Over the past few months 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. 

Hospital Appointments:

caret-down/expand
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, loss of taste and smell.  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. 

caret-down/expand
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 susceptibilities, such as age, respiratory issues or chemotherapy.

caret-down/expand
Is it safe to undergo surgery at Saddleback Medical Center?

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), in treating patients. 

caret-down/expand
Is it safe to go to the hospital or clinic appointment if I am ill?

Yes, it is safe to visit the hospital or clinic appointment to receive medical care. Saddleback Medical Center has implemented some additional visitor restrictions during this time, to help diminish the spread of the virus and to keep our patients safe. 

 

caret-down/expand
What is the process to check in if I have an appointment at the hospital?

Upon checking in, patients will be screened and masked if necessary. You will see hospital staff wearing a mask. Rest assured that your healthcare providers are in good health, as we require staff to stay home if they have symptoms or are ill.

caret-down/expand
What are the safety measures in place at the MemorialCare Cancer Institute – Meiklejohn Radiation Oncology Center, should I come in?

In response to COVID-19, our Radiation Oncology team at the MemorialCare Cancer Institute has implemented extensive safety protocols to protect our patients and staff.  We want to assure you that safety remains our top priority.  To view our list of safety precaustions in place please visit: Safety Measures

caret-down/expand
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. 

caret-down/expand
How is Saddleback Medical Center keeping patients, visitors and staff safe from Coronavirus?

We are screening patients as they come into our Emergency Department 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, taking proactive steps to safeguard our staff, physicians, patients and community. Additionally, all patients undergoing surgery or procedures at the hospital are tested for COVID-19 prior to their surgery/procedure. 

caret-down/expand
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 fluctuating 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:

caret-down/expand
Are visitors allowed at the hospital or in the Emergency Department?

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 and protect our patients, staff and visitors.

  • End-of-Life- Any patient who is at the end of life may have two (2) visitors.
  • Emergency Department- Patients may have one (1) visitor (same person), who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • Pediatric Patients- Patients in pediatric units and departments may have one (1) parent/legal guardian visit and may be increased to two (2) on approved case-by -case basis. Pediatric inpatients at Miller Children’s may have two (2) parent/legal guardian visit unless otherwise indicated by staff to ensure safety of patients, staff physicians and visitors. (Should be limited to two (2) designated visitors throughout the hospitalization).
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Patients: Patients (neonates) may have one (1) parents/legal guardian visit. May be increased to two (2) on approved case-by -case basis. (Should be limited to two (2) designated visitors throughout the hospitalization).
  • Adult Inpatients: Adult inpatients may have one (1) visitor per day.  Visitors may not switch off on the same day; the same visitor is to remain with patient until leaving for the day.  A different visitor may come on a different day. (Should be limited to two (2) designated visitors throughout the hospitalization).
  • Maternity Patients-Laboring, Antepartum & Postpartum patients may have one (1) support person visit per hospital stay (same person). In addition to one (1) support person, Doulas will be permitted to be present in L&D if the doula complies with PPE and infection control guidelines.
  • Surgical/Procedural Patients-Patients undergoing a surgery or procedure may have one (1) support person (same person preferred). Campus visiting hours should be followed and overnight stays are only permitted for end of life circumstances. There will be no general visitation in the PACU, and Pre-op visits will be determined on a case-by-case basis. (Should be limited to two (2) designated visitors throughout the hospitalization).
  • Patients who require special assistance: Altered, dependent and patients with cognitive impairments may have one (1) visitor.  To obtain vital clinical history/information in crisis situations, one (1) visitor may be allowed to visit. (Should be limited to two (2) designated visitors one (1) at a time) throughout the hospitalization).
  • Patients that are COVID+ or suspected COVID- No general visitation is allowed. Exceptions include End of Life, Maternity, Pediatrics and NICU.

