COVID-19 Patient Care Updates

Call (409) 772-2222 or (800) 917-8906 before visiting any clinic. We offer 24/7 Nurse Triage and Scheduling.

COVID-19 PATIENT CARE UPDATES

Instructions for Patients: Accessing Care During COVID-19

When you need care, UTMB Health is just a phone call away.

Experienced Nurse Triage Line available 24/7. (800) 917-8906.

COVID-19 has changed many things in our region. But it hasn’t changed UTMB Health’s commitment to serving you and your family. If you need urgent care, simply call our Nurse Triage Line at (800) 917-8906, day or night. The same health care providers who see you in our clinics are available for Urgent Care televisits and televisits for routine care.

We offer prompt, convenient Urgent Care televisits from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

If you need routine care, call the Nurse Triage Line as well. We will schedule a televisit rather than face-to-face care whenever possible. Please go to a clinic only if you have been advised to do so by your provider. If you need to be seen in-person, we can direct you to the best UTMB Health location for your care.

These temporary changes help keep you, your family and our team safe, by helping us all avoid larger groups of people in a traditional waiting room.

Call (800) 917-8906, day or night, and we’ll take care of you.


Daily Update

  • As of 12:30 p.m., April 6, 2020

    April 6, 2020, 12:34 PM by COVID-19 Communications
    Today’s COVID-19 update includes information on child care services for UTMB employees, a new wellness tip of the day from your RISE (Resilience in Stressful Events) Task Force, and updated data regarding COVID-19 testing and patient data.

Patient Care FAQs


FAQs

If you are scheduled for an upcoming appointment, you should receive a phone call to reschedule your appointment as a televisit via phone call and/or video. Your provider will call you and provide further instructions.

If the visit cannot be completed via a televisit, you will be directed to a specific clinic designated for the type of care you need. If you do not receive a phone call, please call (800) 917-8906 or (409) 772-2222, day or night.

We are continuing well-child check-ups on schedule for children 0-4 years old, during this critical period in their development. When we call you about your appointment, you will be directed to a specific clinic for this visit; please note that it may be a clinic other than the one you normally visit, but the location will provide the same great care you’ve come to expect for your child at UTMB Health.

Standard physician copay applies for televisits.

Last modified on 3/24/2020

Call the Access Center, (800) 917-8906 or (409) 772-2222, day or night. The nurses will triage you or the patient and schedule a prompt Urgent Care televisit or you will be directed to the most appropriate location for an in-person appointment, depending on what is most appropriate for your needs.

Last modified on 3/24/2020

Yes, all UTMB emergency departments remain open. However, if only urgent care is needed, call the Access Center at (800) 917-8906 or (409) 772-2222, day or night to be directed to the most appropriate option for your care.

Last modified on 3/24/2020

A televisit is an appointment via the telephone and/or possibly video chat. Televisits are used when they are medically appropriate for the patient and encouraged for your safety. These visits are set up to serve patients with existing or reoccurring appointments, and for high-risk patients.

Last modified on 3/24/2020

An urgent care televisit is a prompt, safe, convenient health care appointment offered via the telephone and/or video chat with the same experienced UTMB Health providers who staff our clinics.

Televisits appointments are offered only when medically appropriate for your needs and focus on evaluation and treatment of minor primary care concerns, such as eye infections, earaches, rashes, insect bites and skin irritation, digestive issues, colds, and more. You may be given a prescription or referred for further treatment at the conclusion of the televisit.

UTMB Health urgent care televisits are offered daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., for both new and existing patients.

To schedule a televisit, call the UTMB Access Center Nurse Triage Line at (800) 917-8906, available 24/7. A nurse will listen to your needs and help direct you to the most appropriate care.

Last modified on 3/27/2020

  1. Contact your pharmacy to see if there are any refills left.
  2. Use myChart to request refills if needed.
  3. If no refills are allowed via myChart, call the Access Center at (800) 917-8906 or (409) 772-2222, day or night, to request a televisit to get refills ordered.

