The novel coronavirus: Keeping yourself and others safe

Hygiene poster

Please be advised: Testing for Covid-19 is not available at all sites across Main Line Health. If you feel you are at risk for coronavirus, please call your primary care physician or your local urgent care site to determine if you are a candidate for testing. If you require testing, your primary care provider or local urgent care will tell you where to go for testing.

Any travelers who have recently returned from China, Iran, Italy and South Korea should self-monitor for upper respiratory symptoms. If you become sick, please call the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1.877.PA.HEALTH (724.3258) and your doctor’s office or emergency room before going. 

The coronavirus situation is rapidly evolving in the United States and abroad. Main Line Health is closely following the latest information and updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus, known as Covid-19. Covid-19 was first detected in China and has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including in the United States.

Most people in the United States have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. This virus is not currently spreading widely in the United States.

Main Line Health aims to provide you with the necessary information to keep you and family safe during this time.

Keeping yourself and others safe

The CDC recommends individuals and families follow everyday preventative measures:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Wash 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 an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60–95% alcohol.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus. You should only wear a mask if a health care professional recommends it or if you have the virus and or showing symptoms.

If you are scheduled to visit a Main Line Health facility for routine appointments or testing and have a fever or flu-like symptoms, please reschedule your appointment or testing.

Testing for Covid-19

The CDC has developed criteria for identifying a “person under investigation (PUI)” for the coronavirus based on what is known about the previous coronavirus cases. Currently, the test is not available in U.S. hospitals or other primary care settings.

The CDC only recommends diagnostic testing of patients who meet the criteria for coronavirus:

  • Fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
  • Any person who has had close contact with a laboratory confirmed Covid-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset
  • A history of travel from affected areas (China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea) within 14 days of symptom onset

Travel information

  • If you have traveled to an affected country within the past 14 days and have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough or shortness of breath), call your primary care provider or a Main Line Health Urgent Care.
  • If you have friends and family visiting from anywhere outside of the United States, consult the CDC travel advisories and your state’s Department of Health for further guidance.
  • If you are in close contact with someone who is visiting or has just returned from abroad and has symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), call your primary care physician’s office or one of Main Line Health’s urgent care centers.

Additional resources

For commonly asked questions, please refer to our previous Covid-19 update.

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