Over the past few weeks, you have all seen or heard much about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in California. We recognize that situations such as this can create fear and anxiety and our best way to address that is through communication, education, and preparation. Below you will find information to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
 

Patient Family FAQ Spanish

Hospital Appointments

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Is it safe to undergo surgery at MemorialCare's Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital?

Yes, it is safe to have a surgery at the hospital. The safety of our patients, family and staff is of the utmost importance to us. Rest assured that we are following all infection control policies and the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to decrease exposure to the Coronavirus. However, to further reduce the risk of spread, we have made the difficult decision to suspend certain elective procedures based on criteria and the surgeon’s clinical review.

If you have a procedure scheduled at Long Beach Medical Center or Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, please consult with your surgeon to determine whether it should be postponed.

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If I think I have the Novel Coronavirus can I come to the ED to be tested?

If you are significantly ill and need to be seen, it is very important to call your healthcare provider before you come to the Emergency Department so that they can direct you to the most appropriate care, and take precautions to protect other patients, visitors, and employees. Tests are only available for patients who have been screened and are suspected of having the virus. For additional information about Coronavirus, and to discuss possible screening, please contact the City of Long Beach Coronavirus Hotline at (562) 570-4636.

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Is it safe to go to the hospital or clinic appointment if I am ill?

Yes, it is safe to go to the hospital or clinic appointment to receive medical care. MemorialCare's Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach have implemented visitor restrictions during this time, to help diminish the spread of the virus and to keep our patients safe.  Adult patients should not bring visitors or children with them to their appointments. Pediatric patients should be accompanied by only (1) one parent/legal guardian.

Also, due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, we are maximizing “social distancing” and decreasing all non-urgent interactions. We recommend that you call your physician’s office to determine if you should keep your visit.

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The hospital has a confirmed coronavirus case. How do I know that the people taking care of me now weren’t exposed and aren’t contagious?

We have been vigilant with the health of our staff who are caring for the patient, including following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding exposure to patients with novel coronavirus. Staff are following all infection control requirements, including wearing masks, face shield/eye protection, gloves, gowns and other protective measures. If anyone is suspected of contracting the virus, they are asked to stay home and self-quarantine.

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I think I have COVID-19, what are the symptoms? How do I know if I should go to the hospital?

COVID-19 is a new disease, one that has not been previously seen in humans. While we don’t know everything about COVID-19, there’s much we do know. First, the symptoms are generally more severe than typical respiratory infections.

The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can also cause sore throat, diarrhea, and muscle aches.  If you think you’ve been exposed and develop these symptoms, call your doctor for medical advice.  The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you do not go to the emergency room or urgent care center if you have mild illness.  Instead, you should self-isolate at home.

Emergency warning signs requiring immediate medical attention are difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to wake up, or bluish lips.  If you have any of these symptoms go to the nearest emergency room or call 911. 

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I heard on the news that there’s a patient with COVID-19 at this hospital, how is he/she doing?

We cannot share information with you or anyone on any of our patients. The safety of our patients, family and staff is of the utmost importance to us. You can be assured that our staff is treating all of our patients in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. This includes extensive training and equipping our staff with protective equipment, supplies and procedures to prevent the spread of the disease. 

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I was a recent patient at your hospital, do I need to get tested? What should I do?

If you are not presenting any symptoms and have not traveled outside of the country, there is no need to get tested. If you have symptoms such as a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, we encourage you to call your doctor’s office for guidance.

We are caring for any suspected patients or positive patients while safeguarding our patients, their families and visitors and our healthcare professionals. Anyone who may have been in contact with a suspected patient before they were identified will be contacted by the medical center.

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What is the process to check in if I do have an appointment at the hospital?

Upon checking in, patients will be screened and masked if necessary. You may see hospital staff wear a mask as they are ensuring compliance with our hospital flu vaccination policy. It is our policy to mask anyone during the flu season if they have not received the flu vaccine. Rest assured that your healthcare providers are in good health, as we actively encourage staff to stay home if they have symptoms or are ill.

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I want to make a donation to the hospital. Are you accepting donations of supplies or meals?

Right now, health care workers at MemorialCare have the gear they need to protect themselves and others as they care for patients with COVID-19. But with the number of COVID-19 patients rising daily, and with outpouring of generosity from the community, MemorialCare is accepting help from employers and the community willing to donate supplies. This helps ensure supplies will be ready if needed in the coming days and weeks to protect staff and patients. Information on donations being accepted and where to drop them off can be found on our website at www.memorialcare.org/donations-needed.

Visiting the Hospital

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Are people being screened to go into the hospital?

Yes. On Friday, Mar. 20, our hospitals began closing select entrances to gain better control of traffic flow in and out.  It has become necessary to set up screening stations at the open entrances to screen employees, physicians and other visitors before they enter, to ensure the safety of our staff and patients. They will be asked travel and exposure history, basic health questions and to have their temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees and above will not be allowed to enter our hospitals.

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Are visitors allowed at the hospital or in the Emergency Department?

As part of our commitment to ensuring a safe environment for our patients, families, and staff, MemorialCare has updated our visitor policies in response to the current situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As a response to the current community situation with COVID-19, and Governor Newsom’s call for more restrictions, we are restricting visitation on the hospital campus. The decision to suspend hospital visits was difficult and made only after careful consideration.  

We encourage family members and friends to use alternative ways to interact with their loved ones, including phone calls and using their mobile phones for voice and video calling apps like Facetime and Skype.

