What You Need to Know About COVID-19
Many questions have come up from patients, caregivers and members of the community concerning COVID-19. We want to help alleviate your concerns by answering common questions about the novel coronavirus. If you have additional questions please contact the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) or refer to the CDC for information.
Please Note: The situation is fluid and is subject to change. We will do our best to keep you informed and provide access to the best care possible.
What's the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine?
Please check our COVID-19 vaccine blog for the latest information on the vaccine and answers to frequently asked questions about vaccination.
Where can I get a COVID-19 test?
Primary Care Office
If you have a primary care provider at Community, call the office for testing questions and next steps.
COVID-19 testing is available at MedChecks for people with or without COVID-19 symptoms. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted. Testing options may vary.
Community Clinic at Walgreens
COVID-19 testing is available at Community Clinic at Walgreens for symptomatic patients as part of an evaluation. Appointments should be scheduled online. Testing options may vary.
I need care now. What should I do?
Our commitment to providing exceptional care is unwavering as the situation with COVID-19 continues. How we deliver care may be changing temporarily, but we remain committed to your health and the health of your family.
If You Have a Provider or MyChart Account
If you want to schedule an appointment with your current Community provider, you may call their office or send a message through MyChart. They will determine if you are able to have an appointment over the phone or by video, or if they need to make other arrangements. If you’re having trouble reaching your provider, call 317-621-2727 for assistance. MyChart care options include:
- New! On-Demand Video Visits: MyChart users may request a video visit with an on-demand visit provider between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. for certain conditions. To get started, log in to your MyChart account and go to Menu > Start a Video Visit Now. Need help? See our Tips and Tricks.
- E-Visits: E-visits are useful to try to resolve health problems via messaging, without a visit. You may request an e-visit with an e-visit provider between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. for certain conditions. Learn more about e-Visits.
- Scheduled Video Visits: Video visits may be held on a mobile device or your desktop/laptop computer. Learn more about Video Visits.
Don't Have a Provider?
If you want to schedule a new appointment with a provider, please call 317-621-2727 to be guided on next steps or try the options listed below.
MedCheck and Community Clinic at Walgreens for Urgent Care
Virtual Care 24/7
Virtual care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for minor illness and injuries. You can use this service whether or not you have a Community provider. Visits start at just $49 for self-pay, and may be able to be billed to insurance. To get started, click here to create your account.
Have a behavioral health need? For virtual behavioral health visits, we're happy to help at Community Virtual Care, powered by MDLive.
I am experiencing symptoms. What do I do?
If you are worried that may have acquired the COVID-19 coronavirus, we want to quickly direct you to the most appropriate care and prevent the spread of the virus. Instead of driving to your doctor's office or other site of care, please call your provider or 317-621-2727 for guidance on next steps. We'll give you important information to ensure you get the best care possible before coming to an outpatient location.
Stay home if possible. According to the CDC, people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. Avoid public areas. Do not go to work, school or public places. Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
What are your visitation guidelines or restrictions?
Community’s highest priority remains delivering quality care in the safest possible environment. Our visitation policies reflect the best evidence-based information available, and we’re confident in our safety protocols and our ability to keep patients, visitors and caregivers safe.
Community currently has visitation restrictions in place at its sites of care. Please see guidelines below for specific areas, including adult inpatient, maternity/NICU, pediatric units, ambulatory locations (outside the hospital), emergency rooms, surgery and end-of-life scenarios.
Effective July 6, 2021*:
Mask Policy Remains: Masks continue to be required for entry to our sites of care and must be worn inside facilities at all times.
All patients and visitors are required to wear an isolation/procedural/surgical mask upon entry to network facilities. Community will provide this mask. Personal cloth/barrier masks are permitted only when arriving and exiting, during pick-up and disposal of the isolation/procedural/surgical mask. While inside, the cloth/barrier mask must be replaced with an approved isolation/procedural/surgical mask provided by Community representatives.
- All visitors must be age 12 years or older.
- All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms, and those with symptoms will not be allowed to visit. Screening questions:
- Have you knowingly been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or do you think you might have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Have you developed any of the following symptoms over the past 48 hours: Fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, congestion, sore throat, vomiting/diarrhea?
- Have you felt feverish or documented a temperature of 99.6 or higher in the last 48 hours?
