Kaweah Delta launches new COVID-19 phone screening hotline to keep community safe

A Press Release from Kaweah Delta Hospital

Kaweah Delta has launched a new, free screening hotline intended to assess people who may have COVID-19 symptoms from the safety of their home to avoid the unnecessary exposure of themselves and others.

The free hotline allows an individual with COVID-19 symptoms, to schedule a same-day appointment with a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners call the individuals for a phone screening to determine if they need to visit a COVID-19 testing site or medical facility.

“We’re trying to keep people who need to be out of waiting rooms and public places quarantined in the comfort of their own home until we can rule out COVID-19.  We’re doing all of this to keep the community safe,” said Ryan Gates, Kaweah Delta’s Vice President of Population Health. “If the nurse practitioner determines that the person should be tested for COVID-19, they will never even have to leave their car to have a specimen collected.”

Anyone can call the hotline at (559) 624-4110, but people with primary care physicians should call their physician for an assessment first. COVID-19 symptoms include the following within the last 14 days:

  • Fever of 100.4 degree F (38 degree C) or higher
  • Excessive dry cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Travel via plane, train, or cruise
  • Exposure to someone with confirmed case of COVID-19.

“Many people have questions right now. This is a way for us to do the right thing, while being a resource and keeping others safe,” Gates said.

Kaweah Delta has taken a number of measures to put the health and safety of patients and visitors first. They include institution of a no-visitor policy, screening patients outside of its Emergency Department for COVID-19 symptoms, implementation of temporary entrances, cancelling all public events, removing volunteers from its sites, cancelling all business travel, and asking its more than 5,000 employees to cancel internal meetings and use teleconferencing or online meetings instead.

Kaweah Delta will continue to share COVID-19 information and regular updates with the community on its website at www.kaweahdelta.org/COVID19, via media statements, and on its social media accounts.

Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency advises if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your primary physician or 2-1-1 rather than walking into a medical office or hospital. Your physician will connect with Tulare County Public Health to determine if testing is appropriate.

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