Last modified on 3/24/2020

RESPONDING TO COVID-19

To prevent the rapid spread of the virus & help families & communities adapt to a quickly changing situation, follow these recommendations

ConnectedSTAY CONNECTED

Keep updated on what is happening in your community, workplace, school district, faith organization, etc.

HygienePERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD HYGIENE

Proper hand washing, not touching your face, cleaning surfaces, staying home if you are sick, etc., are all important steps to take

PlanHAVE A PLAN

  • Keep 2 weeks of food, medicines, and other essentials.
  • Collect contact information for family, friends, and co-workers.
  • Make plans for disruptions to your daily schedule. (ex: school or childcare closures)
  • Make sure you know where to go for care if a member of your household becomes sick.

SocialDistancingSOCIAL DISTANCING

Stay home if you can, avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, stay 6 feet away from other individuals and cooperate with closures in your community

Information provided by UTMB's Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health

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COVID-19 General FAQs

FAQs

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus, now known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

While COVID-19 causes only mild illness in some infected individuals, it may cause serious lower respiratory infection leading to hospitalization and even death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this factsheet highlighting important information you should know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-10).

Last modified on 3/16/2020

  • Stay home unless you need medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting a clinic
  • Wear a mask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day
  • Monitor your symptoms

Last modified on 3/10/2020

To ensure adequate COVID-19 testing capacity for patients with medical need, UTMB Health will use the following process to determine when to test for COVID-19. This process is consistent with guidance from the local health authority and Texas Department of State Health Services.

  • Patients with symptoms of respiratory illness, including cough, fever or shortness of breath, should contact the UTMB Health Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.
  • The nurse hotline will advise the patient on what to do next, including the most appropriate clinic location for evaluation if needed. (Please note that patients with mild symptoms and no underlying risk factors may be advised to manage their symptoms at home.)
  • Once a patient arrives at the recommended location, they will be seen by a provider and likely given a flu test. (Colds and flu are still circulating widely in our region, so they first need to be ruled out as a cause of symptoms.)
  • If the flu test is positive, the patient will be treated for flu as appropriate.
  • If the flu test is negative, the provider will recommend whether a COVID-19 test is warranted, based on the most current guidance from health authorities.
  • Patients should follow provider recommendations for testing, self-isolation and management of symptoms.
  • Any patient experiencing a worsening of symptoms—particularly shortness of breath—a few days after first becoming ill should contact the Access Center IMMEDIATELY.
  • Patients who do not have symptoms of a respiratory infection will not be tested for COVID-19 at this time. This is to ensure we maintain adequate testing capacity for patients who have medical need. It also reduces the risk of a false negative result in a patient who may have been exposed to the virus but does not yet have enough virus in their system to cause symptoms and to show up on the test.

Please note: Our process and procedures may be updated as the COVID-19 situation develops in our region.

Last modified on 3/15/2020

This is one of the topics that remains under study; it's still not certain exactly how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (at one point nine days was mentioned, which the latest studies suggest may be unlikely). Survival of the virus will vary under different conditions, including type of surface, temperature, humidity and moisture, exposure to sunlight, and other factors.

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. 

Last modified on 3/14/2020

There are no plans for UTMB to serve as a general quarantine facility in the case of an outbreak in our area. As always, we are prepared to care for patients who need hospitalization due to COVID-19 or any illness.

Last modified on 3/12/2020

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • 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.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a dry cough,
  • fever of 100.4 F or higher, and
  • shortness of breath.

Any time a member of your household has a fever (whether flu, COVID-19 or another illness), they should stay home until they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours. If at any time you have concerns about any symptoms you or your family is experiencing, call your doctor.

Last modified on 3/10/2020

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

The virus 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.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Last modified on 3/16/2020

At this time, patients testing positive for COVID-19 who have mild symptoms, are not over age 60 and do not have an underlying medical condition are advised to isolate at home. If a patient with COVID-19 is concerned, begins to experience shortness of breath, starts feeling worse a week or so into the illness, is over age 60 or has an underlying medical condition, they are strongly encouraged to call their doctor or the UTMB Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.

Last modified on 3/16/2020