Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information

COVID-19 Testing FAQ

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.

*****

Thank a Healthcare Hero 

By Kevin Zachary, Chief Executive Officer of Colorado Plains Medical Center

April 2, 2020

As we continue to fight COVID-19, it has been so encouraging to see the outpouring of support from Fort Morgan and surrounding communities for Colorado Plains Medical Center. We always strive to be a place where you choose to come for healthcare, and we take our responsibility as a community leader very seriously. As our neighbors have come together to do everything possible to slow the spread of this vicious virus amid unprecedented challenges, we have never been more proud to be a part of this community. It is more important than ever that we all continue to take the important steps necessary to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible, including staying home as much as we can, practicing social distancing and following sound medical guidance.

Today, I would ask one more thing of our community, including myself: thank a healthcare hero.

Some moments require more of us as a society, as a community and as individuals. Moments like those need heroes. From grocery store employees and delivery workers to educators teaching remotely and those keeping our infrastructure and essential services running, this current moment has no shortage of heroes. And that includes our heroes on the frontlines of this crisis – our healthcare workers.

Our healthcare workers are not only a cornerstone of CPMC’s mission of Making Communities Healthier, they are integral members of our community. They are moms and dads. Brothers and sisters. Friends and neighbors. And – today especially – they are heroes, fighting on the frontlines to provide compassionate, quality care when it’s needed most.

At Colorado Plains Medical Center, we honor all our providers and employees working hard to ensure a safe place of care and a healthier community for all of us. I am asking you to join me and add your voice to the chorus of appreciation for our community’s healthcare heroes by posting your own message of thanks on your favorite social media, with the hashtag #ThankAHealthCareHero. Let’s show our hometown heroes how much we appreciate their incredible and inspiring efforts to keep us safe.

And thank you again for supporting Colorado Plains Medical Center and trusting us with your care as we help guide our community through the COVID-19 situation as safely as possible. No individual can beat this tragedy but together we will succeed.

*****

Supporting Efforts to Keep Our Community Healthy

By Kevin Zachary, Chief Executive Office of Colorado Plains Medical Center

March 24. 2020

Our community – along with communities around the world – is navigating unprecedented challenges as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread. The cycle of our lives and neighborhoods has been altered, and we are all working to accommodate an ever-changing new normal. Fear and uncertainty complicate our collective abilities to do this.  

Colorado Plains Medical Center is dedicated to helping everyone in our region navigate the COVID-19 environment in which we are all living right now. We have received many questions from our patients, partners and neighbors about how people can assist our efforts to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible. 

Here are some important actions everyone can take:

  1. Stay home. In times of trouble, our first instinct is to reach out – to come together and help one another. That’s why so many people are struggling with the best and most crucial advice healthcare experts are giving: stay at home and keep your distance from friends, neighbors, and even family. But we all must listen to and follow this advice. People’s lives depend on it – especially our healthcare workers and those who are over 60 or already live with underlying health conditions.
    We encourage everyone to stay in your own home as much as possible. Only go out if you have to and choose a time to go to the grocery or pharmacy when it’s not crowded. If you see other people, try to stay at least six feet away from them, and don’t touch them. No handshakes, hug, or kisses. Remember: a lot of people who are carrying this virus won’t show any symptoms. So, the surest way to avoid catching it is to maintain social distance and cancel all gatherings, even small ones.
  2. Follow medical guidance. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, we recommend that you 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.
    Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen. 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.
    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.
  3. Donate medical and protective equipment and supplies. Hospitals across our nation are bracing for shortages of medical and protective equipment and supplies such as disposable masks, gowns, gloves and shoe covers. These are essential in protecting our staff on the front lines of caring for patients. If you have supplies and equipment such as these, please consider donating them to regional hospitals. Those with unused supplies and equipment to donate may contact Scott Johnson, Director of Supply Chain Operations, at 970-542-3360 to arrange delivery. 
  4. Donate blood. In addition to potential supply shortages, healthcare providers are preparing for blood shortages. Many communities have had to cancel blood drives due to COVID-19, so blood in many regions is in short supply. Donating blood is a safe process, and you can help out by visiting redcrossblood.org or vitalent.org to find a donation location near you.

Colorado Plains Medical Center is grateful for our community’s ongoing support and cooperation as we work to protect local families from the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate all that you do and will continue to provide information on what we know about the virus and how you can help us keep our region healthy.  Visit www.ColoradoPlainsMedicalCenter.com for more information or call 970-542-3310 or 970-542-4440 with any questions you may have.  

****

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.

Quick Links:

While we have not evaluated or treated any patients with this virus at our hospital to date, Colorado Plains Medical Center has taken the following measures to prepare out of an abundance of caution, in accordance with CDC guidelines:

  • Patients in the Emergency Department and inpatient units are screened based on their recent travel history.
  • Personal protective equipment is available, including face masks and eye protection, for example.
  • Hand hygiene products are easily accessible throughout the facility.
  • Visitor guidance, as recommended by the CDC, has been posted at all entrances.

Importantly, all of the above are standard operating protocols that are in place year-round to help ensure the health and well-being of everyone who enters our hospital.

*****

Out of an abundance of caution, Colorado Plains Medical Center, in accordance to guidelines from the Northeast Colorado Health Department and CDC, is temporarily cancelling the following elective groups and non-essential operations of the hospital.  This includes, but may not be limited to, the Volunteer Program, IOP, Adult Fitness, Friends of CPMC, Community Yoga, Breastfeeding Support Group, Auxiliary Operations, and the Diabetes Support Group. 

Importantly, our standard operating protocols that are in place year-round help ensure the health and well-being of everyone who enters our hospital. We want to reassure our community that it is safe to come to the hospital should you or your family need care.

*****