A message to those we serve
Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, and with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community, ProHealth Care is closely monitoring developments and adhering to guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Our medical experts and leadership team have developed a thorough response plan designed to promote safety and meet the needs of our communities during this outbreak.
As we work to protect our patients, staff and community, we have announced stricter hospital visitation guidelines and we have suspended all community and patient events, including classes, tours and support groups.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you develop a fever, cough or other symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, follow these guidelines:
- To protect others, stay at home, except to receive medical care. Most people experience only mild symptoms and can take care of themselves at home without medical care.
- If you develop more serious symptoms, like trouble breathing, seek medical care. Call your health care provider's office before visiting a clinic or hospital. Consider a virtual (video) urgent care visit.
For more detailed advice, refer to guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.
Answers to your questions about coronavirus
What is coronavirus?
Human coronavirus infections are common, and most cause only mild to moderate illness. In late 2019, a new coronavirus called COVID-19 emerged in China and is spreading rapidly around the globe. Researchers are working to fully identify COVID-19’s characteristics and develop a vaccine.
What are the common symptoms of COVID-19?
A variety of symptoms have been reported and many are similar to those caused by other viruses. Symptoms generally appear within two to 14 days of exposure to the virus and may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chills, often with shaking
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste
- Loss of smell
The vast majority of those who have been infected with this virus have not become seriously ill.
Who is most vulnerable?
Older adults and those who have chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease or lung disease are at greatest risk for severe infection.
Can children get this disease?
Yes. Children appear to experience a milder form of infection, but they can still infect others.
How is the disease diagnosed?
COVID-19 is diagnosed in laboratories using special test kits approved by public health officials. For patients, the test involves a swab of the mouth and nose.
Who is being tested for COVID-19?
Criteria for testing continues to change, along with the availability of test kits. ProHealth Care is working to expand testing capability in accordance with state and public health recommendations.
ProHealth Care generally is focusing testing on:
- Patients requiring emergency care or hospitalization.
- Older adults and those with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
- Health care workers with unexplained fever and signs or symptoms of respiratory tract illness.
People who think they may have COVID-19 should discuss their symptoms with their physician. Virtual visits are available.
If testing occurs, there will be no charge if the test kit and processing are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If a specimen is collected by ProHealth Care providers and tested using a commercial laboratory, the charge is $180.00. COVID-19 antibody testing is also available for $60. The actual cost to patients will vary by insurance plan and coverage.
What treatments are available for those who become ill with COVID-19?
There are no antiviral medications approved for treatment at this time. Most people experience only mild illness and are able to take care of themselves while remaining at home. Patients should get plenty of rest, drink fluids and take non-prescription pain or fever medication. Medical care is recommended for patients with progressive fever, dehydration or increasing cough or shortness of breath. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required.
If you become ill with COVID-19, it is important that you stay at home so that you do not spread the disease to others. Do not go to work, school or elsewhere in public. Your health care provider, in consultation with public health officials, will determine when it is safe for you to return to your normal activities.
How does this virus spread?
The virus spreads easily from person to person. It is acquired from an infected person who has symptoms, even when the symptoms are mild. It is transmitted through droplets from a cough or sneeze that are airborne or on a surface.
What is the incubation period?
COVID-19 symptoms commonly appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.
How can I protect myself and my family?
Follow these steps to protect yourself and your family and help reduce the spread of coronavirus:
- Stay at home if you can. Definitely stay home if you become sick.
- If you must go out, wear a cloth mask and practice social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet from others.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly – for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Antiseptic hand gel also may be used.
- Avoid touching your face, and especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your shirtsleeve, not with your hand.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Older adults and those with chronic health conditions should avoid gatherings and public places.
Who should wear a mask?
The CDC encourages you to cover your mouth and nose with a cloth mask when you leave your home and are around others. Do this even if you do not feel sick.
A cloth mask is not a substitute for social distancing. You should keep at least six feet away from others at all times.
What about travel?
Older adults and anyone with an underlying health condition should avoid nonessential travel. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html for specific information about air travel, cruises and other travel recommendations.
What is the status of COVID-19 in the United States?
The situation is changing rapidly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates information regularly at coronavirus.gov.