Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions
Updated June 16, 2020
What Is WellSpan Health Doing?
WellSpan is using dedicated care locations and testing collection sites for individuals that have been instructed to go by their physician. The majority of patients (roughly 80%) can self-isolate at home following testing as part of their recovery. Read more about our locations in the next question.
As part of this process, we have limited visitation at our hospitals and outpatient locations, with certain clinical exceptions. Click here to learn more.
We have also placed signs at all of our practices asking patients to call the office or their doctor before coming inside if they may be experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, or if they have come in contact with someone that has tested positive. We have introduced similar messages into our online scheduling and appointment reminders. In addition, we have placed an alert and information on our website.
How Do the Dedicated COVID-19 Care and Testing Sites Work?
WellSpan is using dedicated care locations and testing collection sites for individuals that have been instructed to go by their physician. They are not meant for walk-up individuals.
Patients should call their primary care provider to be screened to determine any need for testing or for care related to COVID-19. Patients that do not have a primary care physician can take advantage of an online screening tool at the bottom of this page to determine if they may be at risk for COVID-19. Also, patients are encouraged to use WellSpan Online Urgent Care to be seen quickly and safely, without the need to travel to a care location. Patients should visit WellSpan.org/OUC to get started. (Use coupon code COVID19 for a free visit.)
Patients who have already been screened by a physican may be directed to a hospital or a non-hospital testing location. These locations are intended to provide a safer, more efficient means to offer testing for patients.
A patient’s out-of-pocket cost for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) testing is $0. COVID-19 testing requires an order from a physician or advanced practice clinician (PA-C or CRNP). The referring physician or advanced practice clinician can provide locations where you can be tested.
Does WellSpan Health conduct serology testing (also known as antibody testing)?
WellSpan Health continues to review guidance for COVID-19 serology testing, but at this time we have not begun testing or ordering testing kits.
Our patient’s health and safety is our No. 1 priority, and there are concerns that quality and accuracy issues with the testing could lead to false positive results. The current guidance from the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) all agree that serology testing should not be used to assess protective immunity, make staffing decisions, make decisions on the need for social distancing adherence, or determine need for personal protective equipment.
We will continue to monitor the emerging evidence and best practices for COVID-19 serology testing and update our approach accordingly.
Where Can I Find Additional Information?
The CDC and Pa. Department of Health are the best resources for up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. For the latest updates visit the CDC Coronavirus webpage and the Pa. Department of Health webpage.
If you have a question related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and you don’t have a primary care doctor, WellSpan Health has set up a Coronavirus Information Hotline toll-free at (855) 851-3641. If you are concerned you or your loved one may have contracted coronavirus (COVID-19), you can call this phone line with questions Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. This line is meant to provide general information about the coronavirus related to prevention, risk, screening and instructions on when to seek care.
Who Is Most at Risk?
The elderly and people who have underlying health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. The CDC recommends these populations take action now to help prevent getting sick. Avoid crowds as much as possible, avoid close contact with others and wash hands often.
People in communities where the virus has been confirmed are thought to be at an increased risk. Those who have recently traveled to countries where the virus is more widespread are also at an increased risk for coronavirus.
Will I Be Protected If I Wear a Mask?
Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (Pa. DOH), WellSpan requests that patients and visitors wear a protective face covering when visiting any WellSpan facility.
Hand-made fabric masks and other face coverings can help slow the spread of COVID-19. By covering your face, you help to stop spreading disease to others. Remember this saying: "My mask protects you, your mask protects me."
The Pa. Department of Health recommends that you wear face coverings when:
- Visiting your health care provider
- Shopping at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies
- Interacting with customers/clients at essential businesses
- Using public transportation
- Feeling sick, coughing or sneezing
For more information on wearing face coverings or masks, please visit these web sites:
How Is Handwashing Effective Against an Infectious Virus?
It’s important to remember that the best prevention for coronavirus, the flu and colds, is to practice proper respiratory etiquette. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing – either with a tissue or your inner elbow. Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (minimum 60% alcohol content). Coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets, which can travel several feet when a person coughs. These droplets that contain the virus then are picked up by others from surfaces where the droplets land. This is why handwashing is very important, not only to combat coronavirus, but also the flu.
What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold and flu. The most common symptoms include:
- Fever and cough
- Fever and shortness of breath
I Read That I Should Contact My Provider. What If I Don't Have One?
If you do not have a primary care provider and believe you need medical treatment for COVID-19, we recommend that you consider a WellSpan Online Urgent Care appointment by visiting Wellspan Online Urgent Care (use coupon code COVID19 for a free visit). If you have a question related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and you don’t have a primary care doctor, WellSpan Health has set up a Coronavirus Information Hotline toll-free at (855) 851-3641.
How Do I Pay My WellSpan Medical Bills?
WellSpan in Lebanon, Lancaster, York, Adams Counties and Northern Maryland:
As a precautionary measure to protect our community and staff, we request all payments and billing inquiries to Customer Service by phone, 717-851-5005, or online through your MyWellSpan patient portal, or via WellSpan.org.
For Financial Assistance information, please call 717-851-5051 or visit www.wellspan.org/financialassistance
WellSpan in Franklin and Cumberland Counties:
As a precautionary measure to protect our community and staff, we request all payments and billing inquiries be directed to Customer Services by phone:
WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital 717-267-7129
WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital 717-765-3406
WellSpan Roy A. Himelfarb Surgery Center 717-217-6720
Or online: SummitHealth.org/paymybill
Or, patients can mail payments using the addresses provided on the statements.
What If I Feel Sick?
If you believe you may have coronavirus it is critical that you avoid infecting others. Most people who are mildly ill with the coronavirus are able to isolate at home. Stay away from activities outside of your home and avoid going to places like the store, work or school. If you are home, stay in a separate part of the home and away from other people as much as possible.
What should I do if I get COVID-19, or if I am awaiting testing results?
There are steps you can take to prevent any additional spread of COVID-19. Additionally, dedicated clinics have been opened across the region to provide non-emergency care for individuals that have COVID-19, or for those suspected by a healthcare provider to have COVID-19. Please click on the above link for those locations.
Can I Visit My Friend/Relative in the Hospital?
To protect patients, staff and community from the spread of COVID-19, visitation has been restricted in all WellSpan hospitals and outpatient locations, with minimal clinical exceptions. Please click here to learn more.
Can I Donate Blood and Plasma?
Patients still need your help during the COVID-19 situation. If you are well, donating blood and plasma is safe and needed. Plasma from someone who has fully recovered from COVID-19 may help others in experimental treatment. Please contact the blood donation centers below to learn more.
- Blood donation is not a social gathering
- Donation sites use good infection control
- Only healthy individuals are advised to donate blood.
If you are not feeling well, please do not come in to donate. If you have had contact with a person known to have COVID-19, please do not donate for 28 days.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please do not donate blood for 28 days after your symptoms have resolved.
I Saw on the News There is a Shortage of Medical Supplies. Are We Still Safe?
WellSpan Health is closely working with suppliers to make sure our locations have an adequate supply of equipment to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.