COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Reviewed: July 14, 2020

HAVE THE SERVICES PROVIDED AT BAPTIST HEALTH CARE BEEN AFFECTED DUE TO COVID-19?

Currently, all services have resumed. Baptist team members are reaching out to patients to reschedule postponed appointments and procedures.

MY LOVED ONE IS A PATIENT AT A BAPTIST HEALTH CARE FACILITY. CAN I VISIT?

Visitors are not allowed at our hospitals (Baptist, Gulf Breeze and Jay* hospitals) at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we must take this necessary step to ensure the safety of people in our care, our team members and our community. View our full visitation policy for details.

We understand the importance of maintaining close communication between patients and their families during this stressful time. We encourage patients to communicate by mobile device or a video chat service. The Baptist information technology department has also provided Chromebooks equipped with the Zoom app that patients without access to a smartphone can use to have face time with their families.

WHO IS AT RISK OF COVID-19?

This information is being updated regularly. Please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus for the most current information.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE COVID-19?

If you think you have COVID-19, call your primary care physician or urgent care clinic to discuss your symptoms and so that precautions can be taken to prevent exposing other people if you need to visit the doctor’s office. If you are without health insurance or a primary care physician, please contact your county health department so the health department can coordinate your medical evaluation and testing.

  • Escambia County Health Department: 850-595-6500. After hours and weekends, call: 850.418.5566
  • Santa Rosa County Health Department: 850-983-5200
  • Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center number: 1-866-779-6121

CAN I GET TESTED FOR COVID-19 AT BAPTIST HEALTH CARE?

Yes. Baptist Medical Group offers a screening center that provides a controlled environment that applies CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines to provide a more comprehensive treatment program by screening those who may have COVID-19 and treating people with Flu-A, Flu-B, pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses. If you have respiratory symptoms – such as cough, fever and shortness of breath – you can call 850.434.4080 to determine if you need an appointment with the screening center and if you need testing. An appointment is required to visit this center. If you meet the criteria, an appointment will be scheduled for you. You will be given a phone number to call upon arrival. You will be asked to remain in your vehicle, and a BMG team member will greet you and escort you to the clinic.

As an alternative, Baptist offers online screening at https://bhcpns.virtriage.com/#/screen. You can also text “Screen” to 850.318.3080 or call 850.434.4080. If the screening indicates the need for further assessment and testing, a Baptist team member will call you to set up an appointment with a primary care provider.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM CONFIRMED WITH COVID-19?

Most people with confirmed COVID-19 infection reportedly have mild to moderate respiratory illness and can be managed at home in coordination with your physician and your local health department. Persons with severe illness may be hospitalized.

IF I COME TO A BHC FACILITY THAT HAS A CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19, WILL I GET SICK?

The risk of exposure is extremely low for patients, visitors and team members. Casual contact in the hospital does not present a concern. Unless you have had prolonged, close contact with a known case of the virus, you are not considered at risk. Following CDC protocol, we place any patient who is considered to be a positive case of COVID-19 in an airborne isolation room, which ensures the safest environment possible for other patients and visitors. Visit https://ebaptisthealthcare.org/Health/safety-on-our-campuses to learn about the numerous other measures in place at all of our facilities to ensure your safety.

DOES BAPTIST OFFER TELEHEALTH SERVICES?

Yes, we are happy to provide Baptist Telehealth so you can receive care anywhere. Physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners from Baptist Medical Group, Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute and Andrews Institute are now available for virtual visits. Details are available at https://ebaptisthealthcare.org/telehealth or by calling 850.434.4080.

HOW CAN I PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19?

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Rub hands together until dry.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Practice social distancing and avoid close contact with other people. Do not gather in groups of 10 or more and keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and any other person. Social distancing also means you should not have play dates for your children, meet friends for dinner or drinks, or have non-essential help around your house.
  • Wear a face covering any time you leave your home.

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE COVID-19 IN OUR COMMUNITY?

Visit https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/.

WHY CAN’T A HEALTH PROVIDER GIVE MORE DETAILS ABOUT A PATIENT WHO IS BEING TREATED?

We take the privacy of our patients very seriously. Federal privacy laws, also known as HIPAA, require strict confidentiality and prohibit the release of any information about a patient that is part of their medical record, including where they live, work or worship, their medical history, pre-existing conditions and other demographic information.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19?

You can find accurate, up-to-date information related to COVID-19 at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.