Latest news, information, and resources
The Health Collaborative is taking an active role to support our region during the current COVID-19 outbreak through our Greater Cincinnati Disaster Preparedness Coalition (DPC). The DPC’s primary role is to facilitate regional coordination and collaboration among all Coalition members in their response to COVID-19. Members include hospitals, emergency medical services, emergency management, public health and other community partners in the TriState region.
Find Out Your COVID-19 Risk
Try our free screening tool to find out your risk level, based on your symptoms and travel, and get the most appropriate care recommendations.
Our Latest News
- Former mask skeptic joins public service campaign after getting coronavirus | via ABC News
- Coronavirus in Ohio: Once a skeptic, now she urges Black people in Cincinnati to wear masks | via The Enquirer
- When We’re Out, Masks On – Download Ohio toolkit here
- #MaskUpHoosiers – Download Indiana toolkit here
- Regional COVID-19 Communications Center Launches
- COVID-19 Cases Increase as States Reopen (Available in Spanish)
- What is Contact Tracing? And Why Does it Matter?
- How The Health Collaborative’s HIE is Helping to Coordinate the Coronavirus Response
- Updated Visitation Policy for Greater Cincinnati Hospitals (05/21/20) (Available in Spanish)
- Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Town Hall with Hospital Leaders and Frontline Staff (Recorded 05/15/20)
Personal Protective Equipment
DONATE: If you have extra PPE that you will not be using (N95 masks, gloves, etc.) click on DONATE. UC Health has set up an email address for donations. Please note that food and nonperishable items may not be accepted in clinical care settings. Due to federal and state healthcare laws, we cannot accept cash or gift cards.
USE CALCULATOR: A tool designed by the CDC to help healthcare and non-healthcare systems, such as correctional facilities, track how quickly PPE will be used at those facilities. CLICK HERE TO CALCULATE.
- COVID-19 Contact Tracing Communications Toolkit
- Building Support for Contact Tracing
- What is contact tracing?
- Key concepts
- Ohio Department of Health (ODH) | COVID-19 Updates
- When We’re Out, Masks On – Download Ohio toolkit here
- Indiana State Department of Health | COVID-19
- #MaskUpHoosiers – Download Indiana toolkit here
- Kentucky Department for Public Health | COVID-19
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) | What you should know about COVID-19
- COVID-19 in Spanish
- Local COVID-19 Q&A in Spanish | via Jorge Benedetti on Facebook
- Coronavirus Best Practices in Spanish
- Coronavirus Symptoms and Next Steps in Spanish
- Introduction to Senior Building in Spanish
- Senior Housing COVID Prevention in Spanish
- COVID Guidelines for Housing Owners and Managers in Spanish
- COVID19 Reporting and Contract Tracing in Spanish
- Quarantine and Isolation Explanation in Spanish
- Vaccine Communications Tools in Several Languages
- COVID-19 resources in 35 languages
- #COVID-19 in ASL: CDC YouTube channel in American Sign Language
- Manejo en casa del COVID | via CDC YouTube
The Gen-H Connect team at THC is here to support our partners during the current COVID-19 outbreak. The following resources and guidance may be helpful in maintaining health related social needs screening and providing resources to your patients during this time. We will update these resources as necessary and share updates from CMS as we receive them.
Gen-H Connect Protocol During COVID-19
- AHC Model Flexibilities for COVID-19: view/download a PDF of COVID-19 protocol for Gen-H Connect sites
- Telephonic Screening Script: view/download a PDF of the recommended Telephonic Screening Script for our navigation partners
For additional questions or support please contact GenHConnect@healthcollab.org.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
- Primary Care Resources – FQHCs and community health centers
- United Way Greater Cincinnati 211
- United Way Greater Dayton 211
- Council on Aging
- Health Care Access Now
- CMS Medicare Telehealth FAQs
- SIREN Resources for Clinicians and Patients
- Healthify COVID-19 resources
- Healthify (must have login to screen and search for resources)
- Cincinnati State Technical and Community College: Community Resource Guide During COVID-19
- Women of Cincy – COVID-19 Community Resource List
- A Call to Action for Nurses from our Gen-H Connect partner at TriHealth, Darris Bohman, MSN, RN, CEN: It is a New Day! Time for Action
- BrightView Health Adds Tele-Group, Medication Delivery Options During Pandemic
- Strategies For Making Cincinnati A Safer Place for Black Communities During the COVID-19 Crisis
- COVID-19 Ohio: Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint
- Manejo en casa del COVID | via CDC YouTube
POP-UP TESTING LOCATIONS: CLICK HERE to visit our Test and Protect web page
ORGANIZATIONS REQUESTING TESTING ASSISTANCE: CLICK HERE to complete our online request form, or call 513-618-3656.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is testing important?
