What is UCHealth doing to keep patients safe and maintain a high level of care?
UCHealth providers have deep experience caring for patients with infectious diseases. We are separating patients with suspected infections from healthy patients. Every UCHealth facility has designated negative air pressure rooms where caregivers isolate patients who may have the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Learn more at uchealth.org/covid19.
How do we know people will have access to care if they need it?
UCHealth leaders are teaming up with Colorado’s governor and leaders of other hospital systems to constantly monitor the number of available beds, supplies and staffing throughout the state. UCHealth providers are prepared to care for severely ill patients with COVID-19 in addition to other patients. Elective surgeries have been canceled to free up resources for those who have severe illness and serious injuries.
How long does it take to recover?
People with mild to moderate cases often report feeling better in a couple of weeks. For those with severe illness, it can take several weeks to recover. And, unfortunately, some people who are severely ill — particularly older people and those with other health challenges — can die from the virus. That’s why it’s so critical to protect vulnerable people, to follow orders to stay at home and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
How long are you contagious if you have it? Can you be contagious without symptoms?
If you have any symptoms like a fever, a cough or cold symptoms, you should stay home and isolate yourself for at least 14 days. Researchers are learning more about whether some people can be contagious before they have symptoms. The best way to prevent the spread of the disease is to avoid spending time around people. Respect the orders to stay home and practice physical distancing — staying at least 6 feet away from other people.
How is the coronavirus spreading?
Scientists are still learning about all the ways that the coronavirus is spreading. It primarily spreads from human to human through droplets from coughing or sneezing. When these droplets from an infected person reach the nose, eyes, mouth or lungs of another, the virus can spread to them. That’s why physical distancing – staying at least 6 feet away from others – is so crucial.
If I have a health issue, am I at a high risk?
Yes, older adults and people with pre-existing health conditions or suppressed immune systems are at greater risk for suffering poor outcomes if they get COVID-19. If you fall into one of these categories, stay home and avoid contact with people as much as possible to reduce your chances of getting the virus.
How do I stay healthy?
Stay home. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid touching your face. Practice physical distancing – staying at least 6 feet away from people outside of your family. And, if someone in your home is having symptoms, please try to isolate them as much as possible with their own room and bathroom within your home. Avoid contact with anyone who is sick with cold or flu symptoms. Clean surfaces, counters and your mobile phone.
Does the virus live on surfaces and for how long?
The virus spreads most easily from person to person through droplets from coughing and sneezing. Researchers do not know exactly how long the new coronavirus lives on surfaces. One recent study found that the virus could live for several hours on surfaces in a lab. But, many factors — from light to temperature and humidity — affect how long the virus can live on surfaces outside the lab. Again, your best bet is to be extremely cautious. Stay home. Avoid contact with people outside your family, wash your hands frequently and wash commonly touched surfaces every day.
Which places are open or closed now?
UCHealth clinics and hospitals are open, but medical providers are trying to keep anyone who is infected with COVID-10 from spreading the illness to others. Therefore, people with symptoms should email or call their provider before seeking care. Patients can also arrange a visit with providers at UCHealth’s Virtual Urgent Care.
With respect to non-UCHealth facilities, most non-essential businesses are now closed. Look online or call ahead if you need to visit an essential business. Some grocery stores, for instance, have changed their hours and are offering older adults the chance to shop before others. If you don’t need anything, please stay home and help slow the spread of the virus.
How can I find information I can trust? How do I tell fact from opinion?
Medical experts advise people to be wary of random information they find online.
The best way to be sure you are getting facts rather than opinions is to seek information from sources you can trust including the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
In addition, you can count on UCHealth to provide you with regular updates and answers to your questions from trusted UCHealth medical experts at uchealth.org/covid19.
Should I still leave my house for regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments?
If you need medical care, please email or call your provider to learn how they can help you. Many providers are doing virtual visits so vulnerable people can stay home.