- Visitors should wear barrier masks from home when entering the facility. An isolation/procedural/surgical mask will be offered by our staff to replace the barrier mask for added protection for you and others. Masks are required to be worn at all times while in the facility.
- Visitors are required to use hand sanitizer upon entry.
- Limit personal belongings you bring with you to your visit.
- Limit your visit to the patient room, provider office, or procedure area and kindly do not go elsewhere in the hospital.
- Food delivery and personal property are permitted to be dropped off at screening tables/visitor registration for further processing.
*Exceptions may be determined upon arrival by screening teams at hospital entry points. Visitor guidelines subject to change.
Adult Inpatient Hospital Units
- Visitation hours below apply to Community Hospitals Anderson, East, North and South, Community Heart and Vascular Hospital, and Community Howard Regional Health.
- Visitors MUST wear a mask at all times, especially when in a patient's room.
- Visitors and patients should not be eating together. Specifically, visitors should refrain from eating or drinking in a patient's room. Visitors are permitted to bring food/drink to a patient.
- Non-COVID patients: Two (2) visitors allowed in the room at a time (ages 12 or older). The visitors may rotate and there is not a limit to the number of visitors who may visit. The two-at-a-time maximum is for social distancing in rooms. One (1) visitor may spend the night in the room from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., but other visitors must exit between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- *ICU overnight visitation arranged on an as-needed basis.
- COVID+/PUI patients: Visitation by appointment only (the patient's care team will help coordinate). Visits may be for one hour, with no more than two hours per week. A signed waiver is required and visitors must wear proper protective equipment. Learn more in this video.
- Behavioral health: Visitation by appointment only; one visitor per patient. Families may contact the patient’s nursing unit to arrange visits.
- One visitor permitted to escort a patient to an appointment if:
- Patient is a minor
- Patient needs assistance
- Patient or caregiver requests the escort for care planning purposes
Maternity/NICU Hospital Units
- Maternity patients may have four (4) authorized visitors (spouse, significant other, etc.) for the duration of their stay. Visitors may leave and re-enter the hospital during regular visitation hours.
- In addition, a doula is permitted for labor and post-partum, and should be screened, follow posted guidelines, and properly credentialed upon arrival to the facility.
- NICU departments will allow two parents OR assigned guardians ONLY. Open visitation hours.
- Maternity patients and NICU parents will be permitted to bring a small bag to the hospital with their personal clothing and their baby’s car seat. More about pregnancy and delivery during COVID-19.
Pediatric Hospital Units
- Pediatric patients are allowed two parents OR assigned guardians per room. Open visitation hours.
- Patients with physical, cognitive, or behavioral needs/impairments may have one (1) "escort" as needed.
- Minors must be accompanied by one (1) over 18 adult/parent/guardian.
- Patients will either be discharged following evaluation and treatment, or admitted, at which time the appropriate inpatient visitor policy applies.
- If a patient needs an escort to hear education for discharge, the care team will make every effort to contact an escort/support person to share information.
- Surgical patients are allowed two (2) visitors to accompany them through the duration of their procedure. Visitors may wait in the surgery/procedural areas while a patient is in the operating/procedural room.
- Visitors must be age 18 or older.
- Visitors must pass the COVID-19 screening on day of service.
- Visitors must wear a Community Health Network provided isolation/procedural/surgical mask for the duration of their visit, even when alone in patient room.
- Visitors may not eat/drink while in the facility.
- Visitors will be permitted to leave/return to the department during their patient’s surgery and stay.
- See more about elective surgery.
Ambulatory Visits (Outpatient)
- One (1) patient escort is permitted if requested by caregiver or the patient for treatment plan communication, emotional support or other assistance.
- Minors must be accompanied by one (1) over 18 adult/parent/guardian. For infants under 1 year of age, two (2) caregivers may accompany the patient if needed.
- Patients with physical, cognitive, or behavioral needs/impairments may have one (1) "escort" as needed.
- Children/siblings should only accompany the patient if no other childcare arrangement can be made.
- All patients and approved patient escorts that enter the facility are required have a mask, face covering, or protective shield to be seen in person. We will issue a isolation/procedural/surgical mask as an added layer of protection for all who enter the site of care.
- Fertility: A patient and one (1) partner/support person may attend the new patient or new consult appointment.
