Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information

CPMC Covid Vaccine Hotline:

Colorado Plains Medical Center has established a dedicated COVID vaccination hotline, 970-542-3311, to get scheduled for the COVID-19 vaccine. In accordance with the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the State of Colorado, we are currently administering vaccines to our community members 70 years of age or older. If you would like to be scheduled to receive your COVID vaccine, and you are age 70 or older, please call this number and leave your name, date of birth and phone number. One of our team members will be contacting you to schedule your appointment as soon as we know when the next shipment of vaccine is set to arrive and have scheduled our next vaccination clinic.  Please do not make multiple calls to leave this information.  Rest assured, your name and information has been recorded on our waiting list.  Thank you.

COVID-19 Vaccine Availability Update as of January 5, 2021:

We know there are a lot of questions about the emerging COVID-19 vaccines. Our goal is to keep you informed as vaccines are approved and rolled out for our workforce, patients and community in the weeks ahead.

We have created a list of common questions about the COVID-19 vaccines based on current knowledge and understanding. These questions will continue to evolve with time, so we encourage you to check back frequently for the most up-to-date information.

Common Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines:

  1. Who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine? When will it be available to the general public?

We are in the process of distributing the vaccine in accordance with prioritization guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal government and our state health departments. Vaccine administration has begun with our frontline healthcare workers. As soon as the vaccine becomes more broadly available, we strongly encourage our community to get vaccinated.

  1. The vaccine was produced very quickly. How do I know it is safe?

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is the top priority while federal partners work to make the COVID-19 vaccines. Despite what the name may suggest, “Operation Warp Speed” does not mean that manufacturers were able to skip steps or cut corners in the vaccine development process. Instead, after development of the vaccine, manufacturers took a secured risk and overlapped the study, manufacturing and distribution phases. The FDA committed to giving these vaccinations priority (not rushed) review at all phases of the studies, which helped speed up the overall process. Ongoing monitoring of vaccine effectiveness and side effect reports will continue to be evaluated by the FDA and the manufacturers.

  1. If I get the COVID-19 vaccine, should I still wear a mask?

Yes. For several reasons, a mask and other proven methods of preventing COVID-19 (hand hygiene and social distancing) are still important even after receiving the vaccine. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

  1. If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, should I still get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?

Yes. At this time, the vaccine is recommended even if you previously tested positive for COVID-19. There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people who have had COVID-19 greater than 90 days ago should proceed with getting the vaccine. Due to limited vaccine supply, if you have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days, your likelihood of reinfection is low enough during this time period that you can wait to get the vaccine until you hit the 90-day mark after being sick.

  1. Can you contract COVID-19 by getting the vaccine?

No. The vaccine is NOT a live vaccine, and it is NOT possible to contract COVID-19 from receiving the vaccine. Some people experience side effects from the vaccine, such as headache, muscle pain, or fever – but that does not mean you have COVID-19.  It means your body is working to build the necessary immunity against the virus, which is a good thing. 

  1. What are the possible side effects/adverse events from the COVID-19 vaccine? 

The most common adverse reactions reported have been fatigue, headache, fever/chills and joint pain. This means your body is working to build the necessary immunity against the virus.

You can read more in Pfizer’s FDA Briefing Document about the side effects reported among the vaccine study participants.

  1. Can the COVID-19 vaccine be administered to children?

The COVID-19 vaccine is not indicated for children younger than 16 years old at this time.

  1. Can the COVID-19 vaccine be administered to pregnant women?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals. It is important to note that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available have not been tested in pregnant women, so there is no safety data specific to use in pregnancy. Pregnant women should make an informed decision after discussing with their healthcare provider.

  1. How many doses are required? If multiple, when do I get another dose?

For both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, two doses are required. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be administered 21 days after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be administered 28 days after the first dose. It is very important to note that the second dose must be from the same manufacturer as the first dose. 

  1. What should I do if I am unable to get the second dose exactly 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) after the first dose?

While it is recommended that you receive the second dose as soon as feasible after day 21 or day 28, we understand that it might not be possible to receive it on the desired date. This could be due to multiple reasons. Please keep the following in mind if you cannot receive the second vaccine dose on the desired date:

  1. You must receive the second dose from the same manufacturer as the first dose.
  2. Get the second dose as soon as possible after the desired date has passed, as it is better to get the second dose late than not at all. You will still experience the same efficacy in the long run, although you may not see the full effect of the immunity until a few weeks after the second dose.  

  1. How long after receiving both doses of the vaccine until it is considered effective?

Similar to the flu vaccine, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. As a general rule, the vaccine is considered effective about two weeks after the second dose, according to the manufacturers. There is evidence that the first dose will begin providing some immunity, but it is still very important to receive the second dose for optimal results.

