COVID-19 FAQs

We know that you may be concerned about the rise in COVID-19 cases in our community, especially with this increase coming in the midst of the holiday season when you want to be with family and friends. We also know that you may have questions about exposure risks and testing. We hope this communication will help answer those questions.

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What constitutes an exposure to COVID-19?

According to the CDC, an individual considered to be “exposed to COVID-19” is someone who has come in close contact – physically 6 feet apart or closer – for a prolonged period of time - total of 15 minutes or more over the course of a day – with a person who is known to have or suspected of having the virus.

Please note, you would still be considered exposed to COVID-19 if in the above situation:
  • One or both of you were wearing a mask
  • The contact occurred outdoors in fresh air
  • You were further than 6 feet apart, but in an enclosed room for more than 15 minutes
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Who should get a COVID-19 test?

One of the following criteria should be met for you to be tested and, once tested, you should self-quarantine at home pending the test results or advice of your doctor.

If you have symptoms
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
If you have been referred to get tested by a healthcare provider

If you meet the above testing criteria, please schedule an appointment using myChart or call the MemorialCare Navigation Center at 877-MYMEMCARE (696-3622). If you are asymptomatic, see information on asymptomatic testing.

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Should I get tested if I think I may have been exposed?

If you think you’ve been exposed to someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, it is reasonable to consider getting tested, however, there are some things to consider. If you get tested immediately (especially within 2 days) after exposure, the test may be negative even if you are infected, so you still need to isolate yourself from others to prevent potential spread. In fact, after an exposure, you need to quarantine for 14 days after the exposure, even if you never develop any symptoms. If you are infected, the test is most likely to turn positive once symptoms develop, so it is most reasonable to wait to get tested until that point. Remember, people can spread the virus before they have any symptoms or realize they’re infected.

Although the CDC still recommends the full 14 day quarantine, they have offered a reduced quarantine option to lessen the burden on some. Since your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs, the CDC recommends you follow your local public health department's quarantine guidelines.

Options they will consider include stopping quarantine:

  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)
  • After stopping quarantine, you should watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
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How can I stay safe and protect myself from COVID-19?
Preventing spread is essential.

We know that we can help stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by consistently following these precautionary measures:

  • WEAR A MASK – Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
  • WASH HANDS FREQUENTLY – Practice 100% hand hygiene (20 seconds with soap and water or use of sanitizing gel).
  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING – Increase the physical space between yourself and other individuals through social distancing (CDC recommends at least 6 feet).
  • COVER coughs and sneezes (disposable tissues, use your elbow not your hands).
  • AVOID handshakes, fist bumps or unnecessary casual physical greetings.
  • STAY HOME if you are sick and monitor your daily health.

Some individuals are at a higher risk of serious illness if exposed to COVID-19, including adults over 65 years of age, individuals with previous or current heart conditions, individuals with diabetes, and others with previous or current respiratory conditions. However, the CDC recommends that everyone follow the above guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. CDC recommendations

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What's the news on the COVID-19 vaccine?

In mid-December, both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines received Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Shortly following, MemorialCare began receiving some initial vaccine supply. To date, we have received two shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at each of our MemorialCare hospitals and have vaccinated more than 7,000 of our frontline healthcare workers who are most at risk. Additionally, we anticipate receiving our first doses of the Moderna vaccine either this week or next. While the vaccine is not immediately available to the public, we will do all we can to acquire as many doses as possible, and as quickly as possible, to meet the needs of our healthcare workers and our community. For the latest information, visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.

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What does the latest government shutdown mean?

For the most up-to-date information on California’s blueprint for a safer economy, visit the CDPH website.

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What is the tiered system and how does it impact me?

For more information on your county’s tier, please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.

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What are the signs and symptoms?

While older adults with preexisting medical conditions are at highest risk for developing complications of COVID-19, anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you are experiencing major symptoms including shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to wake up, or bluish lips, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department. People with non-emergency conditions (such as minor respiratory illness) should not go to the emergency room.

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What do I need to know about children and COVID-19?

According to the CDC, children and adults are both at risk for contracting COVID-19. While adults make up most of the known cases to date, children and infants can also become sick. The symptoms are similar in both children and adults, however, the virus has a wide range of symptoms. Some children have started to develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. It is important to encourage children to help stop the spread by practicing social distancing, wearing masks and practicing good hand hygiene. For the most up-to-date information visit the CDC website.

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I wish to be tested for COVID-19, but I do not have symptoms. Where can I go?

See information on asymptomatic testing.

