NSMC News Releases

NSMC Preparedness related to the Novel Coronavirus
3/2/2020

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are closely monitoring the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The situation remains fluid as public health authorities assess, surveil and attempt to prevent the spread of additional infections. A multidisciplinary team at North Shore Medical Center is collaborating to ensure that we are ready to respond if there is a need to test or provide care for patients with possible COVID-19 infection. 

The risk is still low in Massachusetts, but we are actively preparing for the possibility that patients with the novel coronavirus may start to arrive in our Emergency Department and physician practices in the coming weeks and months. For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus/COVID 19 in Massachusetts, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health site and the Centers for Disease Control.

Symptoms typically include fever, cough and shortness of breath

Most cases of COVID-19 are mild, but some patients, in particular older people and those with underlying chronic medical conditions that may compromise immunity may be at higher risk for more severe outcomes. The virus is thought to spread primarily via respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to influenza and other respiratory illnesses. If you suspect that you or someone in your home may have the virus.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before and after eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Lather your hands with the soap and remember to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water and dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. 
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Preparations NSMC is making

  • We have updated our screening protocols so that we may rapidly detect patients with possible COVID-19 infections.
  • We are providing training and education for our staff on best practices and emergency protocols in the event of an outbreak.
  • We are educating our providers about what to do if they are concerned a patient may have COVID-19.
  • We are working to ensure we maintain an adequate stock of personal protective equipment and laboratory supplies.
  • Our multidisciplinary team is meeting daily with experts from NSMC, Partners HealthCare, and local and state experts to ensure that patients receive appropriate care and shall remain safe.