COVID-19: What you need to know

WVU Medicine implements no-visitor policy at all hospitals and outpatient clinics

Please be advised that all WVU Medicine hospitals and outpatient clinics have implemented a no-visitor policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Limited exceptions will be made for end-of-life cases, pediatrics, and OB patients. Those patients will still be limited to one visitor. Visitors who are sick will not be permitted to enter WVU Medicine hospitals under any circumstances. Read the press release.


COVID-19 Information

The spread of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has gained global attention. Information about COVID-19 has continued to evolve since authorities reported the first case in Wuhan, the largest city in central China, late last year.

Scientists, health officials, and medical professionals around the world are working at unprecedented speed to help halt the spread of COVID-19.

Let WVU Medicine be your guide and resource for information about COVID-19. We are prepared to provide the most appropriate level of care for our community, state, and region. We want to help keep you and your family safe and healthy.

WVU Medicine has experience with handling infectious diseases and infection control of viruses, like COVID-19. Our infection prevention teams are working in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and local health authorities to provide information and implement policies intended to ensure the continued health and safety of our community.

According to the CDC, due to the rapidly changing nature of the spread of COVID-19 around the world, it is important for families and businesses to prepare now for potential community spread.

Steps you can take now

Health officials say the best steps to avoid contracting COVID-19 are to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Lather for at least 20 seconds every time. If no soap is available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or the bend of your elbow, not your hands.
  • Use the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use.
  • Avoid contact with sick or affected individuals.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as your mobile phone.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Practice social distancing


What to do if you are sick

Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact.

Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital has established a phone number for patients to call if they have respiratory or flu-like illness that they believe could be related to COVID-19. Patients can call 304-598-6000, option 4, to speak with a staff member.

If you are unsure whether or not you should be seen, please call your local health department for guidance. You can also visit the CDC website for assistance.


Have a scheduled appointment?

Keep scheduled appointments
For many of our patients, it is important to keep your appointments, especially if you have a chronic condition, like diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Your provider will call or notify you through MyWVUChart if we need to reschedule your appointment. Read about the no-visitor policy implemented in all of our clinics and hospitals.

Consider a virtual visit
All WVU Medicine outpatient clinics are now offering video visits for most outpatient services, allowing established patients to receive care from the comfort and safety of home. Request your virtual visit by calling 855-WVU-CARE (855-988-2273) or by sending your provider a message through MyWVUChartUntil May 15, 2020, WVU Medicine will waive all personal pay fees, including deductibles and co-payments. Learn more.

Call ahead if you feel ill
Our clinics are taking special precautions to protect the health and safety of patients during this time. If you need medication refills or have a question for our office, please use MyWVUChart to communicate with us directly or call the clinic number. Please do not visit a WVU Medicine Urgent Care or emergency department with flu-like symptoms.

Keep taking your medications
We recommend that you continue taking all medications as prescribed unless otherwise instructed by your provider. Contact your provider if you have questions.


WVU Medicine Urgent Care video visits

To help lessen the spread of COVID-19, all WVU Medicine Urgent Care locations are now offering virtual video visits at no cost for adults and children ages 5 and up.

WVU Medicine Urgent Care locations include those in Charles Town, Fairmont, Inwood, Morgantown (Evansdale and Suncrest), Parkersburg, and Spring Mills in West Virginia; Marietta, Ohio; and Grantsville and McHenry in Maryland.

Adults and children ages 5 and up can video chat with an Urgent Care provider via a smartphone or webcam-equipped computer from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. This service is for patients who have minor medical conditions and not for emergencies. Those with emergencies should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency care location.

Patients must be physically located within the state of West Virginia at the time of treatment, due to licensure regulations. Until May 15, 2020, WVU Medicine will waive all personal pay fees, including deductibles and co-payments.

Video Urgent Care visits are not intended to replace routine appointments with regular providers for needs such as annual physicals. A referral is not needed to see a virtual Urgent Care provider.

With virtual urgent care, adults and children can:

  • receive an examination, diagnosis, and treatment from a WVU Medicine provider
  • be treated for a variety of minor medical concerns, such as cough, sore throat, rash, allergies, and pink eye
  • receive an after-visit summary containing a care plan and any follow-up instructions, including referrals for a specialist visit or diagnostic imaging
  • have WVU Medicine Urgent Care notify their primary care physician to contact them about their visit
  • have prescriptions recommended by their virtual Urgent Care provider sent to the pharmacy of their choice

Video visits can be scheduled through a patient’s MyWVUChart account. In order to complete the video visit by smartphone or tablet, which is the preferred method, the MyChart app must be installed prior to the scheduled appointment, and the patient must have access to a good internet connection or 3G/4G network.

To complete a video visit through a computer, patients must ensure their computers have a working web camera, microphone, speakers, and high-speed internet connection.

Video visits can be completed by following the steps listed here.

Those experiencing flu-like symptoms should call 304-598-6000 option 4.

For a more detailed list of conditions that can be treated with a video visit, click here.

For more information on video visits, go to WVUMedicine.org/Virtual.


Pre-screened drive-through specimen collection

WVU Medicine has established five drive-through collection points in West Virginia to collect specimens from pre-screened patients to test for COVID-19. The collection points are located in Morgantown, Parkersburg, Bridgeport, Wheeling, and Martinsburg. Transmission of COVID-19 is increasing nationwide, and other health systems have successfully used the drive-through approach.

The testing itself is supported by both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, which will process the specimens that WVU Medicine collects from patients. The collection points operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patients will typically learn test results in three-to-four days, although time will likely vary based on the volume of tests these two companies will be performing.

Tests will be reserved for people who meet screening criteria based on CDC recommendations and are sick with symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Asymptomatic patients – or those people who have no obvious COVID-19 symptoms – will not be tested. This will ensure only the highest-risk patients are identified and receive the appropriate medical intervention. The screening will not test for seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or any other respiratory illness.

Patients who meet criteria for testing will be directed to one of the five drive-through collection points. WVU Medicine staff will collect the specimens, using appropriate precautions, and send them to Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp for analysis. This process reduces the need for other critically constrained resources.


COVID-19 Resources

West Virginia hotline

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has launched an informational hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding COVID-19. The toll-free hotline – 1-800-887-4304 – is availble 24/7 to provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

West Virginia University:

Other:

Video Resources