  1. Can I choose which vaccine I get (Pfizer or Moderna)?

    We do not recommend waiting for a specific manufacturer. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have similar efficacy and potential side effects, and have shown decreased disease severity in the small numbers of study participants who contracted COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine. Both manufacturers require two doses. It is important to remember that the second dose you receive must be from the same manufacturer. Early defense is better than no defense against COVID-19.

COLORADO PLAINS MEDICAL CENTER EASES VISITOR RESTRICTIONS - EFFECTIVE JUNE 22, 2020

Limited visitation now available for most patients as elective and non-urgent procedures resume

Colorado Plains Medical Center is transitioning from a zero-visitor protocol to limited visitor restrictions as the hospital resumes elective and non-urgent cases and services at its facilities effective June 22, 2020. The decision was made as current projections continue to indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in the region and after careful review of state and federal guidance. The updated restrictions, which will now allow most patients to have one visitor or support person per day, have been implemented effective immediately.

As part of the updated visitor restrictions, patients on the MedSurg Unit or in the ICU will be allowed one well visitor per day.  Visiting hours are from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  The visitor will not be allowed to leave and return unless there is a patient emergency. 

One support person will be allowed for obstetric patients.  This support person must remain for the entirety of the labor and delivery.  The visitor will not be allowed to leave and return on the same day unless there is a patient emergency.

The Emergency Department will allow one support person per patient.  This individual must remain with the patient.  If this individual leaves, they will not be allowed to re-enter the ED.

One companion for hospital outpatient appointments will also be allowed under the new visitor policy.

All visitors must be 16 years of age or older, will be screened upon entry and are required to wear a mask and an armband while in the facility. Visitors who do not pass the screening at entry will be asked to reschedule their visit until they are symptom-free. Minor children, individuals unable to manage their own decisions, or disabled individuals requiring assistance from a regular caregiver will be allowed one individual to accompany them while in the facility.

Visitors are not allowed on the Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit or for high-risk, isolation, immunocompromised, or respiratory patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19.  Please contact the unit director for end of life patients for visitor guidance.

Colorado Plains Medical Center continues to screen everyone who enters the facility for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines. Please utilize alternative methods of communications, including technology, with patients as much as possible.

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Patient and Approved Visitor Masking 

As part of Colorado Plains Medical Center’s ongoing efforts to optimize personal health for both our employees and our patients, we are asking that ALL visitors utilize a mask or cloth covering at all times while in the clinics or hospital. Homemade masks are acceptable. We greatly appreciate our community’s support and cooperation as we continue to ensure a safe place of care for our patients, guests, and employees. #InThisTogether #MakingCommunitiesHealthier #COVID19 #Coronavirus

COVID-19 Testing FAQ

COVID-19 Online Risk Assessment

To help support the health of our community, we are providing access to an online COVID-19 risk assessment developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This tool does NOT provide a diagnosis, and it should NOT be used as a substitute for an assessment made by a healthcare provider.

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order. Visiting a provider does not necessarily mean you need testing or that you will receive testing. Your provider will work with the Northeast Colorado Health Department to follow all appropriate guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Department to determine if testing is recommended based on your symptoms and recent travel history.

What are the qualifications for being tested for COVID-19?

Someone may be a candidate for testing if he or she has:

  1. A fever and cough or shortness of breath AND has been in close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case; or
  2. A fever and cough or shortness of breath and a history of travel from affected geographic areas; or
  3. A fever and cough or shortness of breath requiring hospitalization with no other source of infection.

Can I pick up or buy a test kit for COVID-19?

No. At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order and are not commercially available to the public.

What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? I want to be tested.

If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should self-monitor for fever or symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If you begin to experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, and they are mild enough that you can manage them at home, you should remain at home in isolation. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)

If you are not experiencing symptoms, or you are experiencing mild symptoms you can manage at home in isolation, you do not need to seek medical care or testing.

I believe I have symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do next?

I’m experiencing mild symptoms right now, but I’m worried.

If you are experiencing fever and/or mild symptoms of respiratory illness, you can and should isolate at home during illness. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)

Should I get tested?

Isolating yourself at home and self-monitoring mild symptoms is the best course of action unless you feel you need medical care.

Worsening symptoms – I need to see my provider.

Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider’s office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.

Will I be tested? Your provider will make this determination based on your symptoms, and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Northeast Colorado Health Department guidelines.

Emergent symptoms – I am having difficulty breathing.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Will I be tested? Your emergency medicine provider will make this determination based on your symptoms and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Northeast Colorado Health Department guidelines.

Colorado Plains Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are fully prepared to care for patients, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with our local and state health departments.

Below are a number of resources to help educate you and your family on COVID-19. For more information on the virus, please contact the health department.

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