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Do I have COVID-19, the flu or a cold?

Know the Difference

Prepare this Flu Season: Cold, Flu or COVID-19?

Wearing a mask, social distancing and thorough handwashing can prevent the spread of the cold, flu, and COVID-19.

Cold Symptoms

Flu Symptoms

COVID-19 Symptoms

As flu season approaches, please educate yourself on the typical symptoms that are experienced with the common cold, flu and OVID-19. Other symptoms may be present or overlap for each illness.
If you have questions about any of these symptoms, please visit memorialcare.org to use our symptom checker tool or consult your physician.
Getting the flu vaccine annually is an important preventative measure to help protect yourself against influenza.

NOTE: Some people may be able to spread COVID-19 without showing any symptoms.

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What are MemorialCare’s visitor policies?

*Visitation guidelines may vary based on individual hospital or county circumstances. 

Under normal circumstances, MemorialCare welcomes our patients’ visitors 24/7. We know in-person visits provide support and reassurance for patients and families alike. We pride ourselves on being a patient- and family-centered organization. The COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for all of us. Times have changed quickly and dramatically due to the virus. As a patient-centered hospital, we must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this disease

Below are temporary COVID-19 visiting guidelines for MemorialCare Hospitals.  These are general guidelines; at any time, visitation may be restricted, or hours limited at the discretion of hospital leadership to ensure the safety of patients, staff, physicians, and visitors.

Each visitor entering a MemorialCare facility must comply with the following:

  • Wear a face mask (procedural mask required in patient areas) that covers the entire mouth and nose when entering the facility and must always wear a procedural mask while in patient care areas. The only exception is if you are eating or drinking; when your mask is off, you must stay at least 6 feet apart from other individuals. Visitors should use the same mask throughout the day unless discarding is indicated by isolation precautions.
  • Complete screening each time entering the facility, and disclose, any symptoms of illness including fever, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills, new loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Visitors with symptoms of illness, including fever, will not be permitted to visit. Once screened, the visitor must go directly to the assigned room of their family member.
  • Practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet apart from others whenever possible.
  • Visitors should wash their hands frequently, upon entering the room, leaving the room, before and after eating, and before and after using the restroom.
  • Visitors are only permitted in hospital approved common areas.
  • Meals: Visitors may bring a meal with them in an airtight container. We are unable to refrigerate visitors’ meal containers, so food should be able to remain at room temperature. If a visitor is unable to bring food with them, they may leave the campus for a meal. They will need to be rescreened on re- entry to the hospital.
  • Remain in the patient’s room or designated waiting areas except when accompanying the patient for approved activities. Once the visitor leaves the patient room or waiting areas, they must immediately exit the facility.

Note: These guidelines are for the protection of patients, staff, and visitors. Visitation is a privilege. Anyone who does not follow this guidance is subject to removal from the facility with further visiting privileges rescinded. Thank you in advance for your full cooperation. Any exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by administration or designee prior to visitation.

LEARN MORE

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How do I make a donation?

MemorialCare currently has the supplies it needs to care for patients and protect our staff. However, we are continuing to accept material donations of items that are being rapidly used. Donate now

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What are Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines?

MemorialCare has adopted the State of California’s Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines. We believe these guidelines align with the MemorialCare values of Integrity, Accountability, Best Practices, Compassion and Synergy.

Anchored in best practices from across the country, and guided by ethical principles and a commitment to equity, it provides a framework to help health care facilities and county health departments plan for the potential of a COVID-19 surge that is overwhelming. It aims to ensure that, should conditions push our systems into providing crisis care, we do so in a coordinated and thoughtful manner, using a common framework, procedures, and decision making that best protects the health of all Californians.

While MemorialCare hospitals and all other hospitals in our region are experiencing a very concerning increase in COVID-19 patients and in our occupancy, we do not meet the criteria for initiating crisis care at this time.

COVID-19 FAQs for Employers

We’ve put together some important information for employers on what they need to know about COVID-19 and their workforce.

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What are the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards?

Cal/OSHA recently published approved emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 infection prevention that apply to the majority of workers (employees) within the state of CA who are not categorized under the Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard.

For helpful information and resources for employers and workers please click here.

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Does MemorialCare Occupational Medicine offer COVID-19 testing for the employer workforce?

Yes, MemorialCare Occupational Medicine offers testing for your employees who are COVID-19 exposed, suspected, or have been tested and confirmed positive.

In consultation with a MemorialCare Occupational clinician, employers have the ability to add COVID-19 laboratory testing to an employee assessment. For more information about COVID-19 testing options, please call your local center.