- OB Ultrasounds: A patient and one (1) partner/support person may attend the entire OB ultrasound as well as the OB visit following the ultrasound.
- Oncology: One (1) patient escort is permitted if requested by caregiver or the patient.
End of Life
- End of life visitation is allowed for visitors age 12 or over.
- For non-COVID patients:
- Unlimited time for up to 6 different people (two at a time) during last 24 hours of life.
- For COVID-19 positive or suspected patients:
- May have two hours with two (2) different visitors any time during a 24-hour period.
- Visitors are not allowed to re-enter if they leave during visitation.
- Authorized visitors will be assisted with additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for your safety.
- A phone screen for COVID-19 symptoms may occur, and an in-person screen will also occur.
- Visitors traveling to the hospital must have a homemade mask or face covering when they leave their home.
- For your safety, no personal belongings are permitted into the facility other than vehicle keys.
- End of life visitors must make the screening attendants aware of the visitation.
- Visitors in personal protective equipment will be required to wear the equipment properly for the duration of the visit.
- Spiritual care services are available upon request.
- For the safety of the public, we ask visitors travel directly to the hospital, and head directly back to their home following the visit.
What can I do to help?
Many of our Central Indiana neighbors have reached out asking how they can help at this time. If you would like to offer support, we encourage you to consider the following options:
- Make a financial donation. Gifts made in response to COVID-19 can help:
- support patients in financial needs,
- provide take-home meal kits and temporary quarantine housing support for Community caregivers
- or offer financial assistance for Community caregivers facing sudden and severe hardship.
- Donate blood. COVID-19 precautions are affecting our blood supply. Our local Blood Center needs 550 donors every day to maintain a healthy blood supply. For those who are able, please consider donating. Both the CDC and WHO have deemed it safe to donate. Please follow the guidance outlined by the American Red Cross.
- Donate plasma. Community Health Network is partnering with Versiti Blood Center to spread the word about convalescent plasma donation. These donations help those seriously affected by COVID-19 to recover. Visit the link to find out if you're eligible.
How are you protecting your caregivers from coronavirus?
We are practicing infection prevention as we would for a disease that is spread like COVID-19. We meet often regarding changes to the situation and run drills for our teams. We adjusted HR policies so our caregivers know they can stay home if ill. We work with agencies if we need outside help. We ask all caregivers, even those who are not at the bedside, to be ready to serve in whatever capacity we need them.
Are there restrictions for hospital vendors?
Yes, vendors are restricted to mission-critical or direct patient care activities and will only be allowed in the building or clinic and by appointment only. Please reach out to your designated point of contact at Community to make arrangements in advance.
Are there volunteer restrictions?
We are happy to welcome volunteers back to serve in our facilities! Get volunteer information and apply online here.
What do people need to know about COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus spread by respiratory droplets, mainly from person-to-person. This can happen between people who are in close contact from one another (about 6 feet). It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their mouth, nose or possibly eyes, but this is not the main way the virus spreads. People need to wash their hands frequently and keep their hands away from their face once they have touched a surface, shaken a hand or touched another person. Instead of shaking hands, touch elbows or give a nice head nod.
What can I do to prevent getting sick?
Wash your hands and practice good hygiene. Remember, we're all in this together. Let's do our part to help keep everyone healthy.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you know that someone has COVID-19, keep a distance between yourself and the individual.
Take steps that protect others. Wear a face mask when you are out in public. Stay home if you're sick; cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue then throw away. Be sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, sinks, faucets and pens.
Wear a mask properly to protect yourself and others.
What if I am a higher risk individual?
High risk groups include the elderly and people of all ages who have severe underlying health conditions. Examples of these conditions include heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and auto-immune conditions. If you are a higher risk individual, there are extra ways to take precautions outlined by the CDC.
What is Indiana's COVID-19 response?
Gov. Eric Holcomb’s May 1 executive order outlining Indiana’s five-stage plan for reopening the economy required that employers publicly share a detailed safety plan, outlining policies, procedures and expectations for safe operations. Please see Community's plan below.
For updates on Indiana's coronavirus response, visit https://www.coronavirus.in.gov.
Remember, if you are experiencing symptoms please call before coming to a site of care.
Call your provider or 317-621-2727. We'll give you important information to ensure you get the best care possible before coming to an outpatient location.
Thank you for your help in protecting the community.