During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may need care for health issues for which, under normal circumstances, you would not hesiteate to call a doctor or go to an emergency room or urgent care center. It’s important to understand that when you need medical care, even during this pandemic, you should seek treatment. Johns Hopkins Medicine is taking steps to make sure you can keep up with your care while minimizing your risk of infection with the new coronavirus.
We can help you choose the best option for your situation. For isntance, Johns Hopkins is moving as many visits as possible to telemedicine.
Although you may have concerns about visiting us in person, sometimes an in- person visit is necessary. Here’s what you should know about getting health care at Johns Hopkins during the coronavirus pandemic.
How is Johns Hopkins keeping people safe?
At each of our locations, we follow all of the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by Johns Hopkins Medicine:
- Everyone — patients, visitors and staff members — is screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors as they enter our buildings.
- Some entrances have been closed to limit traffic and make sure everyone gets screened.
- We are limiting visitors at all of our locations.
- Everyone wears a mask and maintains social distancing. We provide masks to anyone who arrives without one.
- We clean and disinfect environmental surfaces frequently.
- We take extra steps to protect patients who have or might have COVID-19 and to reduce the risk of spreading it.
When should I be seen in person?
- If you have severe symptoms or something that requires physical examination, your provider may recoomend an office visit. If your provider thinks it is warranted, he or she may recommend going to the emergency room or even calling 911.
- Many lab and radiology tests (such as X-rays or MRIs) can be delayed, but some should not wait. If you aren’t sure if a test needs to be done right away, contact the provider who ordered the test to find out.
- Urgent and emergent problems always require you to be seen is person
What if I’m afarid to go to the emergency room?
We understand those fears. Our emergency rooms are able to isolate patients who may have COVID-19 or other infectios from those with other emergent problems. The emergency room staff wears personal protective equipment, and places patients who may have COVID-19 in private rooms to ensure infections are not spread from person to person. Each patient room is fully cleaned and disinfected after each patient leaves. Note also that waiting too long to seek care fro some health care emeergencies is a bigger risk that the chance of contracting COVID-19
The following are just some of the symptoms for which you should immediately call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. (Note: This is not a complete list.)
- Chest pain or pressure, palpitations, shortness sof breath or other symptoms of heart attack or other heart problems
- Sudden numbness, weakness, confusion, loss of vision, problems with speech or balance, or other symptoms of stroke
- Unexplained or worsening shortness of breath, or other breathing problems.
- High fever
- Intense or unxeplained pain
- Heavy bleeding or bleeding without an obvious cause
- Severe injury or tramua, including deep, lage or severe cuts
- Possible fractures or broken bones
- Any other problems that you consider an emergency
What if I thing I might have COVID-19?
- Most patients with COVID-19 can be treated at home
- If you are having trouble breathing or yor symptoms make you feel as if you are not safe at home, call 911 and describe your symptoms.
- If it si not an emergency, call your health care provider to discuss your symptoms, or try our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Checker.
How can I get health care from home?
Telemedicine is often a great choice when it is not necessary to have direct physical contact with your provider.
- Video visits allow you to see and talk with your health care team.
- If you are unable to use vide, s simple phone call may be all you need to communicate with your provider.
How do I choose telemedicine or in-person care?
You don’t have to make this decision on your own. We’re here to help.
- We are changing as many appointments to telemedicine as possible, and wiil notify you if your appointment has been changed. Plaease call the office the day before ia in-person appointment to answer some questions and make sure it is still safe for you to come in.
- You can contact your health care team by telephone or MyChart for advice at any time. Keep in mind that MyChart is for nonurgent questions only. Please call us if you need an answer in fewer than three days.
Every day, whether you are visiting us in person, by telephone or online, your safety and well-being are our highest priorities. We monitor and update our systems and practices to ensure they are in line with the latest research and news. Through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, we value the trust you and your family members place in us, and we look forward to your next visit.