Floridians can get information about the coronavirus and speak to a nurse through a new phone service.
AdventHealth is launching the free service, 877-VIRUSHQ, for anyone who has questions about COVID-19, according to a news release. The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and connects callers to resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health.
While the phone line is not intended to replace a physician-patient relationship, nurses can answer general medical questions and will refer the caller to the appropriate next steps, such as connecting them to AdventHealth Centra Care, AdventHealth eCare or other health-care providers.
“AdventHealth recognizes there are a lot of misunderstandings in our communities when it comes to COVID-19 and we want to provide our neighbors with a simple, trusted resource to help alleviate fears and answer common questions,” says Dr. Peter Schoch, chief medical officer of integrated health services for AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “We are hopeful this service will also offload non-clinical call volumes from health-care offices, helping providers across the state by freeing up their staff to focus on those who need the most immediate, critical care.”
AdventHealth also launched coronavirussignsandsymptoms.com, where consumers can get answers to questions such as “Am I at risk?” “What should I know if I am pregnant?” and “How can I protect myself from this and other viruses, like the flu?”
“While the risk for coronavirus infection in Florida remains low, it’s vital that the public be equipped with the facts to help prevent the potential spread of the virus,” says Dr. Vincent Hsu, infection control officer at AdventHealth. “We hope the community will use these resources, remain vigilant and help keep Florida healthy by taking simple steps such as staying home if you’re sick and routine hand washing.”
Information provided by the CDC:
How is COVID-19 spread?
Easily spread via person-to-person contact.
Close contact (within 6 feet).
Airborne respiratory droplets.
Possibly from contact with infected surfaces or objects, then touching own mouth, nose or eyes.
Spread when the person is the most symptomatic (sickest).
Symptoms may last up to 14 days.
Limit nonessential travel outside of the United States to affected areas.
If sick, reduce interaction with the public.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever (100.4 degrees F) without the use of antipyretics (Tylenol, Motrin, etc.).
If a sick employee arrives to work, separate the sick employee from others and send them home.
If you must go out in public, wear a simple face mask to help prevent spread of disease, including flu-like symptoms.
Practice good hygiene.
#1 HAND WASHING! 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 an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Cough in sleeve, not in hands. Or, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean door handles, workstations, countertops, and bathrooms using a regular household detergent and water, then disinfect.
Provide disposable wipes so employee can wipe down surfaces.
For more information:
Florida Department of Health, 866.779.6121, staffed 24 hours a day. floridahealth.gov.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.