Testing helps identify those who have COVID-19 so they can stay home (isolate) and not spread the disease to others. Testing helps healthcare professionals understand how many people have COVID-19 within our community. Testing also helps prepare our hospitals for potential COVID-19 admissions and helps our local health departments conduct contact tracing to prevent future spread of the virus.
Who needs to be tested?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19, you can get tested. Exposure is close contact (less than 6 feet), for more than 15 minutes, with someone who has COVID-19 (with or without a mask).
Do I need a test if I think I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?
No, but you DO need to stay home for 14 days (quarantine) whether you get tested or not. Even if you get a negative test result, you still need to say home for 14 days.
What should I do if I have been exposed?
Stay home for 14 days after exposure and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others. Make sure to self-monitor for symptoms. Symptoms vary from person to person and can include a lack of energy, loss of appetite or loss of taste or smell. Even if you get tested and have a negative result, you need to stay home for 14 days.
If I have a negative test after being exposed, do I still need to stay at home?
Yes! The incubation time for COVID-19 is often several days from exposure to symptom onset. This means it can take days for the symptoms of the disease to develop. A negative test on day 2, 3, or 4 does not mean a person will not develop symptoms on day 11, 12, 13, or even 14. Also, some infected people never develop symptoms. All contacts of a case of COVID-19 need to quarantine at home for 14-days from the last day of exposure to the virus.
If I am an employer, should I let a person who was exposed to COVID-19 return to work if they have a negative test result?
No. A negative test does not mean that a person in quarantine should return to work without staying home for the full 14 days. Symptoms can develop anytime within the 14-day incubation time, so a negative test on day 2, 3, or 4 does not mean a person will not develop symptoms on day 11, 12, 13, or even 14. All contacts of a case of COVID-19 need to quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day of exposure to the virus.
Why do I need to wait 72 hours after exposure to get a test?
This gives the virus enough time to build up in your system enough to show up in a test result.
How often do I need to be tested?
This depends on your symptoms, advice from your primary care doctor, or if a test is required by your employer before returning to work. According to the CDC, there is NO reason to retest within 90 days (3 months) of positive COVID-19 test. Many people can “shed” viral particles that are not infectious for some time.
Do children need to be tested?
Children of any age should be tested if they are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or are considered high risk.
How does testing work?
Nasopharyngeal swabbing (nose/ throat) is most widely used. The technician will put a 6- inch cotton swab up both sides of your nose and move it around for about 10-15 seconds. It will not hurt, but it might be uncomfortable. They will send the swab to a lab to test the material from inside your nose and throat.
Will it hurt? What are some tips to prepare for the test?
Come prepared to fill out a form with your personal information and know that collecting the sample may be uncomfortable but will only take a few seconds.
Where can I take a test?
Ask your primary care doctor which testing locations they connect with for results. If you do not have a primary care doctor, there are many pop-up testing sites around the area providing testing free of charge. Most public health departments have pop-up site dates, locations, and times listed on their website and social media accounts.
How do I get my results?
Depending on where you take a test, results may come to you through the mail, through a phone call or from your primary care doctor. After your sample is taken, it is important to ask how your test site communicates results.
When will I receive results?
Results can usually be obtained in less than a week, but if the testing lab has received a very large number of samples to test, it can be delayed beyond a week.
What are the different types of tests for COVID-19*?
|Swab Test (PCR)||Antibody Test||Antigen Test|
|Biggest difference?||Can detect active infection with the most accuracy||This test is to see if you had COVID-19 in the past, but can also be positive if you are currently infected||Designed for rapid detection of the virus in an active infection|
|How does it work?||Directly detects the presence of the virus’ genetic material||Indirectly detects viral infections by measuring the immune response to the virus||Detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus|
|Type of sample?||Nose/ throat swab, can be uncomfortable||Blood sample||Nose/ throat swab, can be uncomfortable|
|Time to get results?||A few days – to a week (depends on lab capacity)||A few days – to a week (depends on lab capacity)||A few days – to a week (depends on lab capacity)|
|When should I get it?||If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have knowingly been exposed||If you have had COVID-19 and recovered||If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have knowingly been exposed|
What happens if I receive a negative result?
A negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. In the early or late stages of infection, it is possible that a low concentration of the virus will not be detected. Even with a negative result it is important to wear a mask in public, avoid close contact indoors with individuals outside your home and wash your hands frequently. If you receive negative results and are still under quarantine because you were a close contact to a confirmed case, you must remain in quarantine for the en- tire 14 days. You can become infectious at any time during the quarantine period.
What happens if I receive a positive result?
You may be contacted by your health care provider or by your local public health department. It is important to communicate with public health. Their job is to help prevent the spread of the virus. Public Health will ask you about who you were around and where you went so that they can identify others at risk of getting COVID-19. They will never ask you for sensitive personal information such as bank information or passwords. If you receive a call from a local health department, please tell the truth – you can directly impact the safety of your community and of your loved ones.
Depending on your local health department’s capacity – contact tracing may take time. It is important to stay home so you do not get others sick if you receive a positive result. All contacts of a case of COVID-19 need to quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day of exposure to the virus.
What are the latest guidelines for isolating if a test is positive or suspected positive?
CDC has released non-test-based criteria for discontinuation of home isolation and criteria for return to work for healthcare personnel with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The non-test-based strategies include:
Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
- At least 10 days* have passed since symptom onset and
- At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms have improved.
*A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days, that may warrant extending duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset. Consider consultation with infection control experts. See Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Patients with COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings (Interim Guidance).
Where can I find more information on COVID-19?
- Indiana: in.gov
- Kentucky: ky.gov
- Ohio: ohio.gov
- United States: coronavirus.gov
- Check your local health department website for additional details in your area
To keep patients and residents in our region safe, visitation restrictions have been updated. If you are planning to make a visit to a hospital, please contact the hospital directly or visit their website for more specific restrictions by location.
Visitors for Emergency Department & Hospitalized Patients:
- Admitted patients may have one (1) support person / family member accompany them.
- The visitor must remain in the patient’s room and contact nursing staff when leaving.
- Patients are allowed one visitor per day.
- Visitation hours are 9a.m. – 7p.m.
- Visitors must be older than 15 years of age.
- Potential visitors should review CDC and state health department guidelines if visiting a patient with advanced age and chronic medical conditions and avoid visiting hospital if these apply.
- Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will not be allowed to have a visitor or support person.
- Visitation or support persons for office visits may vary by provider. Patients are encouraged to check with individual providers to ensure they are clear on their provider’s policy.
Screening & Mask Guidelines
- Visitors must wear a mask at all times.
- Masks must fully cover the nose and mouth.
- Patients and visitors may provide and wear their own mask or will be required to accept and wear the mask provided by the hospital facility.
- If a visitor refuses to wear a mask, visitors may be asked to leave the facility.
- Exceptions may be made on an individual basis for those who are unable to wear a mask due to health or disability issues.
- All visitors will be screened for symptoms or exposure history.
- Visitors will be asked to leave the facility if they have had symptoms in the past 24 hours or exposures in the last 14 days.
- Visitors must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings.
WAYS TO HELP DURING THE PANDEMIC
- Purchase a “Strength in Unity” Shirt to benefit the YMCA of Cincinnati Emergency Response Fund.
- Reach out with a card, letter, or drawing to patients and residents who can’t receive visitors, and consider a donation to Council on Aging to help put meals on the tables of seniors whose resources have been limited by this pandemic.
- Donate blood, platelets, or convalescent plasma at your local Hoxworth location – see details below.
- Donate personal protective equipment (PPE). Please email email@example.com.
- Join the Medical Reserve Corps in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana.
- Reach out before donating items – agencies are being overwhelmed with items they may not be able to use/accept.
CONVALESCENT PLASMA DONATION
- Have recovered from a documented infection of COVID-19 and have been symptom free for at least 28-days.
- Since testing has been limited in the region, individuals who believe they had COVID-19 are also encouraged to donate at this time. The product will be tested for antibodies following donation. If your plasma does not contain high levels of antibodies to COVID-19, it may be used to help save the lives of other patients.
If you tested positive for COVID-19, or believe you had COVID-19, and have been fully recovered for at least 28 days, please click here to fill out the eligibility form and get scheduled for a donation today. Read our press release here.
If you are a physician, hospital representative or patient looking for more information, please email HoxCovid19@uc.edu.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a virus strain, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, that has only spread in people since December 2019.