Note:   The visitation guidelines listed above may be restricted, or hours limited at the discretion of hospital staff 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 or cloth covering 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.
  • 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 not permitted in common use locations such as cafeterias and non-designated waiting areas. Once screened, the visitor must go directly to the assigned room of their family member. 
  • 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. 

caret-down/expand
If I think I have the Novel Coronavirus can I come to the Emergency Department to be tested?

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.

If you are mildly 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 Orange County Health Referral Line at (800) 564-8448.

caret-down/expand
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.

We are sorry for the need to modify our visitation policy temporarily and look forward to returning to our customary policy when the risk of spreading COVID-19 is no longer a serious concern.

caret-down/expand
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.

caret-down/expand
Do ALL visitors have to wear a mask?

Yes, all visitor exceptions will be masked. It is of the utmost importance to reduce the spread of the virus to our patients, your loved ones, that all visitors are masked for the entire visit.

caret-down/expand
Should visitors wear a mask when they are in the patient room?

Yes, regardless of the patient or visitor’s health status, visitors should wear a mask.

caret-down/expand
Should masks be worn the entire day or replaced every so often?

Replacing masks often is unnecessary. A visitor can use the same mask for the entire day.

caret-down/expand
What meal services are available to visitors?

Visitor trays are still available at this time. We offer meals between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Call (949) 452-DINE (3463). We accept most major credit cards.

caret-down/expand
Are visitors allowed to use the cafeteria during this time?

No. For the health and safety of your loved one, it’s important that you stay in room for your entire visit. Upon exiting the patient room, then you will need to exit the facility.

caret-down/expand
Why are hospital entrances closed?

As we continue to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff, we have closed the following entrances on our campus at this time:

  • The Saddleback Medical Office Tower entrance facing the Laguna Hills Mall on Calle de la Louisa is closed. Please use the entrance nearest our Valet tent on Calle de la Magdalena to enter the Saddleback Medical Office Tower.
  • The Women’s Hospital entrance is only open to Labor & Delivery patients. All others can use our main hospital entrance.

Thank you for your cooperation and support as we continue to ensure the health and safety of everyone at Saddleback Medical Center.

caret-down/expand
How do I get into the Saddleback Medical Office Tower?

The Saddleback Medical Office Tower entrance facing the Laguna Hills Mall on Calle de la Louisa is closed. Please use the entrance nearest our Valet tent on Calle de la Magdalena to enter the Saddleback Medical Office Tower.

caret-down/expand
Are MemorialCare classes, events and hospital tours being canceled?

We have canceled our in-person classes and events until further notice.  To view a list of our virtual classes, please visit memorialcare.org/sbclasses 

caret-down/expand
Can I refill my current prescription medication at MemorialCare Outpatient Pharmacies?

If you need a prescription, please contact your pharmacy. If you are out of refills, your pharmacy will contact your doctor for you. Ask your doctor and/or pharmacy if delivery is an option for you.

Continue to take all current medications unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

caret-down/expand
Am I still able to donate blood?

Yes, healthy individuals without signs of respiratory illness may donate blood. Blood donors will need to check-in and wear a mask the entire time of their visit.

caret-down/expand
Is the gift shop open?

Yes, the gift shop is open Monday – Friday from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm. Starting at $15, we can provide personalized wrapped gifts that can be delivered to a patient’s room at your request. While we are not carrying flowers at this time, we can prepare a balloon bouquet.

Additionally, we are offering curbside pick-up and free gift wrapping of items purchased at the gift shop.

For any of these services, please call 949-452-3426.

caret-down/expand
Can I have flowers delivered to a patient in the hospital?

Yes, flower deliveries are accepted at the main hospital entrance lobby. While our gift shop is not currently carrying flowers, we can prepare a balloon bouquet. To order a balloon bouquet, please call 949-452-3426.

General Covid-19 Information:

caret-down/expand
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.

  • Wear a mask when out in public
  • 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
caret-down/expand
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 visit the CDC website or contact the Orange County Public Health Referral line at (800) 564-8448.