We recognize there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial.  Visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below:

  • Any patient who is at the end of life may have two (2) visitors, who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • Pediatric outpatients may have one (1) parent/legal guardian, who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • Pediatric Inpatients and Emergency Department pediatric patients (under the age of 18) may have one (1) parent/legal guardian, who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • NICU patients (neonates) may have two (2) parent/legal guardian, who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit. 
  • Labor/Delivery and Mother/Baby Unit patients may have one (1) support person, who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • One (1) visitor may temporarily be allowed to obtain vital clinical history/information, to assist with disruptive behavior, or to provide support with patients who have an altered mental status. Upon providing support, visitor will be asked to end visitation and exit the facility.

Please note, approved visitors are subject to the following guidelines:

  • Visitors will be screened, and not allowed if they have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath)
  • Visitors allowed must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit.  Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the medical center
  • Visitors under the age of 16 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances

Thank you for understanding and following these policies in order to do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

For additional information about COVID-19, please contact the City of Long Beach Coronavirus Hotline at (562) 570-4636. 

If you have questions regarding the visitor restriction policy, please call Patient Relations at (562) 933-9315

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Are Emergency Department patients screened for respiratory symptoms?

Yes, all Emergency Department patients are screened for symptoms of respiratory illness at the entrance to the Emergency Department. Depending on the symptoms and assessment, the next steps for each patient are provided by an emergency department clinician.

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Is it safe to go to the Emergency Department if I don’t have respiratory symptoms?”

MemorialCare is prepared to treat and care for all patients, including those who may have been infected with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19).   

Our Emergency Department team is highly trained and experienced in caring for patients, including those who need to receive emergent care for conditions such as severe injuries, heart attack, stroke, or any other emergent medical injury or illness such as a virus or infectious disease.  We have taken extra measures during this COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the continued safety, exceptional care and well-being of all our patients and staff, with a special area to treat patients coming in with suspected COVID-19 and an area for non-infectious disease.

For non-emergent medical conditions or injuries, we encourage you to take advantage of other services we offer. These include setting up a virtual appointment with your doctor, telephoning an advice nurse or visiting a MemorialCare urgent care location. It is important to practice social distancing as much as possible during this time and stay home unless you have an emergency that requires medical attention.

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How is Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital keeping patients, visitors and staff safe from Coronavirus?

We are screening patients outside of our hospital and suspected patients that are determined to need inpatient care are immediately placed in isolation. Every staff member that is screening and/or treating suspected patients are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and are in full protective gear, taking proactive steps to safeguard our staff, physicians, patients and community.

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Are you still hosting events/support groups?

We are postponing or canceling several events, classes and support groups, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended period of “social distancing” in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19. This is truly a precaution as we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the health of our community.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding as we observe this period of “social distancing.”

The following events and support groups have been postponed or canceled:

  • Dancing for Our Stars (March 14)
  • Diabetes Self-Management Class (April 22 & 29)
  • Medicine, Munchies & Movies (March 13)
  • MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute Community Educational Presentations
  • Support Groups:
    • Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group
    • Balance & Beyond Wellness Exercise Class
    • Cancer Patient Support Group
    • Diabetes Support Group
    • Joints in Motion
    • Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer
    • Ovarian & Gynecologic Cancer Support Group
    • Parkinson’s Wellness Program
    • Prostate Cancer Support Group
    • Spinal Cord Injury Support Group
    • Spousal Bereavement Support
    • Stroke Survivors Support Group
    • The Inspirations Support Group
    • Weekly Walking Group
    • WomenHeart Support Group
    • Yoga for Cancer Patients
    • Young Survivors Support Group
  • Take Back Pharmacy (April 25)
  • Writing Through the Cancer Journey: A Writing Workshop for Cancer Patients

This page will continue to be updated as schedules are released.

MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute Appointments

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I have a consult at the Cancer Institute, should I come in?

In an effort to keep our patients and staff well, we are seeing patients with urgent cases only and are rescheduling all other cases. Your referring physician will be able to determine if they feel you should come in. Please reach out to your referring physician.

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Why is my follow-up appointment at the Cancer Institute being canceled?

We are dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff. Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, we are maximizing “social distancing” and decreasing all non-urgent interactions. We are postponing in-person follow-up visits for approximately 30 to 60 days. The delay will last until the situation stabilizes. As you know, this is a rapidly changing situation, and we appreciate your patience while we try to maintain everyone’s health. If you feel your situation is urgent, please call your physician to discuss your concerns.

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I am supposed to start cancer treatment soon. Should I start?

Your Oncologist/Radiation Oncologist will partner with you to determine the best time for you to start based on your diagnosis and specific needs.

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Can I still have my appointment/follow-up via a virtual visit?

We will contact you if telehealth (where you speak with your physician over the phone or use a video chat option) is an option for your appointment.

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Since I am receiving radiation treatments, am I more vulnerable to get COVID-19?

In most cases, radiation therapy does not make you more vulnerable to contract COVID-19. You may have other factors that contribute to your susceptibility, such as age, respiratory issues or chemotherapy. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with your Radiation Oncologist.

General COVID-19 Information

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Is there anything I can do to keep myself, my family and friends safe?

Like other illnesses, you can protect yourself from the novel coronavirus by maintaining the same practices that you use during flu season or whenever you encounter someone with respiratory illness.

  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Cover your cough, use your elbows, not your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness
  • Stay at home if you are ill
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes
  • Stay informed – check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) site regularly for new updates
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Does COVID-19 pose a risk to pregnant or breastfeeding women and their baby?

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads. For the latest information visit the CDC’s Pregnancy and Breastfeeding page:  Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Covid-19 FAQ

MHA: Mental Health And COVID-19 – Information And Resources

 

For additional information about Coronavirus, please contact the City of Long Beach Coronavirus Hotline at (562) 570-4636