Health experts are closely monitoring the situation because little is known about this new virus and it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people. Get COVID-19 resources in 35 languages here.
How does COVID-19 spread and what are the symptoms?
COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets. That means to become infected, you generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets. It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or possibly eyes. Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
How long does it take for symptoms of the COVID-19 to appear?
The CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days, or as long as 14 days after exposure.
How is COVID-19 treated?
There is currently no FDA approved medication for COVID-19. People infected with this virus should receive supportive care such as rest, fluids and fever control, to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
Is there a vaccine?
Currently, there is no vaccine available.
How can I best protect myself?
Practice the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Standard household cleansers and wipes are effective in cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
Want to learn more about what you can do to protect you and your family from COVID-19?
I have a chronic condition that puts me at high risk. How can I best protect myself?
Unfortunately, there is not yet a vaccine that can prevent COVID-19, so we cannot prevent the disease.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is new, so we don’t yet understand exactly how it impacts specific groups of high-risk people. But, those who are thought to be most susceptible to serious complications of COVID-19 include people who:
- Are over age 65.
- Have cancer.
- Have hypertension.
- Have lung disease.
- Have diabetes.
- Have heart disease.
- Have another condition that compromises the immune system.
- Are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
But there are things you can do to minimize your risk if you have a weakened immune system or are immunocompromised. Find out what steps you should take if you’re considered high risk
Should I wear a face mask? Will that help protect me?
If you are sick: You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
If you are not sick: You do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask). Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
I have an appointment at a hospital or doctor’s office and I am concerned about COVID-19. Should I cancel my appointment?
Area hospitals are taking necessary precautions on behalf of patients, visitors and caregivers. The Ohio Governor’s office, in collaboration with the Ohio Hospital Association, announced new guidelines on postponing non-essential surgeries, a related procedures, for adult and pediatric patients. At this time primary care providers are reviewing patient records and encouraging all of our Ohio patients with non-essential primary care appointments scheduled to take place in the next few weeks to consider rescheduling for three months out.
What surgeries and procedures are “non-essential”?
Examples of non-essential surgeries and related procedures include deferrable bronchoscopy, deferrable upper and lower endoscopies, routine dental procedures, stable symptomatic problems, benign condition management, cosmetics, primary and revision joint therapy (non-infected), bariatric and elective hernia surgery and urogynecology.
Surgical cases such as urgent or emergency surgery, cancer surgery or cancer evaluation, infected joints, or other indications consistent with the department of health guidelines above will continue.
Is The Health Collaborative concerned about shortages of any medical supplies or medications?
As of March 25, we have adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that our region’s Disaster Preparedness Coalition distributes according to need. The Ohio Department of Health has set up a 24/7 COVID-19 hotline for those with questions or concerns as well: 833.427.5634 (1.833.4ASK.ODH).
For the latest information on travel information, alerts and warnings, please visit the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel website.
What if my family member traveled from a country or had a layover in a country with widespread or sustained transmission in the last 14 days?
If your family member traveled from or had a layover in a CDC-designated high-risk country in the last 14 days and feels sick with fever, cough or has difficulty breathing, use our screening tool or call/message your primary care physician.
Your family member should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before they go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about their recent travel and symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Not travel while sick.
- They should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve (not their hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Should I travel internationally?
CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. View the CDC list of destinations with travel notices.
What if I must travel for personal reasons?
If you must travel for person reasons, practice the following precautions:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds. Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
Do you think you may have Coronavirus (COVID-19)?*
COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The Health Collaborative is working with public health partners at all levels and will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.
Take these steps:
- Start with a virtual visit – call your primary care physician or insurance provider and see what your options are. You will be advised what to do next.
- Call ahead before going in person to any physician’s office or clinic location.
- Don’t go to your local emergency department for COVID-19 testing. The emergency department is only for those who need the most critical care.
*If you have chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, a severe headache or other potentially life-threatening problems, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.
OUR LATEST COVID-19 HEADLINES
Hear a presentation on COVID-19 vaccines and immunity given by Irene Hamrick, MD at our recent Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)/Hospital Regional Workgroup meeting.
Chief executive officers and medical leaders said the time has come to require the vaccine to protect their workers and to assure patients that area hospitals are safe.
Our latest efforts to boost vaccination feature targeted digital advertisements that direct users to locations where the vaccine is available.