As a large academic health system and a national leader with deep experience caring for patients with diseases of all kinds, Penn Medicine is always at the ready to respond to global public health issues.
Penn Medicine staff are fully prepared to evaluate and care for patients who may be infected with COVID-19 disease, while taking the strongest possible precautions to ensure the health and safety of all other patients, their families, and our staff.
We are following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendations for evaluation of patients who may be at risk of developing this new virus. Teams throughout our health system are working closely with leaders from the CDC, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Departments of Health, and local health officials to monitor and respond to this evolving situation.
Strict Visitation and Facility Access Policy – Effective March 13, 2020
A strict visitation policy is in effect at each of Penn Medicine’s hospitals and outpatient facilities to protect the health of our patients and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In inpatient facilities, no visitors will be permitted except under special circumstances.
- Visitation of a patient nearing the end of life
- Parent visitation of a child in our intensive care nurseries
- One coach or partner for each patient on our labor and delivery units
- One visitor at a time for patients in inpatient hospice units
- One parent at a time for pediatric patients
- One visitor to accompany patients for hospital discharge
For all outpatient appointments:
- One visitor will be permitted to accompany a patient to facilitate care or treatment such as an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery
No child under the age of 12 years will be permitted to visit under any circumstances.
Health screening procedures will be required in circumstances where a visitor is allowed by exception.
Please speak with a member of the staff for more information.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of this virus are very similar to other seasonal respiratory ailments like colds and influenza – they can include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing. Importantly, most patients with COVID-19 have only mild, flu-like and respiratory symptoms and do not require hospitalization.
If you have respiratory or flu symptoms, please call your doctor's office ahead of time. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, they may provide special instructions or—if appropriate—connect you with Penn Medicine's 24/7 online care practice, Penn Medicine On Demand, for a virtual visit.
For very severe symptoms like trouble breathing, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
Seeking Treatment for COVID-19
COVID-19 testing is not right for every patient with respiratory symptoms. Physicians are guided in their testing decisions by each patient's unique situation and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's screening guidance. Your doctor can determine whether this type of testing would be necessary.
Penn Medicine patients can also contact Penn Medicine OnDemand for a virtual visit. To schedule, call 215-615-2222. If you are a myPennMedicine user, you can also schedule using the MyPennMedicine app.
Additional Information on the Coronavirus
For more general information about COVID-19, both the World Health Organization and the CDC offer helpful facts and information, including guidance about possible symptoms, prevention, and travel restrictions. Learn more on their websites.
Share Facts About COVID-19
Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors.
Fact 1: Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.
People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American. Help stop fear by letting people know that being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.
Fact 2: The risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. is currently low.
Some people who live in or have recently traveled to places where many people have gotten sick with COVID-19 may be monitored by health officials to protect their health and the health of other people in the community.
Fact 3: Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
For up-to-date information, visit CDC’s coronavirus disease 2019 web page.
Fact 4: You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
Seek medical advice if you
- Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Fact 5: There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
For More Information: www.cdc.gov/COVID19