What is COVID-19 and how is it spread?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 virus is spread much like influenza, person-to-person through close contact (within about 6 ft.), via respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes, and to a lesser extent through contact with infected surfaces.
What is the difference between coronavirus and COVID-19?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines coronaviruses as a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. On February 11, The World Health Organization announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” as the name of the new virus. Viruses, and the diseases they cause, often have different names, for example, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. COVID-19or coronavirus is the disease responsible for the virus called SARS-CoV-2 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
What are the symptoms to watch for?
Similar to the flu, symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms can be mild to severe illness, and result in pneumonia.
Where do I go if I think I have symptoms?
For your safety and the safety of the community, Caring Health Center is asking patients that have traveled to COVID-19 infected areas, or had contact with someone who has and feel sick with a fever
and cough within 14 days, to call ahead of time and explain your recent travel history and symptoms before visiting a doctor’s office, dental office, behavioral health, WIC, wellness center and any other programming. Medical staff can help to make decisions about whether, when and where, you should be evaluated. This will avoid spreading the virus further to individuals in waiting rooms and other areas at these locations. As always, if you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 911 and seek emergency care.
What can I do to keep safe?
Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily – including tables, counter-tops, light switches, doorknobs,and cabinet handles – using a regular household detergent and water. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and
after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a
hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water
if your hands are visibly dirty.
Should I wear a facemask?
The CDC does not recommend wearing a mask when out in the general public, as that has not been shown to prevent virus spread and can take masks away from people that need them.
If I have a fever and a cough will I be tested for COVID-19?
Not necessarily. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate level of testing. Testing to detect this virus is only performed at the CDC and recently the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has also received approval to perform the tests.
How will I be cared for if I test positive for COVID-19 and what is the treatment?
We know that most patients who test positive will not require hospitalization. We also know that, so far, the COVID-19 virus has had minimal impact on the health of children. However, patients who do need inpatient care will receive care in isolation once admitted. Multiple areas throughout Caring Health Center have been identified to safely house COVID-19 patients, providing appropriate isolation to help prevent the spread of the virus. Through investments in preparedness, Caring Health has specialized equipment already on hand. We are in close communication with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and following their guidance on preparing for the management of this illness.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
There is no vaccine, as of yet, to protect against COVID-19. Some antiviral medications are in the process of testing to see if they can address some of the symptoms.
Are you in need of same day services?
Please call the health center at (413) 739-1100 before arriving to Caring Health Center. This will allow us to properly schedule all patients and reduce the exposure to illness.
Questions you should be prepared to answer when you call to schedule an appointment.
If YES, to both questions: Call (413) 739-1100 and ask to speak to a nurse.
If NO, to both questions: Visit one of our centers as a walk-in or ask to speak to a nurse.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
For more updated COVID-19 information visit the (CDC) Center for Disease Control and Prevention
or World Health Organization (W.H.O.) website. The below COVID-19 communication resources
and tools are for use and distribution. Please share widely.
What to do
if you are sick
Stop the spread
What to do if your COVID-19 test is positive?
What to do while waiting
for your test results?
5 tips for coronavirus safety?
For after-hour services, please call:
Para servicios fuera del horario de atención, llame al: (413) 739-1100.
This health center is a Health Center
Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b,
and a deemed Public Health Service
Employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).
1049 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103
532 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA 01108
860 Boston Road, Springfield, MA 01119
WIC OFFICES 413.693.1029
816 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01105
532 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA 01108
1771 Boston Road, Springfield, MA 01129