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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 13, 2020 ― Novant Health today announced it is taking additional proactive measures to help control the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including standing up a 24/7 helpline, screening centers, and triage tents outside of emergency departments – all dedicated to meeting the needs of patients and community members with questions, concerns, or symptoms related to the coronavirus.
These measures follow the regional health care system’s announcement earlier this week of expanded visitor restrictions for all of its facilities, which ask those who are not immediate family members to refrain from visiting patients in the hospital, regardless of the visitor’s age or health.
“The community needs to know Novant Health has immediately and appropriately activated all protocols for handling potential COVID-19 cases, for which we have been preparing since the onset many months ago,” said Carl S. Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health. “We understand people in our communities are feeling uncertain and stressed in these unprecedented times. I’m hopeful that with these additional measures in place, our patients will have a clearer sense of how should they seek care if they feel they need to in the weeks ahead.”
The 24/7 Care Connections helpline (1-877-9NOVANT) is designed for patients without a primary care physician who are experiencing symptoms and have questions about how best to seek care. All community members are encouraged to call their health care provider, first, before driving to clinics in order to help curb the spread of possible infection.
In addition, Novant Health has established the following screening centers in the Winston-Salem and Charlotte areas, which will operate 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. All Novant Health-GoHealth Urgent Care centers are also screening.
People who have no symptoms will not be tested. They should not visit a screening center as they do not meet the criteria for screening or testing. Visiting a screening center unnecessarily will only further one’s risk of exposure and put a strain on resources for those who need it most.
Screening centers opening Friday, March 13 at 1:00pm:
Screening centers opening Wednesday, March 18:
In order to prepare for the potential influx of patients related to COVID-19, Novant Health is standing up triage tents outside its emergency departments at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. Here, patients with respiratory and other viral symptoms, including fever, shortness of breath and a sore throat, will be screened and triaged to the most appropriate venue of care for further treatment. All Novant Health emergency departments are designating well and sick areas inside the facilities, as well.
Triage tents will help ensure Novant Health is able to both respond to those who potentially need to be screened for COVID-19 and continue to serve all patients who need emergent care at its acute facilities.
Novant Health also has virtual visit options for patients who have medical questions for a provider, but do not want to leave their home. Virtual care options include online questionnaires, on-demand video calls and scheduled video visits.
“Since the onset of the coronavirus, Novant Health has worked diligently to ensure we can meet the needs of our patients and the communities we serve. Our existing emergency preparedness infrastructure, as well as our ability to respond in real time, will continue to help us effectively manage this ever-evolving situation,” Armato added.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit NovantHealth.org/coronavirus or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.