June 1, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE: What You Need To Know
June 1, 2020
Calvary Hospital’s priority is to safeguard the health and well-being of patients, visitors, and staff at all times.
Message from The Calvary Hospital Medical Director (back to top)
The mission of Calvary Hospital is to care for the medical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our adult patients with advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. Out of respect for these unique needs, Calvary has a long history of allowing people to visit our patients as freely as possible.
During this pandemic, we regret that we must temporarily change our visiting policy. The Department of Health now requires all hospitals in New York to stop allowing almost all visitors. Click here to learn more.
If you would like support with a remote visit by phone or video, please call 718-518-2365. Feel free to leave tablets or smartphones with patients to use for video chats; our in-house WiFi is fast and free. We will facilitate video chats via iPad during the daytime. Nursing staff are available anytime to help organize phone calls to/from patients who have difficulty managing a phone.
Calvary is committed to helping with the personal and spiritual needs of our entire community to the extent allowed by law. If you have questions, or if we can help in any way, please call 718-518-2000. We recognize that these new limits add one more burden to the already complicated lives of our patients and the people who want to visit. We apologize to those who have been affected by these changes, and we promise we will do everything we can to return to our traditional policy of maximizing access to visitors as soon as possible.
If you have COVID-19, or if you have reason to suspect that you might have it, we respectfully ask that you do not visit in person. If you have questions about whether your health status would affect your ability to visit in person, please call 718-518-2000.
Calvary is coordinating with our healthcare partners throughout the New York City area to determine how our special expertise may be used to help hospitals throughout the region provide essential medical care. Calvary’s medical and nursing staff are experts in providing palliative care to patients with advanced cancer and other advanced medical illnesses. We will continue to work with hospitals to provide our expert care in this time of need.
On behalf of the entire Calvary community,
Robert M. Siegel, MD
Calvary Hospital Visiting Information (back to top)
During this pandemic, we regret that we must temporarily change our visiting policy. The Department of Health now requires all hospitals in New York to stop allowing nearly all visitors. As we balance our mission to take great care of our patients with the burdens of this pandemic, we have changed our visiting guidelines:
1) “Critical” status only. In-person visits are allowed ONLY for patients with “critical” status (imminently dying). We recommend telephone and video visits instead of in-person visits.
2) By appointment only. All visits must be arranged in advance. Contact the Family Care/Social Work department at (718) 518-2365 for an appointment. Prior to visiting, please inform Family Care/Social Work of any plan to bring children to visit.
3) 1-visitor maximum. 1-hour time limit. Only one person may visit the patient at a time, and a maximum of two people may visit in a day.
4) Entrance screening. We ask all visitors about their COVID-19 status, and we take the temperature of all visitors. We will provide every visitor a face mask to wear during the visit, and we will provide additional personal protective equipment in some situations.
5) No visits after death. Due to Health Department requirements, no visitors are allowed after a patient has died.
The New York State Department of Health also offered this guidance: Visitors should understand that they might acquire COVID-19 by entering a hospital, and should make an informed decision whether the benefits of a visit outweigh the risks. “Individuals age 70 years or older are not encouraged [to visit] at this time due to increased risk of COVID-19 infection.”
What is Calvary doing to safeguard their patients? (back to top)
We have been successfully screening all new patients before admission. We also screen all visitors and staff daily upon arrival to the Bronx and Brooklyn campuses.
There has been no disruption to patient care. Calvary reserves the right to deny entrance to any staff or visitor whom we feel could pose a health risk to the hospital community.
All staff for Calvary Hospice and Outreach are being screened daily for fever and signs of illness. All patients are being screened for infection with frequent re-screening at each home visit. Calvary@Home staff who visit patients in the community measure their own temperature daily. If they have a fever they contact management for instructions before leaving home.
Stay Connected with Your Loved Ones at Calvary Hospital (back to top)
It is our goal during this difficult time to keep patients and their family members connected and to assist patients in placing video calls to their family members. Currently, we will do this Monday through Friday. As soon as feasibly possible, we will make this available on weekends.
We are able to help patients utilizing Zoom conferencing, Facetime or Whats App. Each patient also has a phone in the room which we can assist them in dialing. If you need assistance with downloading and using the Zoom Conferencing App, we can send you a memo with instructions for connecting.
If you would like to connect with your loved one while they are at Calvary, please feel free to call the Social Work/Family Care Department at 718-518-2365 and we will be happy to facilitate the connection.
Note: This information is subject to change in accordance with the Department of Health.
What you need to know about COVID-19 (back to top)
- What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are viruses that cause sicknesses like the common cold. In December 2019, a new virus was seen in people in Wuhan City, China, and caused the ongoing outbreak that spread to other countries. The sickness caused by this virus is now called COVID-19.
- What are the symptoms and how serious is this virus?
The CDC believes that the symptoms of COVID-19 may appear between two and 14 days after exposure. The symptoms can include:
- Trouble breathing
- According to the CDC, if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately.
The Emergency warning signs are the following:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning – this list is not inclusive
- What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms, call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or emergency room to tell them about your symptoms and any recent travel.
- How do I stay healthy?
- Wash hands with soap and water
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
- Eat well, stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
- Stay away from work, school, or other people if you become sick
- Social distancing is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19
- How do I protect others, if I am sick?
According to the CDC, the steps to protect others are in the following:
- If you are sick, stay at home
- Cover your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze (tissue or the inside of your elbow) – throw tissue away after using it. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and if soap is unavailable clean with hand sanitizer that at least 60% alcohol
- Wear a facemask if you are sick and if you are not sick, you don’t need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Note: Facemasks are in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers
- Disinfect and clean often and touched surfaces daily. This includes doorknobs, light switches, countertops, tables, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection
- What is a coronavirus?