Do you test for COVID-19 at Mount Nittany Health?
  • Mount Nittany Health is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for screening patients. If a patient matches the criteria, Mount Nittany Health works with the Department of Health and commerical labs to perform and confirm COVID-19 tests and results.

What are the symptoms & warning signs of coronavirus?
  • ​Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus cases. These symptoms include:

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fever

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Sore throat

  • The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

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  • If you believe you are exhibiting the symptoms of Coronavirus, call 844.278.4600 or your family doctor immediately to be assessed over the phone. 

  • Your doctor will inform you if you should come into their office or to the hospital for further testing.

  • Upon arrival, please wear a protective mask.

  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

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  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion or inability to arouse

  • Bluish lips or face

  • This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Are we screening people before they enter Mount Nittany Health facilities?
  • Mount Nittany Health conducts screenings of patients entering our facilities. This screening process is another measure that Mount Nittany Health is taking to protect our patients, staff and community against the spread of COVID-19. The screening process will include key questions based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • In the best interest of patients, visitors and staff during this evolving situation, visitors of hospitalized patients at Mount Nittany Medical Center will no longer be permitted, except for select circumstances. For questions regarding visitation at the Medical Center, please call 814.231.7000.

  • One caregiver may accompany patients of our emergency department, Mount Nittany Physician Group, CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP and outpatient Medical Center locations, if needed. Depending on the circumstances, the caregiver may be asked to find an alternative place to wait for the patient, such as their vehicle. 

  • Approved visitors/caregivers to the emergency department, Mount Nittany Physician Group, CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP and outpatient Medical Center locations will undergo a screening process and be required to wear a mask for the duration of their stay. If a visitor does not have a mask, one will be provided. Any visitor who does not pass the screening process will be informed of the policy and be asked to wait in their vehicle or return home.

  • Our team will work as quickly as possible to safely and effectively complete the screenings; please prepare accordingly and allow extra time for this process.

Do you have visitor restrictions?
  • ​Patient visitation is temporarily suspended at all Mount Nittany Health locations until further notice.

Does Mount Nittany Health require patients to wear a mask at its locations?
  • As an additional measure to protect patients, staff and community members against the spread of COVID-19, Mount Nittany Health has issued a masking requirement to patients and essential caregivers at all Mount Nittany Health locations, including Mount Nittany Medical Center and all Mount Nittany Physician Group offices.

  • All patients and essential caregivers must wear a mask when accessing a Mount Nittany Health facility. Patients who are feeling short of breath or are otherwise unable to tolerate a mask and children under the age of two will not be required to wear a mask.

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  • Patients and essential caregivers are encouraged to wear their own masks from home. If needed, masks will be provided by the health system’s screening teams before patients and essential caregivers enter the facility; the masks should be reused as long as possible.

Does Mount Nittany Health have a plan for managing a pandemic?
  • Yes. Mount Nittany Health has a plan to manage a pandemic like COVID-19 . We have practiced this plan and are now executing on it to manage our resources effectively. This includes initiating a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Team (CPRT), which meets regularly to plan on how we can meet the needs of our patients today while planning how to manage the potential of a dramatic increase of patient volumes in the future.

  • We are also connecting with local, state and national partners, as well as our healthcare colleagues across the region and state. Decisions are made to protect our patients and staff while also doing our part to help contain rapidly progressing pandemic by:

  • Strictly adhering to infection & prevention control policies

  • Continuing the education of employees and staff

  • Rescheduling elective/non-essential services to ensure we have the supplies we need to take care of patients that need immediate care

  • Limiting the number of people in our facility through temporary visitor restrictions

  • Implementing screenings and temperature checks for anyone who enters Mount Nittany Health’s facilities

  • Extending masking requirements to patients and visitors at all Mount Nittany Health facilities

What steps is Mount Nittany Health taking related to COVID-19?
  • ​The health and well-being of our staff, patients, and visitors is our top priority. Mount Nittany Health is working closely with public health officials and other community health agencies to monitor local conditions related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

  • Staying informed - We are continuously monitoring the outbreak as it evolves through the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and other expert sources.

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  • Extra measures – We have implemented numerous extra measures to ensure everyone’s safety. This includes the following, among others:  

  • Special cleaning of all areas several times a day

  • Screening 

  • Requiring patients, visitors, employees and providers to mask

  • Using telehealth when possible to provide care

  • New protective barriers between patients and staff in registration areas

  • Scheduling time between patient visits to limit/eliminate people in the waiting rooms and practice social distancing

  • Temporary visitation restrictions

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  • Collaboration - Our team has been working on education and preparedness, included providing a comprehensive grand rounds education session attended by hundreds of Mount Nittany Health staff and community organizations, posting current CDC and Department of Health (DOH) information on our website, coordinating with the DOH regarding patient testing and reporting protocols, planning with state and local emergency management agencies, participating with Penn State’s planning task force, providing daily updates at patient safety huddles, and working through treatment and testing decisions with providers around specific patients.

