Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update

Last updated: 4/2/20 at 11:50 a.m.

We understand that members of our community are concerned about the risk of exposure to the 2019 novel coronavirus, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Keck Medicine of USC has a robust COVID-19 preparedness plan and is ready to respond to any community needs in collaboration with our local health agencies.

How You Can Help

Right now, health care workers at Keck Medicine of USC’s hospitals and clinics have the gear they need to protect themselves and others as they care for patients with COVID-19. But with the number of COVID-19 patients rising daily, leaders at Keck Medicine are asking for the community’s help in donating supplies now.

Learn More

Keck Medicine of USC COVID-19 Dashboard

Last updated: 4/2/20 at 9:15 a.m. Keck Hospital of USC USC Norris Cancer Hospital USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 currently in hospital 9 0 6
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 discharged home 8 0 13
Patients with negative COVID-19 test currently in hospital 44 0 15
Patients with negative COVID-19 test discharged home 141 5 97
Patients with pending COVID-19 test currently in hospital 11 0 9
Patients with pending COVID-19 test discharged home 19 0 6

Frequently Asked Questions

When possible, we are scheduling virtual appointments with our health care providers in lieu of in-person appointments. Patients who require an in-person appointment, however, face no additional risk at our hospitals and all locations. If you have any questions about your existing medical appointment, please call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273).
While some outpatient locations have been temporarily closed in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Keck Medicine is increasing virtual visits and arranging face-to-face visits at alternate locations with our providers. To see a list of locations that are temporarily closed, click here. To request a virtual visit appointment, please call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273).
Virtual visits allow you and your physician to share information using a video connection. In order to have a virtual visit with one of our physicians, you must have an internet connection as well as USC’s TeleCARE platform installed on your computer or smartphone. For instructions on how to install the USC TeleCARE platform on your computer or smartphone, click here.

To view the USC TeleCARE Patient User Guide, click here.

The health of our patients is always our top priority. In light of ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, we are taking precautionary steps to ensure the well-being of our patients, staff and visitors.

The following policy is now in place:

  • No patient visitors will be permitted at this time.
  • No access will be permitted for anyone who does not have business in that specific facility.
  • All patients will be screened before entering the facility.
  • Anyone with symptoms of illness — such as cough, fever, runny nose or trouble breathing — will be turned away.

To view a flyer on our new hospital visitors policy, click here.

At this critical time, Keck Medicine is asking qualified physicians who are not currently providing clinical care to supplement our current physician workforce, in anticipation of a surge of seriously ill coronavirus patients. If you’re available to help, click here.
Effective immediately, vendors and all other non-essential visitors will not be granted access to our facilities. All meetings scheduled with vendors should take place virtually, via teleconference or on platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. In-person meetings with vendor representatives should not take place, including appointments with medical device representatives.

coronavirus

Important Information From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 from the CDC. For the complete FAQ list, click here.

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 (these are commonly circulating coronaviruses) is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

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.

Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (if they are clinically stable) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

How long someone is actively sick can vary, so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation, including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes, at a minimum, meeting all of the following requirements:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months, but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.

Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a health care professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Read more about COVID-19 symptoms here.
Call your health care professional if you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Your health care professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

The CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. A list of destinations with travel notices is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

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