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Nuvance Health prepares for possible coronavirus cases

By Nuvance Health

Nuvance Health steering committee establishes plan to keep patients, staff, and communities informed and safe about 2019 novel coronavirus

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Danbury, CT - While there have been zero cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in New York and Connecticut, Nuvance Health is closely monitoring this new infectious disease surge and is prepared to provide the communities it serves with the safest, most current care and information.

Nuvance Health is comprised of a family of seven nonprofit hospitals spanning New York’s Hudson Valley and western Connecticut. Staff throughout the health system have taken several steps, in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to ready the hospitals and outpatient practices for potential cases, including:

Participating in local, state and federal discussions, webinars and collaborative emergency management planning.
Sharing information and best practice clinical recommendations across the seven-hospital health system and offsite locations.
Hosting Grand Rounds presented by global health and infectious disease experts to provide education and training for screening and infection control in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Assessing supply chain for specialty equipment assets and needs.
Identifying available negative pressure rooms to accommodate people under investigation requiring airborne isolation.

“Our multidisciplinary team across Nuvance Health is working closely together to ensure we are prepared for this quickly evolving outbreak,” said Dr. Valerie Cluzet, infectious disease specialist, Nuvance Health. “Effective communication and staying informed are both essential to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.”

“Our preparedness for potential 2019-nCoV cases is comprehensive and standardized across our health system, with the safety and health of our patients, visitors, staff, and communities underlying all of our efforts,” said Dr. Paul Nee, infectious disease specialist, Nuvance Health. “We will continue to seek CDC best practice information to guide our system response.”

As of February 6, there have been 12 coronavirus cases confirmed in the United States, in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, and Wisconsin. Approximately 76 Americans are being tested for the virus.

As Nuvance Health remains committed to the care and safety of its patients, the system urges individuals to stay vigilant and take preventative actions as they would for any respiratory virus. There is no vaccine to prevent the 2019-nCoV infection. The CDC recommends the following preventative measures:

Avoid close contact with sick people.
While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
Stay home if you are sick.
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Seek medical care if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with 2019-nCoV in the 14 days before you began to feel sick. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency department, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

In addition to the CDC guidelines specific to 2019-nCoV, Nuvance Health has strict protocols for patients presenting to any medical facility with a fever, cough, or rash. If any of these symptoms are present, patients are urged to wear masks before entering the facilities. If they are not wearing masks, patients will be asked upon registering, if they have any of these symptoms and if they have traveled in the past 30 days to regions with a concern for communicable diseases. If they answer yes, they will be given a surgical mask and isolated in a separate room for evaluation. 

The CDC is updating information on its website daily. Stay informed by visiting www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

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