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COVID-19 – CDC Guidance for TB Testing and other Vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following regarding potential interactions with the COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare personnel or patients who require TB testing (at onboarding or entry into facilities) at the same time they are to receive a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.*

For healthcare personnel or patients who require baseline TB testing (at onboarding or entry into facilities) at the same time they are to receive a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, the CDC recommends:
  • Perform TB symptom screening on all healthcare personnel or patients.
  • If using IGRA, draw blood prior to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.
  • If using TST, place prior to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.
  • If COVID-19 mRNA vaccination has already occurred, defer TST or IGRA until 4 weeks after        completion of 2-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.
For healthcare personnel who require testing for other reasons, the CDC recommends:
  • Perform TB symptom screening on all healthcare personnel.
  • Test for TB infection before or during the same visit as COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. If this is not possible, prioritization of testing for TB infection needs to be weighed with the importance of receiving COVID-19 mRNA vaccination based on potential COVID-19 exposures and TB risk factors.
    • Healthcare personnel with high-risk conditions for TB progression should be fully evaluated as soon as possible.
    • Healthcare personnel without high-risk conditions for TB progression should proceed with contact tracing (symptom screening, chest radiograph or other imaging, specimen for microbiologic evaluation) but delay being tested for TB infection (with either TST or IGRA) if prioritized for receiving COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.
There should be NO other type of vaccination administered to an individual receiving the COVID-19 vaccination two weeks before or after either dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series.
All potential recipients of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination should weigh the risks and benefits of delaying TST/IGRA with their healthcare providers.

*MemorialCare Occupational Medicine complies with CDC recommendations/guidelines regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and TB testing including the administration of other vaccinations.

Have COVID-19 symptoms? Use our symptom checker to help guide you with next steps.

Virtual Triage
Use our symptom checker to help guide you to the right level of care. To interact, click on the chat bubble in the bottom right corner of your screen that looks like the icon shown on the left (or above on mobile device). After you agree to our terms, start your triage session. Compatible with any browser other than Internet Explorer.

Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Sites

Due to limited testing resources, MemorialCare is focusing our limited testing on those patients for whom the test result will alter treatment recommendations. Generally, this means patients currently experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. These symptoms can include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea. A positive test does not change the course of the illness, as there is no treatment for COVID-19 and it is not unusual for the test to return as negative before symptoms start despite an infection.

Both LA County and Orange County Public Health have expanding testing capacity, please see the links below for information about testing locations for patients without symptoms. If you elect to be tested without symptoms, please continue to take caution even if you receive a negative result. 

Masking Guidelines

Masks are required before entering a MemorialCare location and must be kept on at all times. All our personnel, from the person at the front desk who greets you, to your intake nurse and the doctor who evaluates you, are wearing personal protective equipment to help ensure your safety. Please help secure the safety of our staff by wearing a mask as well.

How to properly wear a mask

MemorialCare Restrictions

We have been vigilant with the health of our staff who are caring for our patients. We are following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding exposure to patients with novel coronavirus. Our caregivers are following all infection control requirements, including wearing masks, face shield/eye protection, gloves, gowns and other protective measures. If any of our employees are showing any signs of any illness, they are required to stay home and self-quarantine.

San Clemente COVID-19 Testing Site

Appointments are needed to be tested at this site and can be made by calling (877) MYMEMCARE (696-3622). A physician order is required before calling to schedule your appointment.

Video News Stories

Drive by Thank You to Medical Workers

During evening shift change on March 11, retired MemorialCare nurses caravanned onto the Long Beach Medical Center campus to thank and show support for our nurses and healthcare providers.

Long Beach Hospital Holding Clinical Trial to Test Possible Coronavirus Treatment

Long Beach Hospital Holding Clinical Trial to Test Possible Coronavirus Treatment

Long Beach Medical Center is testing a drug developed for the treatment of Ebola to see if it can help saves lives during the coronavirus crisis.

Dr. Taub Interviewed by Lisa Hart

Dr. Taub helps to reinforce to the community that Saddleback Medical Center is well prepared and has excellent physicians and staff to care for them, whether they have COVID-19 or any other emergent need.

OC's Saddleback Medical Center Showing Public it's Ready to Accept Non-Coronavirus Patients

OC's Saddleback Medical Center Showing Public it's Ready to Accept Non-Coronavirus Patients

The mayor of Laguna Hills says a tour of Saddleback Medical Center showed her the hospital is capable of accepting patients without coronavirus issues.