Does Mount Nittany Health have a COVID test collection site?
  • Yes, Mount Nittany Health has multiple test collection sites:

  • Mount Nittany Health, in collaboration with Penn State Health, established a test collection site at Mount Nittany Medical Center. This site is only used by primary care patients from either health system who have received an appointment at the collection site by their primary care provider.

  • test collection site at Mount Nittany Health – Mifflin County. The site is available exclusively for Mount Nittany Physician Group (MNPG) primary care patients.

  • A test collection site at Mount Nittany Health - Boalsburg. The site is available exclusively for MNPG primary care patients.

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  • Mount Nittany Health continues to rigorously follow guidelines from the CDC, including how test samples are collected and the proper wearing of personal protective equipment by staff at this site.

How do I gift supplies or food to Mount Nittany Health and its employees?
  • We are deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our community. Part of what makes our community so special is the way we care for each other in times of crisis and this has been displayed over and over again during this pandemic. Click the links below for more information on how to give supply or food gifts:

  • I would like to donate supplies and/or equipment

  • I would like to donate food

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  • To learn more about the Mount Nittany Health COVID-19 Response Fund and donations, visit foundation.mountnittany.org

Does Mount Nittany Health offer telehealth visits?
  • Mount Nittany Health offers telehealth visits for Mount Nittany Physician Group patients. Telehealth visits are essentially office visits conducted through the use of a mobile device or computer. As “two-way” visits, patients and providers and see and hear one another throughout the visit. For more information, visit mountnittany.org/telehealth.
     

  • Mount Nittany Health also offers telehealth visits with the Mount Nittany Medical Center Emergency Department.  To learn more, visit mountnittany.org/virtualER.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • There is a new type of Coronavirus (COVID-19) causing an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. There have been a number of cases reported globally, including the United States.

  • COVID-19 symptoms may range from mild to severe illness and death. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure and include:

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Chills

  • Repeated shaking with chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)

  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes

  • Through contact with contaminated surfaces

  • Travelers returning from a country that has a Level 3 Travel Health Notice should stay home for a period of 14 days and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or trouble breathing. If you become sick, call 1.877.PA.HEALTH (1.877.724.3258) and your doctor's office/emergency room before visiting.

What causes coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)

  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes

  • Through a person’s contact with contaminated surfaces and then touching his or her own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads

What does "flattening the curve" mean?
  • "Flattening the curve" is when preventive measures are put into place to slow or stop the number of new cases during an outbreak like COVID-19. Based on experiences from other countries and past epidemics, preventive measures such as social distancing and quarantines help to accomplish this goal.

Who is most at risk for becoming seriously ill?
  • ​COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People aged 65 years and older

  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

  • Other high-risk conditions could include:

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

  • People with diabetes

  • People who have serious heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathies and pulmonary hypertension

  • People with chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis

  • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment

  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

  • People of any age with severe obesity

  • People with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis

  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

What does "flattening the curve" mean?
  • "Flattening the curve" is when preventive measures are put into place to slow or stop the number of new cases during an outbreak like COVID-19. Based on experiences from other countries and past epidemics, preventive measures such as social distancing and quarantines help to accomplish this goal.

What is social distancing?
  • Social distancing is when you put space between yourself and others. This can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • Stay home as much as you can

  • Avoid public spaces

  • Keep at least 6 feet between you and others if you must go out

  • Don't attend or host large gatherings

  • Avoid using mass transit

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
  • ​Quarantine is when a person who has been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 at is at home to limit community exposure and to see if the person becomes sick.

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  • Isolation is when a person sick with COVID-19 is separated from people are not sick to avoid spreading illness.

What is community mitigation?
  • Community mitigation plans are steps that are taken on a larger scale to slow the spread of disease.​

What is community spread?
  • Community spread means multiple people have been infected with a contagious disease in an area where people are not sure how or where they became infected. The source of the infection is unknown.

How do I practice everyday precautions?
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains at least 60% alcohol​. Did you know? Singing or humming two rounds of “Happy Birthday” equals 20 seconds

  • ​Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

  • Stay home if you are sick

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Practice social distancing

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Click here to learn how to properly wear and take care of cloth face covers.

Do I need to wear a mask or respirator in public?
  • ​​The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear a cloth face mask over the nose and mouth to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. A cloth face mask is not intended to protect the individual wearing the mask, but it may prevent the spread of the virus to others. Because someone may be infected with COVID-19 and not show symptoms, wearing a cloth face mask is especially important in preventing the spread. According to the CDC, a cloth face mask should be worn in public settings (i.e. grocery stores), while medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders. For more information and to make your own cloth face mask, click here.

How do I practice safe hand hygiene?
  • Regular and consistent hand washing is crucial to help prevent the spread of infection. Follow the steps below to perform a good hand wash:

  • Moisten your hands with warm, running water.

  • Apply enough soap to produce lather.

  • Vigorously rub all hand surfaces together for a minimum of 20 seconds.

  • Rinse hands under warm, running water.

  • Dry hands thoroughly using paper towels.

  • Use a paper to turn off the faucet.

  • Note: Soap and water are not always available, but it’s important to prepare for times like these by keeping an antiseptic hand rub in your car, desk, or purse. Spread thoroughly over your hands and rub until dry.