, supplies, and equipment to identify, isolate, and treat any patients who seek care at our facilities. Staff trainings and planning sessions are ongoing, in partnership with local health officials.

Where can I get more information about coronavirus?